Toufik Ouirini takes narrow lead into Day 2 of EPT Deauville

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We found out a lot today. We found out how much money would be awarded in prize money and how many players would be competing for a share. And of course we found out how much would be awarded to the winner.

What we didn't find out was who that winner is going to be.

Nothing is decided on Day 1. Some players may lead and some players may fall to the rail, but none can have their day's success inked into the ledger just yet. For that they'll need to put in another few days of hard work.

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The tournament room in Deauville

That goes for tonight's chip leader Toufik Ouirini, who finished second at WPT Marrakech in November, who bags up 166,800 and takes the tentative lead into tomorrow's Day 2. Ouirini was one of several players, detailed on the chip count list, hovering around the top of the leader board. He finishes just ahead of yesterday's leader Kristijonas Andrulis, who closed on 162,600.

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Chip leader Toufik Ouirini

It was a typical day of action for the early stages, with the likes of Eugene Katchalov, Dario Minieri, Vanessa Selbst and Viktor Blom showing up but departing empty-handed. Others facing the same fate included Frenchmen David Benyamine and Fabrice Soulier, as well as Andrey Pateychuk and Ana Marquez, all leaving without even a look at the €4,267,200 prize pool.

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Viktor "Isildur1" Blom among the fallers today

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So too Eugene Katchalov

Those spoils remain some way off and will be awarded to the top 128 players, the first place player receiving €875,000. That's a mere five grand down on last year with this years' total of 889 players two short of last season. We can only assume that at least two players were snowed in somewhere in frost bitten Europe.

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Capturing something happening on Day 1B

Those who did make it here, and who will be returning here again tomorrow, include Hugo Lemaire, Chris McClung and Toby Lewis, as well as Team PokerStars Pros Nacho Barbero, Vanessa Rousso and Fatima Moreira de Melo.

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Fatima Moreira de Melo

You can catch up on the hand for hand action from today by clicking here. You can also read about the events of today, including something about a man with a balloon, at the following links.

All familiar except for one thing...
High roller a-go-go, ElkY, Bilokur, Gale and Ebanks clash
Deauville - a surf, turf and celebrity town
Scotty looking for a Win
A man with a stick and a balloon boy
European holiday for McClung
Fond memories for Triple Crown winning Cody
Prize pool breakdown
Engel shooting on the live tournament trail

For now we close the book on day one and wait the 15 or so hours until the start of Day 2. We intend to pass part of that time with a bottle of claret. See you on the other side.

Goodnight from Deauville.

All photography © Neil Stoddart

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour