EPT9 Deauville Day 2: Andrei Stoenescu leads Ziyard and Mitchell at the close

To delve into the history of Deauville is to examine a glinting portrayal of society, aristocracy and money, all of which have been coming to the town in droves since the half-brother of Napoleon III, Charles the Duke of Morny, built a racecourse and called the place home in the mid-19th century.

As one Pathé newsreel from 1937 put it: "So much to do, so many smart people to watch." Back then the world was happily divided between those who were watched and those who did the watching. A similar divide exists in the tournament room tonight, split between the 155 players who made it through the day, and the crowds of spectators, players and loved ones, who watch devoted from the rail.

Casino Deauville this evening

As we've alluded to on various occasions, there is certainly plenty to do in Deauville; a focal point for horse racing, film and for frolicking on the beach. But that's more a summer thing, when the social season unites to be seen in August. Given that today it's 41 degrees outside with 28 mph westerly winds (and light drizzle), indoor pursuits are in favour, and the conference centre, built into the strip of land between the town and the waves several hundred meters away, and central heated, is a perfect place to avoid the outdoor cold.

Play under way on Day 2

What they saw today was the painstaking process of reducing a field from the starting 419. Actually, it didn't take that long at all to lose more than half the field in today's six levels, a rate of attrition that nobody here would call leisurely. But from the rail, where it's often impossible to see anything but the back of someone's head, it can seem an eternity. And yet they watch, eagerly one assumes, with an eye on who would take the lead into Day 3. They now have their answer - Andrei Stoenescu, who bags up 485,600 chips tonight.

Chip leader Andrei Stoenescu

Stoenescu, a former third place finisher in Madrid, made the classic Day 2 move, emerging at the top of the chip list after the last hand of the day in which he knocked out Konstantinos Nanos with aces against ace-jack. It denied various others the lead including the British pair James Mitchell and Zimnan Ziyard who had been there or thereabouts through the last level, but who finished on 372,400 and 380,200 respectively.

A third Brit, Sam Grafton, finished well with 311,100, but it was the Scot Gordon Huntly who could perhaps claim the story of the day.

Huntly, an ANZPT winner from 2012 who now lives in Thailand, was down to 3,000 yesterday, which he dragged up to around 12,000 by the close. He talked then of a lack of patience which had cost him dearly. But renewed patience helped him turn that around.

Gordon Huntly (left) took chips from Sergey Baranov

"Today I was sandwiched by a couple of big stacks (Jesper Fedderson and Sergei Baranov) but it actually kind of worked for me," he said, describing a double up with a set of nines against Fedderson and then playing a monster pot against Baranov. Both players invested heavily pre-flop and then through every street, but Huntly called 30,000 on the river to discover his A♠K♥ was a better ace high than Baranov's A♣Q♣. Huntly finished with 285,000.

Others returning tomorrow include Vanessa Rousso (34,200), who celebrated her 30th birthday today, Matthias de Meulder (186,000) and Sandra Naujoks (73,500) who represent Team PokerStars Pro. The newest member of the team Jake Cody crashed out this afternoon, several days short of an historic double in Deauville, although that same double exists for Lucien Cohen. Julien Brecard and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier shared a similar fate to Cody, as did Lex Veldhuis, Dario Minieri and Team Online's Luca Moschitta.

Birthday girl Vanessa Rousso

Full counts of all the remaining players from today can be found on the official chip count page. In the meantime catch up on all of the day's stories at the links below:

  • How they sit as the chase to reel in Ostrom begins
  • Cueing up the day's action
  • Different types for a different day
  • Kristian Kofoed, the only Dane in Deauville
  • Samir Hadad wins turbo and €55,750 ahead of Joni Jouhkimainen
  • Martin "Moertelmu" Mulsow wins the Turbo Bounty for €41,050
  • A guide to using "Hunch" to judge your opponent
  • Bon anniversaire á l'artiste Vanessa Rousso
  • Lex Veldhuis, chipped up and smiling like a monkey
  • All the way from down under - James Bills
  • On interviews and player participation
  • Late day news nuggets

    There will be more of the same tomorrow, when play starts at noon, the only difference being the receipt of money for some, the absence of it for others. Either way it should be worth tuning in for both on the PokerStars Blog and on EPT Live.

    Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter

    Stephen Bartley
    @StephenBartley in European Poker Tour