EPT8 Madrid: Navarette snatches lead at the end of first day


Play has ended on Day 1B of the European Poker Tour main event in Madrid, with Spaniard Juan Navarrete out in front.

Navarrete had a good day at the tables, eliminating Steve O'Dwyer along the way. He bags up 173,200 tonight, for the overall chip lead.

Chip leader Juan Navarette

His advantage is a narrow one over chief rival Ilan Boujenah.

The Frenchman had himself been going strong in the latter stages of the day after, according to one eye-witness, taking the lead while simultaneously having arguments with the dealer (who had insisted he represent his all-in), and the player he'd just sucked out on.

Ilan Boujenah

The Frenchman, a cocksure player, is relentless in his pursuit of chips and against any injustice against him, perceived or otherwise. Temper aside the Frenchman was back in form today, bagging up 171,000.

Behind him are a string of equally potent players, including Taylor Paur, who fell just a few thousand short of the lead, closing on 167,300. Chip counts for all players can be found on the live coverage page.

Taylor Paur

There was a different feel to the event when play began this afternoon. The empty tables of yesterday were no more, replaced by full ones. Some 352 players arrived today, forcing officials to unlock a second tournament room to accommodate them. At the end 216 remained.

Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Eugene Katchalov shooting the breeze

It added meat to the two veg, low-fat diet dished up yesterday, with Navarrete topping yesterday's leader Sergiy Baranov.

That's not the account for everyone, with the usual stories of elimination.

Crashing out today were the likes of Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, EPT San Remo winner Andrey Pateychuk, WSOP bracelet and WPT winner Eugene Katchalov, EPT Copenhagen winner Mickey Petersen, Madrid Grand Final winner Ivan Freitez, former Spanish international footballer Poli Rincon and Bronx grocery store owner WPT winner Victor Ramdin.

Victor Ramdin

Those left have Boujenah to use as a marker. If they don't see him they'll hear him.
Double LAPT winner Nacho Barbero returns, as does EPT London winner David Vamplew, Grand Final winner Nicolas Chouity, EPT Berlin winner Kevin MacPhee, EPT Dortmund winner Mike McDonald, EPT San Remo winner Rupert Elder...

Mike McDonald

...winner of nearly everything Eli Elezra, EPT Copenhagen winner Anton Wigg, EPT Deauville winner Jake Cody, PCA High Roller winner Wil Molson, EPT Copenhagen winner Michael Tureniec and Olympic Gold medal winner Fatima Moreira de Melo. Good players without a convenient prefix, such as 2009 LAPT Mar Del Plata $460 no-limit hold'em turbo winner Caio Pimenta, will also be among the 283 set to return.

Fatima Moreira de Melo

Check out the rest of the day's coverage at the links below.

Second flight sits down to play Day 1
It's all rum, betting and the lash for James Wilson
Like a runaway Freitez train
Talent up top
Back to square one for Petersen
Are you the guy who checked the Royal Flush?
Cesar Garcia Domingues leading Spanish charge
Prize pool and payouts
Approaching the end of Day 1

While we completed the second half of Day 1 another tussle was also coming to fruition; the much anticipated Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom's SuperStar Showdown against Isaac 'philivey2694' Haxton, which had been held up by a storm-induced power outage.

Blom had started close to $100,000 ahead when they sat down but Haxton more than pegged him back and was $40,600 ahead with 1,805 of 2,500 hands played. Check here for a full report.

That's all for Day 1B of the EPT Madrid main event. Players, who are now about to take their chances with a taxi, will return here tomorrow for Day 2 after taking their chances with a taxi. If we can save up the money to do the same we'll be here to cover it, starting at noon.

Until then, it's goodnight from Spain.

All picture credits should go to Neil Stoddart, who retains copyright.