FPS Monaco: Already swell group continues to swell

As anticipated, Day 1B of the France Poker Series Monaco Main Event is drawing a bigger group than the 265 who came out for yesterday's Day 1A. Much bigger, making it so we can't reasonably suggest we've taken a "quick" tour around the players anymore, as more and more show up to take part.

All of the tables in the main tournament room reserved for FPS Monaco are now filled, with still more tables in the cash game area being used as well to accommodate the more than 500 players who have turned out thus far.

Situated over in the far corner of the room at Table 1, Seat 1 is the player whose initials spell pocket rockets, Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari. Among his nearly $1.2 million in career tournament earnings, Akkari has a runner-up finish in a side event from Season 4 of the EPT Grand Final here in Monte Carlo worth €47,400, his largest career cash on the EPT.

EPT_GrandFinal_FPS-128_Andre Akkari.jpg

A.A. drew 1.1

Speaking of Season 4 of the EPT, Frenchman Arnaud Mattern is also here. Mattern's biggest EPT triumph came during Season 4 when he won the EPT Prague Main Event for €708,400. He's final tabled events here in Monte Carlo as well.

EPT_GrandFinal_FPS-125_Arnaud Mattern.jpg

Arnaud est ici

Also here is Polish pop star Wojciech "Lozo" Lozowski, frontman for the popular funk/hip-hip group Afromental whose latest album Mental House cracked the Polish top ten.

Lozowski has a few cashes to his credit, including on the EPT in Prague, Sanremo, and London. His largest career cash was for an 18th-place finish at a WPT Prague event where he earned €16,335.

The Norwegian Felix Stephensen has taken a seat, too. We've seen Stephensen several times on the EPT, including before and after his runner-up finish in the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event where he earned $5,147,911. (Meanwhile the man who beat him -- Martin Jacobson -- is on the other side of the room playing the €100K Super High Roller.)

Julian Brecard, Mayu Roca, Bryan Paris, Ihar Soika, and the affable Joseph Carlino are among the throng as well (as are others -- see below). Carlino is looking to improve on his sixth-place finish in the EPT Deauville Main Event earlier this year, good for a €115,650 cash.

EPT_GrandFinal_FPS-159_Joseph Carlino.jpg

Carlino plays cards, and is one

Late registration lasts through the first four 45-minute levels today, so we'll keep an eye on whether the total number of entrants might eventually challenge last year's total of 837 entrants.

Key FPS Monaco Main Event Facts:

- Team PokerStars Pros Andre Akkari and Eugene Katchalov, Yury Gulyy, Mayu Roca, Arnaud Mattern, Bryan Paris, Ihar Soika, Wojciech Lozowski, Julian Brecard, Ariel Celestino, Ami Barer, Randal Flowers, Sergio Aido, Amos Ben, Salvatore Bonavena, Jack Salter, Dermot Blain, and last year's FPS Monaco champion Yury Nesterenko are in today's field
- Levels are 45 minutes for the Day 1 flights, becoming an hour long on Day 2
- The tournament is scheduled to play 12 levels today
- Registration is open until the start of Level 5
- There will be a 75-minute dinner break after Level 9
- 85 survived from 265 entrants on Day 1A (leader: Valeriu Coca, 212,400)

To get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts, don't forget to download the EPT App on both Android or IOS.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.