EPT10 Deauville: A peek at the pace-setters
The final levels of Day 1A are seeing the number of tables in play dwindle and a few players emerge to claim spots at the top of the leaderboard.
Among those who have positioned themselves favorably thus far is Tatu Maenpaa. The Finnish player returned from the break to a stack of 130,000 and has continued to add during the time since, positioning himself in the ostensible chip lead at this early stage of the tournament.
Maenpaa is looking to improve on a career-best cash of €39,000 for a third-place finish in the 2009 Spanish Poker Tour Grand Finale.
Also building his chips into the six-figure range during the pre-dinner levels was the Italian Mario Nagel.
Nagel is no stranger to doing well on the EPT, having once final tabled the Main Event at Campione in 2012 where took sixth for a €92,000 score. Nagel has experienced success here in Deauville as well, finishing runner-up in a side event last February.
Meanwhile always tough Zimnan Ziyard again finds himself last in the alphabetical player list yet near the top of the chip counts after having more than tripled his starting stack by the early evening.
Ziyard, of course, has an EPT Main Event title to his credit, having won EPT8 Loutraki in 2011 and a €347,000 first prize.
Ziyard had a strong start here in Deauville last year as well, charging near the chip lead by the end of Day 2, then pushing out in front for a time before ultimately tumbling to finish in 69th. But he recovered quickly, jumping into a €880 buy-in side event and topping a 146-player field to kick off 2013 in style, a year that saw the Englishman push over the $1 million-mark in career tourney winnings.
Others are starting to close in on the leading trio as the eighth and final level of the night begins. Keep a watch on our live reporting page to see who settles on top as the night winds down.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.