EPT11 Barcelona: Stephen Chidwick in front as the High Rollers play on
Attention has righty been on the Main Event taking place today, but one couldn't help but glance over towards the elephant in the room this afternoon, a really big elephant in the shape of an enormous record breaking High Roller event.
The signs were there quite early. During a registration period a player list is drawn up for the assembled media. Then an updated version follows that, followed by several subsequent drafts until one final one is confirmed. Today the first one had on it more than 100 names. The next, minutes later, more than 160. Before we knew it we'd had more than 200 entries, with 283 confirmed so far. That doesn't even touch upon the re-entries.
And so in one room sat the best players in the room (apart from Daniel Negreanu who will be playing the part of a tourist tomorrow), competing now for what will be a big prize at the final table on Wednesday. And as you'd expect, the names of those in contention right now will sound very familiar.
Top of that list as play continues into the night is Stephen Chidwick. The Englishman has 240,000 chips as of now, thanks in part to eliminating Tobias Reinkemeier earlier today.
Behind Chidwick is Grzegorz Wyraz. The Pole is one of several having a good day today (check out the Main Event coverage for further proof), and sits with a stack of roughly 220,000, with Canadian Conor Shelly just behind. Niall Farrell from the UK is the other player with more than 200,000.
Chidwick's dismissal of Reinkemeier was one of the high profile bust outs. Mike McDonald was among the early fallers, as we reported earlier, as was Jonathan Karamaliakis. The full counts of those left in, and those now out, can be found in full on our live coverage page. Bear in mind that may well change, with each player entitled to a single re-entry up until the start of Day 2 tomorrow.
For now, you can follow continued coverage here, until play stops in a couple of levels time. A record field is in place. In case you didn't realise, the next two days are going to be big.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.