EPT11 London: Markou leads, Lodden lurks at mid-point of Day 1A

Reporters in the press rooms of the European Poker Tour are fortunate enough to have a small but dedicated team of EPT media co-ordinators channelling all the important information from the tournament floor to their laptops. By "small", I mean very small. For the past 11 years, it's pretty much just been the indefatigable Mad Harper pestering the right people to get the right news and then forwarding it on to all of us spoiled children, who never show enough gratitude. C'est la vie.

Anyway, one of Harper's tasks during the opening flights is to send over updated player lists telling us exactly who has signed up and sat down. As more and more players register for the tournament, we get more and more "provisional" lists. Registration doesn't close until Day 2, so we never get a "confirmed" list until then and it becomes something of an inbox-clogging tradition to track the "provisional" lists until we finally go home.

Today's first provisional list had 101 names on it. That had gone up to 176 by list two. There were 203 names on the third iteration and the most recent, "Provisional List 4", has 216. There are actually more than that. The tournament board shows that 219 players signed up. Prepare for Provisional List 5!

We're now at the half-way point of this opening day and some people are beginning to build stacks. As far as I can see, Nicholas Markou, an American player with a small number of cashes to his name, has the most with about 115,000. That's close to four times his starting stack, so is very good going.

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Nicholas Markou: Chip-stackers of the world unite

Johnny Lodden, of Team PokerStars Pro, is breathing down his neck with about 98,000. That's at time of writing, at least, and Lodden could easily have double that or none of that by now. Such is the life with the swingy Norwegian.

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Johnny Lodden, more or less

Lodden's fellow Red Spades are putting on a decent show at this very early stage. Leo Margets and Fatima Moreira de Melo both have about 53,000. Jason Mercier and Jake Cody had about 43,000 and 40,000 respectively.

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Fatima Moreira de Melo

Isaac Haxton of Team Online and Dominik Panka, sponsored here by PokerStars, have 38,000 apiece. Only Eugene Katchalov has slightly fewer than his starting stack, and at 28,000 with blinds at 150/300, he's hardly going to be panicking.

Among the other notables in the field, James Dempsey has 55,000. Jannick Wrang has 43,000 and David Vamplew 26,000.

We have already lost one big name, however, as Jorryt van Hoof, who is currently chip leader heading into the November Nine, has gone broke. Simon Taberham rivered a straight to bust Van Hoof, who will likely be happy to get the bad beats out of the way here.

They are playing another two levels, then heading on a dinner break, and then playing another two after that.

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