EPT10 Sanremo: Huntly looking for better things while Lichii's dream becomes a nightmare

At the very least Gordon Huntly was well rested when he took his seat for the start today. So bad had been his day yesterday, and so tiring, that he went straight to bed after bagging up his chips. "I didn't even have a drink."

Huntly, who has appeared more regularly on the European circuit in the past few years, closed on 32,000 chips last night. More than the 30,000 he started with perhaps but still small enough to make Huntly ask himself how on earth he was still here.

"The best hand I had all day was pocket jacks," said the Scotsman, who spent the day trapped between two players who insisted on raising everything. His new table is a mixture of short stacks and the duel threat of Jeffrey Hakim and Grant Levy. His day today will determine where he spends the rest of the month, whether it's in Monte Carlo or in Whistler where his girlfriend is snowboarding. Life is hard sometimes.

Within minutes of the start one man's dream came crashing to a close.

Oleg Lichii won the Poker Tracker Sweepstake to earn his seat in the Main Event. The Moldovan swapped his 25 cent game for the high stakes drama of the EPT and made it through the day yesterday with 19,000 chips, not bad in his first real live poker experience.

Oleg Lichii in action yesterday

The best thing that could be said for Lichii's demise is that it was at least a bad beat. He found aces, the other guy found jacks but turned a set. Lichii, who shortly before this had doubled up, got up from his seat. Quite reasonably he expected some sort of sympathy, or recognition for all his efforts, but quickly learned that in this environment eliminated players are like ghosts. Nobody sees them and they rather not acknowledge they exist at all.

Regardless, from the point of view of a more sympathetic media, it was a great performance by Lichii, who was obviously disappointed not to go further. In real life he may be a micro-stakes player, but in this room he proved he could hold his own against the best.

Full coverage of EPT Sanremo is on the main EPT Sanremo page. There's hand-by-hand coverage in the panel at the top and feature pieces below.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.