EPT11 London: Anatoly Filatov loosens the bow-tie but tightens grip on Day 1A lead

There has never been a season on the European Poker Tour that has not involved a tournament in London. And there has never been a tournament in London that has not attracted the stars of the game, hunting down one of the most coveted titles in poker.

We're only one day through a week-long epic as Season 11 makes its customary visit to the British capital, but based on the turnout of global superstars today, no established sequences are going to come to an end.

When the 224 who started had been reduced to approximately 130 at the end of eight levels, Anatoly Filatov, one of the EPT's brightest young stars, forced the most chips of all into his bag. The gregarious Russian, who has a WPT title and an EPT High Roller runner-up finish on his growing resume, amassed 173,900 chips today.

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Anatoly Filatov: It doesn't spin round

He had started at noon with a bow-tie tightly wrapped around his neck and a stack of 30,000. By the time the day was done, the top button was unhooked and the bow-tie nowhere to be seen, but that stack had grown by a factor of six.

"That was a good day, I ran so good," Filatov said. "It wasn't like 'up and down', it was just up!"

Filatov has already outlasted the likes of Jorryt van Hoof, Jannick Wrang, Barny Boatman, Martins Adeniya, Zimnan Ziyard, Bruno Fitoussi, Steve O'Dwyer and Praz Bansi, who all hit the rail today.

But plenty of sharks will also progress, including Leo Margets (54,200), Hossein Ensan (124,900), Marvin Rettenmaier (66,100), Jason Mercier (33,600), Dominik Panka (74,400), Max Silver (26,400), James Dempsey (93,900), Christoph Vogelsang (48,400), Eugene Katchalov (74,300), David Vamplew (54,300) and Joni Jouhkimainen (42,500).

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Max Silver still in hunt for gold

The one-man wrecking machine that is Johnny Lodden will be pursuing Filatov most closely. The Team PokerStars Pro from Norway starting tweeting photos of his chips (always a good sign) before the mid-point of the day. By the time everything was done, he had 125,800. It's just been one of those kind of days.

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Johnny Lodden drops in on Ben Warrington

It'll all kick off again tomorrow, where the field will doubtless be larger but the competition no less intense. Join us at noon - and Marc Convey will be here even before that to cover the UKIPT Champion of Champions tournament.

Follow our coverage of the EPT London festival via the main EPT London page, where there are hand-by-hand updates and chip counts in the panel at the top and feature pieces below. Coverage of the final table of the UKIPT Main Event is on the UKIPT page.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour