EPT8 San Remo: Gianluca Trebbi leads on home soil
It felt a bit déjà-vu-all-over-again in San Remo today as the European Poker Tour made its second appearance on the Italian Rivieria in just six months. Last time around it was Royal Wedding week, with celebrations back in Blighty mirrored here by the travelling British contingent who cheered Rupert Elder to his first major title.
Now, in its new early autumn slot as opposed to the early spring, San Remo keeps its appeal, albeit with temperatures ten degrees cooler. The cafes have postponed winter closure for another week, waiters have dusted off outdoor seating and casino staff have re-read the rules about short trousers and official dress codes.
This time though it's not the British raiders who are claiming the early lead, but those from closer to these parts, with Italian player Gianluca Trebbi bagging up a stack of 159,600 tonight. His is a tentative lead of just 500 ahead of countryman Massimiliano Forti on 159,100.
Chip leader Gianluca Trebbi
There are some foreign raiders who will enjoy a little more bounce in their step as they enjoy tomorrow's rest day. Marco Traniello (let's call him Las Vegas-Italian) closed on 137,700, Tyler Bonkowski on 124,400, Kevin MacPhee did likewise with 99,200 as did Xuan Liu on 63,900.
It goes without saying that such an advantage can turn to dust within minutes of the start on Day 2, and the lead now is nothing compared to the lead entering the final day. But at least it guarantees a return on Sunday when the field unites, a fate not granted to everyone, including some of today's big names.
Daniel Negreanu wrapped up an exhausting two months on the road which started back in August, eliminated today and no doubt already at Nice Airport watching the departures board. Arnaud Mattern, who finished tenth in the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event a few days ago, was also among the early fallers, so too the first ever EPT San Remo winner Jason Mercier.
Jason Mercier makes his way to the rail
That was today. We now look towards tomorrow.
There were 359 players today of whom around 230 finished. Organisers expect closer to 500 for Day 1B who predictably will be made up of some of the game's power players. Like today they'll be seated and playing at 2pm tomorrow afternoon.
Spare a thought for one player, defending champion Elder, who bags up 42,500 tonight. Not for him a day off tomorrow. He's airport bound first thing in the morning to make a flying one day visit two of his friends' wedding back in the UK. Then it's back to Italy for Day 2.
Until play resumes tomorrow you can catch up on all the day's action by clicking through the links below, with chip counts on the official chip count page.
That's all from San Remo today. If you're French, German or Italian you can read coverage in your native languages rather than reading all this with a language dictionary by your side, in which case you may not read this bit for hours yet.
The view across San Remo
Join us again tomorrow for more main event action from the home of Vespas (motor scooters), ice cream (gelato) and pizza (pizza). You can expect more of the same tired clichés then.
Until then it's goodnight from San Remo.
All photography (c) Neil Stoddart.