EPT12 Malta: Jason Mercier among big stacks as High Roller nears end of Day 1

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Jason Mercier: Started brightly in High Roller

The life of a tournament player is beset by variance. One minute you can be on top of the world, the next moment: out. To put it another way, you can begin a day tweeting that you've stone bubbled your third event in seven played and end it close to the top of the leader board in one of the biggest events of the week.

Such is the case for Jason Mercier, the Team PokerStars Pro from Florida. Mercier hasn't had an awful EPT Malta, having made the last ten in the €10,000 Single Day High Roller, but it's those near misses that have been blighting his play of late. Of course, he has been back in action today and as the €10,000 Multi-Day High Roller entered the final two levels tonight, Mercier was at the top of the counts.

The problem for Mercier--and, indeed, for anyone trying to figure out the real state of play--is that this event has not really even begun. Not only are there still two hours to play tonight, but registration remains open until tomorrow at noon, with players allowed a second entry if they have already been eliminated.

The clock shows that 124 players still remain from the 186 total entries to date, but many may yet join or re-join the action. Mike McDonald, for instance, who was knocked out late tonight and, according to Mukul Pahuja, actually fell asleep at the table before that is going to come back tomorrow with a second bullet.

Meanwhile David Yan, Adrian Mateos, Bryn Kenney, Pahuja, Nick Petrangelo, Dominik Nitsche, Ivan Demidov and the defending champion David Peters are among those still with plenty of chips.

The hand-by-hand coverage of the event continues on the main High Roller page. We'll return in the morning to wrap up the side-event action and to follow the main event down to its final and the High Roller until they get down to a manageable number.

In the meantime, sleep well knowing that nobody can stone-bubbly these ones tonight.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour