EPT9 London Day 1B: Flaming Sergio Aido continues roll into third tournament
Let's be clear: no one ever said Day 1A of EPT9 London was boring. But when you looked around the field on Day 1B, which has just wrapped at the Grosvenor Victoria Casino, it didn't take long to realise that not all days are created equal.
The 411 players who assembled this afternoon represented one of the most intense concentrations of poker talent probably ever assembled. When we walked the room at the start of the day, ostensibly searching for a table to appear on EPT Live, we became like the children walking into Willy Wonka's candy garden: everywhere we looked were treasures.
At the end of the day, with about 225 players remaining, this field is still immeasurably difficult. There are plenty of chips with the likes of Ilari Sahamies, Chris Moorman, Lex Veldhuis, Viktor "Isildur1" Blom, Rory "mafews" Mathews and Sandra Naujoks. There are also some with Jason Mercier, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Philipp Gruissem, Tobias Reinkemeier and Michael Tureniec.
Barry Greenstein is also sticking around - and he's happy. He knocked out Joao Nunes right at the end and cracked a smile for the cameras.
However, top of the pile tonight is a man who will fear none of those others: Sergio Aido, from Spain. This kid has form on his side and is enjoying a frankly ridiculous London festival.
Aido won the UKIPT Main Event on Saturday, beating a field of 1,099. He also chopped a £1,000 side event on the night before the UKIPT final table. This is not "form", this is flame.
Aido bags 215,225 chips tonight, which puts him comfortably ahead of the 163,500 amassed by Marc-Andre Ladouceur yesterday. It also puts him ahead of all those glittering stars, whose names and counts you can see in full in the panel at the top of the EPT London page. (Click on the tab labeled "chip count".)
Here are a select few:
Chris Moorman: 159,500
Ilari Sahamies: 106,100
Sam Trickett: 80,400
Faraz Jaka: 61,600
Philipp Gruissem: 49,500
Tomorrow, the remaining players from both opening flights reconvene for what seems set to be another exceptional day. You can follow it all on PokerStars Blog, else watch the action on EPT Live. There's sure to be at least one more outstanding table to watch all day.
If you don't see a player's name on that chip-count list, it means they won't be coming back. That means you, Daniel Negreanu, Victor Ramdin, Joe Cada, Dario Minieri, Jake Cody, Ludovic Lacay, Vanessa Rousso, Olivier Busquet, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Justin Bonomo, Jens Kyllonen and plenty more.
But you will: at noon GMT sharp. See you then.