Sonelin shines brightest to lead EPT Deauville


At the end of Day 2 of the European Poker Tour Main Event in Deauville, we're starting to spot dabs of colour on the picture outlined over the last two days of play.

It was back to business as usual on the EPT today on the one hand, with new leaders, shock eliminations as well as that sinister ecstasy that comes with surviving a double-up. But on the other hand, after two days of play and 13 levels, we're yet to find the eye-catching player about to provide the storyline from here to the final table.

The tournament room today

The usual script would dictate one player running away with things. Eventually someone spotted their cue and that was our new chip leader, David Sonelin, a PokerStars qualifier who bags up 438,900 tonight. Remarkably, he returned at the start of play today with just 22,700.

Chip leader, David Sonelin

Just as Viktor Blom and Patrick Bruel blossomed yesterday today, it was the turn of tonight's leaders the likes of Sergey Kislinskiy on 390,200 and Eric Sfez on 369,000.

It was also a good day for one of the game's grafters. Fabrice Soulier seized the reins of the event this afternoon. Having amassed 104,900 on Day 1, he turned that into 390,700 by the close, at times using will power and brute strength alone.

Fabrice Soulier

Tomorrow will determine whether or not he suffers the same fate as yesterday's eye-catchers - so what of Blom and Bruel?

Viktor Blom

As the world huddled around internet connections to follow the progress of Blom, they would read only of an amazing fall from grace. Having returned with nearly 150,000 Blom saw to it that he was on the rail in the second level of play. It was a short-lived second day for the young Swede, but somehow we were left better people for having witnessed it, with flashes of genius as well as the menace he can bring to a table simply by sitting at it. Roll on EPT Copenhagen.

Blom in action

French singer Patrick Bruel also returned to a sizable stack today, only for it to crumble in his hands, or after one particular hand, on a king-high board. Despite a double-up, Bruel would be gone before the end of level 11.

There are still 215 players remaining from the 503 that returned today, so it wasn't all doom and gloom. Some might even have enjoyed themselves.

The weapons of choice of all good poker players

Blom may be gone but our man Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier lives on in the name of flamboyant, adventuresome poker. At times cut down to less than average you never get the impression that ElkY's stack ever handles like a short one, and he soon had it back up past the 100,000 mark, then beyond, finally closing on 143,700.

Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier

Elsewhere fellow Team PokerStars Pros Matthias de Meulder made it through today's five levels, bagging up 54,400. Salvatore Bonavena will also return tomorrow with a scrappy 47,200, as will Juan Manual Pastor, closing on 138,600. They'll be joined by the likes of Martin Frankland on 253,600, Alex Wice with 229,700 and Shander de Vries with 212,900.

Salvatore Bonavena

On the flip side we said goodbye to Jose "Nacho" Barbero, Julian Brecard, Joep van den Bijgaart, Pieter de Korver and Christophe de Meulder (in the last hand of the day), as well as Fernando Brito, Antoine Saout and Sam Grafton.

Jose "Nacho" Barbero

All the details of the day, complete with punctuation, reverence and our attempts to boost the readership in Kiribati, can be found at the links below. Chip counts will be available on the chip count page once they're released by tournament staff.

Level 9 & 10 updates
Level 11, 12 & 13 updates

On to tomorrow at the Deauville International Centre, when Day 3 should feature the money bubble bursting as we close in on the business end of another EPT event.

Thanks to our photographer Neil Stoddart for his work with the disposable camera today, and to our foreign blogging friends. I know what you're thinking. Do these foreign bloggers actually exist or is it all a big Google translate operation? Well, find a German, French and Dutch friend to click those links to make sure.

sunset over deauville.jpg
The beach outside at sunset today

While you do that we're off to preach the Gospel according to Viktor. And from all of us, Happy Birthday Mrs Young.

See you tomorrow.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour