EPT8 Madrid: Sergiy Baranov leads after fast paced opening day


Monday's are not normally this quick, at least it never is back at the office. But there was pace in this here Day 1A of EPT Madrid, a day now complete.

After an afternoon and evening of free soft drinks, all day nibbles and of course poker, it's Ukrainian player Sergiy Baranov who leads a the close, bagging up 152,500, some 10,000 ahead of the next man, Anton Ionel, in second.

Baranov with chips is a familiar sight, this bundle coming in part courtesy of Konstantin Puchkov, who himself had had a heady start before Baranov relieved him of his advantage.

It was a quiet day by EPT standards, with a field of 130 players making for a much smaller get together than that of nearly a year ago when the Grand Final was staged on the casino floor. Most put this down to the anniversary Sunday Million the night before, with a bumper field predicted tomorrow.

Chip leader, Sergiy Baranov

Very little meaning can be taken from such an early lead. At least not yet.

History suggests that there's only a slight chance (6 per cent if our back of the envelope maths proves correct) that the chip leader will go on to win. But the chip lead is a morale boost as much as anything, something to work with going into Day 2 on Wednesday.

Zimnan Ziyard seen off by Martins Adeniya

Elsewhere there were good days and bad days, all rolled into one eight-level day.
Of the members of Team PokerStars Pro in action today, three of the six will return tomorrow; Marcin Horecki, Martin Staszko and Pierre Neuville off to the rail.

Martin Staszko

That left Arnaud Mattern, Henrique Pinho and Alex Kravchenko, back on the tour with the same aplomb of before, ending the day on 28,900...

Easy game...

It was there they would meet the likes of JP Kelly, Luis Rufas and Roberto Romanello, although not for long in the case of the Welshman who was out of the main event one minute, and into a side event the next; a proponent of immersion therapy. Loutraki winner Zimnan Ziyard also departed (after a hero call gone wrong), as did James Dempsey, Juha Helppi and Marcel Bjerkmann.

Roberto Romanello

Also returning will be the likes of Craig Hopkins, who we featured on the Blog today, as well as Martins Adeniya (who flirted with the chip lead), Barny Boatman, Chris Moorman, Michael Eilier, Dermot Blain, JC Alvarado and Alex Bilokur.

Michael Eiler

Their stories and more can be found in both our live coverage from today, and the feature posts listed below...

No less grand than it used to be
Starting stacks, levels and dinner info
Look at this picture and tell me what you see
Showcasing the domestic talent
It's all about the title for Craig Hopkins
Adeniya takes out Zinyard
The view through the lens
Bolshie Baranov battling aggressive Adeniya

Join us tomorrow for Day 1B of the EPT Madrid main event from the Casino Gran Madrid. Play starts at 12 noon.

Make of this what you will

Until then it's goodnight from Madrid.

All photography © Neil Stoddart