EPT11 Grand Final: Ole Schemion back, and back to the top

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Ole Schemion wants YOUR chips

As dawn broke on Monday at the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final (and it breaks at noon in the world of poker) about 309 players headed to the Salle des Etoiles at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort with the plan to still be there about eight hours later.

What can I say? It didn't work out for them all.

Although tournament organisers dangled a carrot of €1,082,000 in front of all the players' noses -- the first prize for this year's renewal of Europe's most prestigious tournament -- the nature of the game meant that more than half of the wannabes crashed and burned, including some of the very best.

Daniel Negreanu had a spring in his step, but slumped out soon after arriving. Phil Ivey turned back and headed to the online tables without even sitting down.

And even though the likes of Igor Kurganov, Mike McDonald, Martin Jacobson, Mike Watson, Benny Spindler, John Duthie, Faraz Jaka and Jake Cody gave it their best shot, they were all in Ivey/Negreanu land before day was done.

And yet the remarkable thing about this game at the moment is that the leader board at the end of Day 2 still reads like a who's who of poker. The field size was down slightly on last year -- 564 this time, to the 650 beaten by Antonio Buonanno -- but it only meant that the quality was even more concentrated.

One table at the start of play included Isaac Haxton, Jason Mercier, Mayu Roca, Joao Vieira and Jack Salter, for instance, and the EPT Live television cameras were able to land themselves this extraordinary line-up later in the day: Ole Schemion, Ludovic Geilich, Eric Sfez, Yury Gulyy and Roca (again).

And when they finally did ring that end-of-day bell, there was a tight and dramatic tussle at the top of the leader board, led by the most familiar face of them all.

Schemion, for it is he, might have been knocked out of the €100,000 Super High Roller event in unhappy circumstances, but he is not one to dwell on misfortune. He is back with a commanding, leading stack of 477,700.

His countryman Christopher Frank lurks immediately behind him, with 465,200. And the online whizz Jose Carlos Garcia is one step further back. One shouldn't be surprised. Not only is he Polish, but also he shares a house with Dzmitry Urbanovich. Garcia bagged 461,200 tonight.

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Christopher Frank: Second in chips

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Jose Carlos Garcia: Room-mate picking up the slack

Indeed, led by Schemion's example, some other established bosses kept themselves significantly more than just afloat. There were stacks tonight in front of Vanessa Selbst, Mustapha Kanit, Mercier and Adrian Mateos.

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Jason Mercier: Big name, big stack

The most notable when bagging time came included:

Ole Schemion, 477700
Christopher Frank, 465200
Jose Carlos Garcia, 461200
Thomas Popov, 413500
Jason Mercier, 296400
Vanessa Selbst, 285000
Sergio Aido, 276600
Dario Sammartino, 255300
Isaac Haxton, 221300
Jason Wheeler, 210700
Stephen Chidwick, 205300
Pierre Neuville, 200800
Josh Prager, 198000
Joao Barbosa, 176500
Dzmitry Urbanovich, 158100
Adrian Mateos, 156300
Fabrice Soulier, 155000
Connor Drinan, 150400
Andre Akkari, 146900
Ami Barer, 146700
Mustapha Kanit, 146500
Max Altergott, 132200
Nicolas Chouity, 112600
Johnny Lodden, 109000
David Peters, 105800
Dimitar Danchev, 96900
Lasse Frost, 95100
Jean Montury, 92000
Felix Stephensen, 90000
Eugene Katchalov, 71200
Dan Heimiller, 64200
Jeffrey Hakim, 61400
Steve O'Dwyer, 60100
Mayu Roca, 52400

The first order of business tomorrow will be to race through the bubble. There are some serious and familiar contenders still involved in this, so join us from noon and enjoy. You might also want to start getting your travel plans together to join us all next season. Edgar Stuchly, EPT president, revealed a brilliant schedule for Season 12 this afternoon.

Good night for now.

Follow all the action from the €10,000 Main Event is on the Main Event page. Also watch on EPT Live. It's also about time you downloaded the EPT app. There you will get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts. You can download it on Android or IOS.

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