EPT11 London: Niall Farrell on top at halfway stage

Whilst the numbers in the EPT Main Event have been on a steady diet for three days their beefed up High Roller counterpart has been slowly climbing skywards since play started at noon.

We're now into the fifth level of this £10,000 single re-entry tournament and the ledger states that 110 players have decided to take their seat among exalted company. Well 108 to be exact as Steve O'Dwyer and Andrey Andreev have fired twice. O'Dwyer has only blanked once but Andreev has has a swing and a miss on both occasions and is the first player out.


Niall Farrell the Scottish Ace

But what of those still in? Fastest out of the traps is Niall Farrell. The Scottish pro, whose best result on the EPT is a 10th place finish here in London in Season 9, is up to 103,000 from his starting stack of 50,000. That puts him slightly ahead of Henrik Hecklen who, with 100,000, is the only other player to have doubled their initial stack.

It's also been a profitable start for: Hans Winzeler (90,000), Pratyush Buddiga (88,000), Alexander Roumeliotis (85,000), Liv Boeree (76,000) and Gaelle Baumann (75,000). Boeree, like Mickey Petersen, hopped into this event after busting the EPT London Main Event earlier in the day.


Solid start for Baumann

Patrick Leonard has had an entertaining few levels to say the least. During level four picked up aces, kings and queens in the space of ten minutes. All three pots ended up with him all-in against an opponent and he won only one of them.

In the first he held aces and doubled up against Jose Quintas' kings. On the very next hand he found kings, but it was Quintas turn to have aces' and a short time later he had his queens cracked by Pablo Fernandez's pocket jacks. Somehow he came out of that mess with more than his starting stack and he's got 68,000 at the moment.

Randal Flowers, who was involved in the ridiculous bubble scenes in Barcelona, has also enjoyed a fine start to the tournament. He's up to 70,000 after sending Igor Kurganov to the rail. Flowers flopped two pair with 9♣7♣ an ace came on the turn and Kurganov - who had ace-queen - check called all three streets to bust, although he has since re-bought.


Kurganov - who's on bullet number two remains seated for now

He's not the only big name to lose all his chips as Jason Wheeler, Emil Patel and Grayson Ramage are others to have one bullet spent with another potentially in the chamber loaded up and ready to go.

Plenty of big names remain though with the likes of Team PokerStars Pros Jason Mercier (68,000), Eugene Katchalov (67,000), Victoria Coren Mitchell (57,000), Johnny Lodden (63,000), Team PokerStars Pro Online's Mickey Petersen (43,700) and Isaac Haxton (49,800). Also still at the felt are: PCA10 winner Dominik Panka (35,000), EPT Prague winner Martin Finger (36,000), PCA winner Dimitar Danchev (65,000), EPT London winner David Vamplew (65,000), EPT Barcelona winner Tom Middleton (43,000) and EPT Berlin champion Davidi Kitai (50,000).

As you can imagine with this kind of talent there are a few candidates for tables of death. Currently seated at the same table are:

- Igor Kurganov, Chris Moorman, Niall Farrell, Martin Finger, Joni Jouhkimainen, Sorel Mizzi and Philippe D'Auteuil.
- Mickey Petersen, Chris Brammer, Andrew Chen, Max Altergott and Sam Greenwood.
- Dominik Panka, Dimitar Danchev, Mark Teltscher, Craig McCorkell and Salman Behbehani.
- Ike Haxton, Galle Baumann, Paul Newey and Steve O'Dwyer.
- Johnny Lodden, Eugene Katchalov and Feder Holz.
- Davidi Kitai, Stephen Chidwick, David Peters and Pratyush Buddiga.
- Martin Jacobson, Jorryt van Hoof and Yann Dion.


Partush Buddiga - laid back despite a tough draw

Action will continue until the end of level 10 with play slated to end around midnight BST. Registration is open until the start of Day 2 and you can follow all the coverage from the High Roller event by following the link in the widget in the top right of the PokerStars Blog home page.

Follow the action from the EPT London Main Event this week on the PokerStars. You can also watch live coverage on the EPT Live webcast between October 14-18 on PokerStars.tv.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour