EPT9 Deauville Day 1B: David Ostrom top of the rostrum, topples Casey Kastle from the battlements
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Day 1B of an EPT main event will feature more players than Day 1A. There will be more big names among them, there will be more stories to tell from the tables and, most importantly, everyone will find out what they are actually playing for -- ie, the prize-pool is announced. It takes until Day 1B until the tournament really feels as if it is coming together, taking shape. Feet are now under the tables and chairs are gently moulded to accommodate expansive derrieres.
Today in northern France, where it was Day 1B of EPT9 Deauville, 475 players assembled at Casino Barriere to swell the total field to 782 (307 played yesterday). That created a prize pool of €3,753,600, of which the winner will take €770,000. Not at all bad. (Click through for full prize-pool details.)
When it came to bagging time, it was mighty close at the top. David Ostrom and Casey Kastle had emerged late in the day with mighty stacks close to 200,000 and when the gong sounded, it was Ostrom who had the slightly larger pile.
The Swedish player, a PokerStars qualifier, finished with 212,600, which is more even than the 188,900 accumulated yesterday by Jesper Fetterson.
Kastle, meanwhile, is a familiar figure on the EPT and has finally found that his experience at these events has paid off. Kastle is pretty much a permanent fixture on the Tour, and there's an argument that a tournament doesn't even really qualify as an EPT event if Kastle isn't in it; he is among the hardest working, and hardest travelling players in the game.
His persistence paid dividends today in Deauville as he bagged up 204,500 by the close. Kastle was the only player representing Slovenia in this event, and he is so far doing his adopted nation proud - although he wasn't counting chickens.
""It makes no difference," Kastle said on the subject of holding the chip lead. "Day4? It matters."
But these was only one of a number of stories and sub-plots that combined to create this chapter of the wider tale.
EPT Live put on full streaming treatment again today, and they captured a good day on the tournament circuit for the Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis. The man known as Raszi has rarely had a run on the EPT to match his fearsome online cash-game reputation, but today was one of his best. Of course, it didn't go all his way. Veldhuis's stack is prone to extreme swings. But he finished with 78,500, which is above average. "I love it when you're lucky :)" tweeted Veldhuis's friend and team-mate Fatima Moreira de Melo. (She wasn't quite so lucky, busting with set under set.)
Veldhuis shared a lot of the television time today with Ferit Gabriellson, a former Swedish champion and another EPT stalwart without, perhaps, the results on this tour to match his abilities. Gabriellson was also in a whole lot of pots today, and bagged up close to 152,200 at the close.
Philippe Boucher arrived to his tournament table today to find an opponent, Johan Guilbert, with a ski-mask clamped to his face and two watches wrapped around his left wrist. He was a man who really needed to know his split times on a downhill run, just as soon as he'd finished with the EPT. Boucher wasn't unduly concerned by the eccentricity, though, and chipped up very early. He was the first in the room with a six-figure stack and only increased it to 160,700 by the close.
None of Kevin MacPhee, Vicky Coren, Ludovic Lacay or Liv Boeree will be winning their second EPT main event here in Deauville. They all bust on the opening day.
For Boeree it was touch and go whether she would even play after coming off worst from a bruising encounter with some moules marinières in Trouville last night. But she managed to overcome that bout of food poisoning in time to take her seat at the end of the registration period. But the seat was empty again before day was done.
Jake Cody, meanwhile, who went on an excellent adventure to get here, is still in the mix. He won here three years ago, and has all the talent to do so again. Vadzim Kursevich also knows how it feels to triumph in Deauville, and his back-to-back dreams remain alive, even though he is happy to skulk in the shadows.
Dominik Nitsche will also not be among the players returning for day two. After sharing his advice with PokerStars Blog on how to play on Day 1, Nitsche "guaranteed" that he would not bust through this opening flight. "I think I jinxed myself," Nitsche said later in the day. "I lasted one hour."
That at least freed Nitsche up to play some side events, full details of which can be found on the side events page. You might also be interested in reading some of the other stuff we came up with today, including a look back to Season 2 where Greg Raymer's tournament lasted two hands, or an existential search for meaning lurking in Day 1.
We looked at the nationalities of the EPT Deauville crowd and found it was a case of France versus the Rest Of The World. And we heard the terrifying tale of one especially memorable journey to Deauville.
Equally as terrifying was Vanessa Rousso's play at the featured table yesterday and the Team PokerStars Pro talked us through a dramatic bluff she pulled.
That's about it for today. Join us tomorrow for the six levels that will comprise Day 2.