EPT10 Sanremo: Cristiano Guerra rises to the top of small but concentrated field

If there's one thing you can guarantee about EPT Sanremo it's that it'll be an enormous field. But if there's one thing you can guarantee about EPT Sanremo Season 10 it's that the enormous field will have to gather on Day 1B. We've just completed Day 1A and it was, you might say, compact.

The grand ballroom of this exquisite casino on the Italian Riviera today welcomed 175 runners between its crimson-lined walls. That's far fewer than we may have expected, but makes sense in light of Monday being the day after Sunday (ie, online poker day) and the IPT raging last week.

But as is customary for fields on the EPT, the quality of players was outstanding. The slimmer numbers just meant the talent was more concentrated: two world champions, for instance, and at least four former EPT title holders (including our mystery man). There were also World Series bracelets and major online winners galore.


Our latest EPT champion, Oleksii Khoroshenin


Vanessa Selbst and Nacho Barbero: A few major titles between them

There was also the expected appearance, and dominating display, of some of the EPT's most familiar faces. Cristiano Guerra, for example, tonight heads back to his hotel knowing there's a bag with his name on containing 148,700 chips. He's the leader--an Italian player with nearly half a million dollars in tournament winnings to his name, having set himself up nicely for a run at something bigger. Aku Joentausta, meanwhile, has 125,500 and is not far behind Guerra. (They started with 30,000 and can be very happy with their day's work.)


Cristiano Guerra: Reason to smile


Aku Joentausta: A flying Finn

No one has yet won this tournament, but other players drawing attention tonight, either for their chip-stacks or their reputations, are as follows:

Artem Metalidi - 101,200
Christian Caliumi - 101,100
Yordan Dimitrov - 99,000
Julian Track - 97,300
Bruno Stefanelli - 97,300
Antonio Lafosse Fernandez - 88,700
Shyam Srinivasan - 87,100
Fabio Sperling - 84,200
Stanley Blaby - 83,700
Pius Heinz - 80,100
Mathew Frankland - 54,100
Andrew Chen - 49,400
Jan Bendik - 36,100
Dominik Panka - 35,700
Ronan Monfort - 30,900
Vanessa Selbst - 28,300
Sam Chartier - 26,700

They should count themselves very fortunate as some other big names suffered brutally today. Michael Eiler and Jannick Wrang, former champions both, hit the rail before dinner. Jonathan Duhamel was also free to join them.


Jonathan Duhamel retreats back into the shadows

Jeff Rossiter has been having a tremendous 12 months, but made nothing in this event, and Rumen Nanev was at the final table in Vienna, but on the rail early-ish today. Angel Guillen and Natalie Hof had also long-since been let go.

Tomorrow is another day, and this sleepy little town will burst into life. The former champions Liv Boeree and Ludovic Lacay will be here, and one hopes Marc-Andre Ladouceur's pilot will find his way to the right airport.

When they get here, they'll find a town full of small but little things that make this town unique. And one Team PokerStars Pro bearing down on Player of the Year honours.

Check back through all the hand-by-hand action in the panel at the top of the main EPT Sanremo page.


Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour