EPT11 Deauville: Nikolay Komcharokov the unlikely leader as High Rollers return
If you'd never heard of Nikolay Komcharokov until he bagged up the chip lead in the high roller last night, try to go easy on yourself. As outsiders go, Komcharokov is well as truly out in the cold, or at least he was until play ended last night, at which point he felt nothing but the warm glow of success. He closed the day on 1,145,000 and returns today best placed to win the €309,170 first prize.
Komcharokov's day seemed to take place while the attention was on everyone else. This will only be the Russian's third live tournament cash. His previous two add up to a little more than $5,000. The buy in for this event alone was $10,000. Even the Russian reporters in Deauville are scratching their heads. All of which is going to make that 76th finish place in a €200 event in Dublin in 2013 look quite ordinary.
And yet he has the lead, the only player with more than a million chips and ahead of a field of likely names more commonly found in his place in front, all of whom will be glad to have survived what proved a volatile day, particularly towards the close.
That's when a three way all-in changed things around a bit, tripling up Joao Ribeiro and leaving Josip Simunic and Davidi Kitai to return today with just a handful of big blinds.
Tobias Peters got it even worse. Having travelled to Deauville from the Aussie Millions he looked set for a deep run until a hand against Argentinian Ivan Luca cost him more than half a million chips. While that left Luca in the top three, Peters was left looking at what was effectively one chip. You need at least two to call it a stack.
Whether or not we see much of Peters today will be revealed shortly. Meanwhile the final 12 are listed here.
Nikolay Komcharokov (Russia) 1,145,000
Robin Ylitalo (Sweden) 998,000
Ivan Luca (Argentina) 944,000
Jean-Noel Thorel (France) 912,000
Joao Ribeiro (Portugal) 866,000
Eric Sfez (France) 619,000
Thomas Butzhammer (Germany) 475,000
Fady Kamar (Lebanon) 218,000
Josip Simunic (Austria) 73,000
Davidi Kitai (Belgium) 65,000
Garret Gruener (United States) 16,000
Tobias Peters (Netherlands) 5,000
You'll have noticed that a few names are conspicuously absent from that list.
Despite being among the leads when the bubble burst Jonathan Little crashed out prematurely in 17th place. After Fabio Sperling departed in 16th Vladimir Troyanovksiy was out in 15th, securing his third major cash of the festival following the Main Event and his win in the FPS High Roller). Artur Koren was out in 14th while Roman Korenev took his leave in 13th.
Follow coverage today to find out whether Komcharokov is a name set become a lot more familiar. We'll have news from the High Roller throughout the day as well as the action from the floor on our coverage page.
Coverage from the Main Event of EPT Deauville is on the Main Event page. Check out all the action from around the festival on the main festival page. Also follow the action on EPT Live and stay up to date with the sensational EPT app for iPhone, iPad or Android.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.