EPT11 Deauville: Clash of champions

With 39 tables in use at the start of Day 2 and so many big names remaining - including 17 EPT champions - it was always likely that the random seat draw was going to work its magic and provide us with more than one 'feature' table.

So whilst those at table eight may have made their way to the main stage to be broadcast on EPTLive, given that they were the designated feature table, out in the field there was plenty of outstanding tables to cast an eye over.

And, much like the fact that within a two hour drive from Charlotte you'll find 90% of the NASCAR teams, being the lazy oafs that we're the PokerStars Blog spotted a triangle of adjoining tables which all featured fascinating line-ups and what's more we could stand still and watch all three without breaking sweat.This was the line-up of table three at the start of day:

Seat 1: Rony Halimi, France, 47,000
Seat 2: Brian Benhamou, France38,200
Seat 4: Rob Strong, Netherlands, Live Satellite winner,115,500
Seat 5: Joseph El Khoury, Lebanon, 45,800
Seat 6: Dimitar Danchev, Bulgaria, 39,200
Seat 7: Omar Dahmani, France, Live Satellite winner, 55,500
Seat 8: Robin Ylitalo, Sweden, PokerStars qualifier, 63,400
Seat 9: Jeremy Dosseul, France, PokerStars qualifier, 30,800

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PCA Champion Dimitar Danchev

If two EPT champions at the same table wasn't enough they were soon joined by two-time champion Victoria Coren Mitchell, who's original Day 2 table had now broken. She's one of the chattier players at most tables she's at and Rob Strong soon struck up conversation with her and the subject turned to whether Coren Mitchell considers herself a poker player. "I'll do whatever it takes to pay the rent," she said smiling. "Poker is not a secure profession though," she added. "So are you a journalist then?" replied Strong to which Coren said. "I write columns for newspapers so I'd say I'm a writer not a journalist."

Whilst this was going on Dimitar Danchev was involved in a hand against Rony Halimi. The Bulgarian had raised it up pre-flop and been called by Halimi in the small blind. They checked all the way to the river on a A♦[10c]5♥Q♠6♠ board at which point Danchev bet and Halimi folded.

The third EPT champion at the table - Robin Ylitalo - was obviously feeling left out and he got involved in the next hand raising it up to 2,000 from early position. Action folded to Coren Mitchell and she said. "allons-y." Quick as a flash Strong said. "English only at the table please."

"It means let's go," said Coren Mitchell and indeed she'd moved all-in for her stack of around 20,000 which proved to be too much for Ylitalo who folded his hand.

As she was stacking her chips Coren Mitchell continued her conversation with Strong saying. "Deauville is by far my favourite stop on the tour but I've never won a penny here. It's beautiful, I can speak the language. I love it here, but I'm not lucky here."

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Coren Mitchell - loves Deauville

On the adjacent table there was the unmistakeable figure of ElkY. The Frenchman began the day with an impressive 123,500 but he wasn't the biggest stack at the table. In fact there were four big stacks at this table:

Seat two: Rasmus Vogt, Denmark, PokerStars qualifier, 47,500
Seat three: Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, France, Team PokerStars Pro, 123,500
Seat four: Olof Haglund, Sweden, PokerStars player, 10,400
Seat six: Jeffrey Lawrence, Canada, PokerStars qualifier, 18,400
Seat seven: Bastien Panciarola, France, PokerStars player, 98,950
Seat eight: Nathan Gozlan, France, 148,500
Seat nine: Jan-Eric Schwippert, Germany, 100,600

Whilst ElkY was trailing Day 1A chip leader Nathan Gozlan by exactly 25,000 he soon set the tone at the table by raising a couple of hands. The next time he came in for a raise he picked up two callers as both Jeffrey Lawrence and Jan-Eric Schwippert called his bet of 1,600.

The 9♦J♣K♠ flop was checked by both Schwippert and ElkY and Lawrence took the opportunity to bet 2,000 with ElkY being the only caller. The 5♦ turn was again checked by ElkY and Lawrence fired once more, this time 3,500 was the bet. ElkY got a count of the bet then leaned forward so he could eye up Lawrence's remaining stack. He then picked up his pile of grey 5k chips and splashed them into the pot.

There was no immediate action from Lawrence, but with around 14,000 back he didn't have too much to play with if he folded. After a few more seconds passed he said, "call" and turned over K♣Q♠. He had top pair, decent kicker and a gutshot and he'd need to hit something as ElkY had got creative with A♣A♥. The J♥ river kept ElkY in front and he may well now be the table chip leader.

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Fast start for the quick talking ElkY

A little swivel to the right revealed a table with two more EPT champions sat around the same baize:

Seat 2: Owain Carey, UK, 94,000
Seat 3: Pasquale Grimaldi, Italy, PokerStars player, 55,800
Seat 4: Bartolomeo-Fulvio Tato, Italy, 63,900
Seat 5: Ruben Visser, Netherlands, PokerStars player, 31,000
Seat 6: Carlos Mora Alvarez, Mexico, PokerStars qualifier, 36,100
Seat 7: Michael Tureniec, Sweden, PokerStars qualifier, 90,600
Seat 8: Rhys Jones, UK, PokerStars qualifier, 13,800
Seat 9: Floris Payraudeau, France, 37,900

Neither Ruben Visser (EPT9 London) nor Michael Tureniec (EPT7 Copenhagen) got involved in any significant pots early on but then neither really had to push the pace given their chip stacks. That wasn't the case for Rhys Jones though. He'd arrived late yesterday due to a hold up in Paris and came into the day with just over 15 big blinds and had dropped to 10,100 by the time he found a spot to commit his chips. When it passed to Bartolomeo-Fulvio Tato in the small blind he took very little time in calling so when Jones turned over his A♦7♦ it was with a face that said that he expected to be behind. But, Tato had A♠6♠ and although this meant there was a good chance of a chop the 8♣5♠[10h]4♠2♦ board meant Jones's kicker played and he doubled up.

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Visser (pictured yesterday) is looking forward to a fun day of poker

Given the low table numbers of the three above tables it's unlikely any will break today so they should provide great entertainment throughout the day.

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.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Main Event