EPT11 Malta: Sam Chartier plots course to top of Day 2 counts


Sam Chartier's 465,500 leads the way on Day 2

It is tough to make a career out of tournament poker. Just ask the likes of Vanessa Selbst and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, who each have more than $10.5 million in live tournament winnings, but who sat on the feature table today at EPT Malta and couldn't last the day.

In truth, they won't have expected it all their own way. That table also featured Jake Cody and Sotirios Koutoupas, both former winners of EPT Deauville, as well as Jorma Nuutinen and Leo McClean, young guns from Finland and the United Kingdom. The European Poker Tour is an unforgiving place, and growing ever more punishing as the seasons pass.


Vanessa Selbst: Time for a quick word, then off

But the reason that the likes of Selbst and ElkY, as well as Cody, Koutoupas, Nuutinen and McClean continue to return to the killing fields is that the riches on offer for the successful seems directly commensurate to the effort you must expend to win them.

In Malta this week, the first time the tour has visited these parts, 895 players were persuaded to part with a €5,300 entry fee, swelling the prize pool to more than €4.3 million. The winner, the player who can ride out all the buffeting until Saturday night, will win €810,400 -- a sum to make it all seem worthwhile.


Big numbers at EPT Malta

Of the 190 or so still remaining in this treasure hunt, Sam Chartier has the most at this still relatively early stage. Chartier, from Montreal, Canada, is also no stranger to the business end of major tournaments, having won a WSOP circuit event in Atlantic City, visited the EPT Barcelona final table, won the Canada Cup High Roller and a pretty sizeable side event at the PCA.

Chartier has 465,500 chips at this stage, ahead of Moritz Dietrich's 460,000 and Ismail Kalkan's 426,900, who all enjoyed their Day 2 in Portomaso.


Moritz Dietrich bagged heaps

Nothing can be taken for granted, however. This time last night, Max Silver was sitting pretty. Now Max Silver is out. Even Dzmitry Urbanovich proved that he can't win them all, losing his 30,000 stack before the first break today, and being followed to the rail by Marc-Andre Ladouceur, Anton Wigg, Tobias Reinkemeier, Philipp Gruissem, Fabian Quoss, David Baker, Mike Watson, Jan Heitmann, George Danzer and many, many others.


Jan Heitmann: Red hat heading out on the tiles

It leaves us, however, with what remains a talented bunch of players, among whom still feature:

Sam Chartier, 465,500
Moritz Dietrich, 460,000
Ismail Kalkan, 426,900
Sam Trickett, 380,000
Filippo Lazzaretto, 348,100
Nandor Solyom, 335,700
Jean Montdry, 300,000
Sergio Aido, 272,500
Messina Valentin, 253,500
Ignat Liviu, 248,000
Thomas Petit, 231,700
Anton Birtilsson, 217,900
Alec Torelli, 216,500
Simon Higgins, 211,400
Mateusz Moolhuizen, 211,400
Giuliano Bendinelli, 207,300
Mitch Johnson, 200,000
Dominik Panka, 197,300
Robin Ylitalo, 196,000
Dan Smith, 184,500
Georgious Karakousis, 178,800
Govert Metaal, 167,900
Cakmak Emrah, 164,500
Marc Etienne McLaughlin, 159,200
Jack Salter, 156,500
Benny Spindler, 149,400
Andrey Shatilov, 149,100
Anton Astapau, 144,000
Sorel Mizzi, 131,900
Kevin Schultz, 127,600
Vladimir Troyanovskiy, 125,300
Steve Watts, 114,000
Connor Drinan, 113,400
Griffin Benger, 110,400
Marius Pospiech, 95,500
Olivier Busquet, 89,100
Madis Muur, 84,900
Senh Ung, 84,800
Ryan Spittles, 81,600
Jonathan Duhamel, 77,500
Yury Gulyy, 71,400
Martin Jacobson, 67,700
Sotirios Koutoupas, 62,700
Jake Cody, 58,000
Atanas Kavrakov, 48,800
Jeffrey Hakim, 35,700


Sam Trickett: Good day


Jonathan Duhamel: Focused

The tournament shifts to 90-minute levels tomorrow and the bubble -- due when the 128th player is eliminated -- will burst in around about the second or third level of the day. After that, it is only going to get more competitive.

Our coverage today looked at the fading of the home hopes, but a cosmopolitan field lured to the Sacred Isle. We talked to Jannick Wrang and watched the Sebastian Pauli show.

We will be back tomorrow for all the Day 3 action, so please join us then.

Follow all the action from EPT Malta on the main EPT Malta page. There's action from the Main Event on the Main Event page, and information from the Italian Poker Tour event on the IPT page. It's also about time you downloaded the EPT App, available on both Android or IOS.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour