EPT9 Grand Final Super High Roller: Chips dig Jason Mercier, Team Pro leads after day one
You might be under the impression that it is impossible to knock Phil Ivey out of a poker tournament, especially one with a buy in of €100,000. But we have grown very accustomed these days to making the impossible possible. And then doubling it. And unfortunately for Ivey in this case, that meant he was knocked out twice from the same tournament in one day.
That's the kind of thing that happens when the best of the best congregate for one last monstrous tournament to bid farewell to season nine of the EPT. This was the Super High Roller event at the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final, costing €100,000 to enter. And if you lose your stack, you can buy another one for the same price. (And then you can do it again and again and again, if required.)
Ivey was in for two bullets, and may yet find a third. Registration is still open until noon tomorrow, so if you find that brick beneath the couch -- or find yourself a staking deal overnight -- you too can join the party. Philipp Gruissem and Igor Kurganov were eliminated, then bought back in. So did Dan Smith and Justin Bonomo. So there's no shame in it at all.
But just know that if you do buy in tomorrow, you'll get 250,000 tournament chips. Jason Mercier, the leader, will have more than four times that amount; Sorel Mizzi has more than three times.
And you'll also be looking up at Sorel Mizzi, Mike Watson, Viktor Blom, Sam Trickett, Erik Seidel, Faraz Jaka, et al. Perhaps you should leave the brick where it is and just watch the action on EPT Live and PokerStars Blog. It's safer that way.
Here are the top five stacks at this stage:
Jason Mercier - 1,183,000
Sorel Mizzi - 885,000
Fabian Quoss - 797,000
Scott Seiver - 759,000
Vladimir Troyanovskiy - 737,000
It was, as you would expect, a star-studded field for this enormous event. There were 48 entries (and counting) including two players fresh from the EPT main event final table (Mercier and Daniel Negreanu), last year's winner Bonomo and all of the six players who joined the €500,000 cash game on Saturday night.
All of Talal Shakerchi, Viktor Blom, Paul Newey, Niklas Heinecker, Isaac Haxton and Trickett remained at the end of the day, each riding only one bullet and still very much in the mix.
Tomorrow will not end as well for huge swathes of the field. Once you lose your chips tomorrow, there's no getting them back. But we will also know the size of the financial carrot being dangled in front of everyone's face. The prize pool will be confirmed when registration is closed.
Our coverage today included a look at the juxtaposition of the Monaco Cup and the Super High Roller, a critical gaze at changing times in the tournament room, and a close look at poker players' diets.
Meanwhile Faraz Jaka talked about how he nearly instantly lost €99,000 and Dan Smith nattered about why he didn't go to the party. There were a bunch of side events finishing too.
Let's leave you with a tweet from Jason Mercier, because if anyone else used this hash tag, they would be hounded out of dodge. #nothingdigsus