EPT Deauville Day 4: Who *are* these people?
With 51 players remaining at the start of Day 4, there will always be a good number who have never before come to our attention. By and large, we know players who have made deep runs on the European Poker Tour, but often we are blinkered to this tour alone.
Ahead of a stint in the EPT Live commentary booth this morning, we spent some time alone with our good friend Google to find out some more about the players still in the mix this afternoon. Rick Dacey chatted about some of them on the introductory video below, and then there's some additional information under that.
The British invasion
We are not especially far, as the crow flies, from the UK in this corner of France, and the Brits are making a fine showing so far. There are six Brits in the final 50. They are:
Mat Frankland - A former UK No1 online player, currently 13th in UK rankings, and second in London (behind Sam Grafton). Has $1.7m lifetime tournament cashes online. Biggest live win was £77,000 (about $119,000 US). Has "only" $400,000 live cash, which is surprisingly little for someone considered one of the very best.
James Mitchell - has $1.4m in live winnings, won an Irish Open. Can't find many online results for him, but suspect he has tons. He was on the feature table all day yesterday and has started there again today. Is clearly in awesome form.
Luke Reeves - interviewed him yesterday, playing his first EPT, played only one qualifier to get here, won that. Made final table in his first live tournament just before Christmas. Really thinking about the game, though.
Sam Grafton - currently No1 in London, 10th in the UK. Has $1.7m lifetime online cashes, but "only" $286,000 live. Nearly half of that came a few months ago when he won a big tournament in London for £102,000. In good form.
Gordon Huntly - a Scot based in Asia and won an ANZPT tournament. Really knows his stuff, and is exceptionally calm at the table. Had only 3,000 chips at one point, but built that to close to 300,000 at the end of Day 2. Now up to more than half a million.
The Lebanese show their mettle
Lebanon won "Country of the Year" at last year's EPT awards, an accolade based on performance relative to number of entrants. Lebanese players were consistent cashers despite not being as prevalent as the usual powerhouses, the USA, Germany, Canada, etc.
Lebanon is still represented by Jeffrey Hakim, Joseph Mouawad, Joseph El Khoury, Ibrahim Ghassan and Walid Bou Habbib.
A long way from home
James "bizbills" Bills was the lone Australian representative in Deauville--and he is continuing to make the trip worthwhile. He bubbled the Aussie Millions last week but hopped on a plane to Europe and is now on the feature table. He is the fifth highest-ranked Australian player online but this is his breakout on the EPT.
I know that face
Massimo Di Cicco finished runner up to Salvatore Bonavena at EPT Prague in 2008. Bonavena is out now, but it was highly unusual to have a first and a second place finisher from another EPT event still so deep in this tournament. Di Cicco was a micro-stack yesterday and on one of the toughest tables in the room. But he short-stack ninja-ed his way to more than half a million in chips.
And the rest
There were 20 French players left at the start of the day, which is now slightly less than half. But they're still doing pretty well, all things considered. Lithuania are punching well above their weight, with two players, including Anaras Alekberovas, who made a final table in Barcelona.
It's a very poor showing from Scandinavia, by the way. Only Sweden's Jan Horni and Norway's Eilert Eilertsen are still in.