EPT10 London £50k SHR: Johannes Strassmann "ready for work" and leads on first day

Super High Roller opening days tend to be defined by a few choice things. The number of entries -- in this case 52, the number of players who remain, in this case 33, and the number of players who are not only prepared to pay £50,000 once to play, but twice. That figure is 13.

The Grand Connaught Rooms

This was what Daniel Negreanu was referring to when he arrived with the call to arms "ready for work?" addressed to his fellow travellers. The evidence was that they were. Most notably chip leader Johannes Strassmann.

Strassmann only has one face, and that's his game face, a concentrated stare that occasionally breaks into a grin. He was in typical Strassmann form today, unstoppable as he amassed a stack of 1,503,200. Not for him the frivolity of a re-entry worth fifty-grand. Instead, some iron discipline, and a prosperous day.

Johannes Strassmann and his game face

It had been a straight forward day - eight levels, re-entries up to the last 15 minutes of the day and a slow stream of players arriving to take seats.

John Juanda, who has a good record in London with a runner-up finish in the Main Event here in 2010, and a WSOP Europe bracelet from 2008, took the early lead against Bill Perkins, who would soon bust with a pair of jacks against a set of nines. Perkins is not easily persuaded to sit out and immediately re-entered. Meanwhile Johannes Strassmann was making his case for the lead, up to 500,000 and then 650,000 in the early levels.

Perkins had the best of it a second time around. He moved up to 545,000 with a flush over flush against Joni Jouhkimainen. He then sent Haralabos Voulgaris to the rail, to move up to 910,000, a clear lead, one that was resistant to Sam Trickett's double up later in the day.

Bill Perkins

Mike McDonald was also in the ascendant, helped there when he busted Richard Yong. Yong, like most of those eliminated today (only Grospellier and Seidel declined), immediately re-joined. That was the plan of Duhamel.

Gruissem did the same, twice actually, the only player to fire three bullets. First time round he'd lost chips to the latest incarnation of Yong. Next time he got a larruping from Negreanu, whose flush took him up to more than half a million. His third try was no good either. Gruissem was on the rail a third time as play ended.

Phillip Gruissem (seated) with Richard Yong

As play concluded for the night Steve O'Dwyer began a late charge. Talal Shakerchi departed, as did Jeff Gross. The rules allow players to sleep on their plight before re-entering tomorrow, the deadline being 11.45am.

Steve O'Dwyer finishing well

Until then, the chip counts at the end of the first day can be found in their entirety, along with live updates from the day, on our live coverage page.

Day 1 of the Super High Roller is rarely the defining day, but there was still plenty of things to report on. As players were welcomed to the new venue for EPT London Laura Cornelius teed up the day which was being broadcast live (maybe) from a sound stage in the desert.

A relaxed Daniel Negreanu was ready for work

Meanwhile Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu was remembering his first time, and reflecting on the opposition, while the Super High Rollers were watched .

Tower Bridge

The action resumes tomorrow when out will actually mean out, with no £50,000 insurance policy. Play will start at 12pm, as well that of the UKIPT Main Event, which will begin its penultimate day, the process of reducing a few more than 30 down to eight.

That's all ahead of us. Goodnight from London.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.