EPT11 Deauville: Guillaume Darcourt leads ElkY and Heitmann as stars come out, and shine

We are through both opening flights of EPT Deauville and the cream on this second day has risen to the top. There may not be many players here in Normandy this week -- relatively speaking, of course -- but any event that features Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Jan Heitmann in its overnight top five is OK by us.

They are both, however, looking up at another player well known in these parts. Guillaume Darcourt, who is a regular on the EPT and a former WPT champion, is the chip leader with 167,000. He was a big stack all day, then won a sizeable pot from Sergio Aido during the "last three hands" period to shoot him to the summit.


Guillaume Darcourt after a fine day

And if Darcourt looks over his shoulder, he'll see that star-studded chasing pack and know that this event is shaping up to be a cracker.


Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier: Good day on home turf

Jan Heitmann: Early leader, stayed strong

The 380 players who arrived this afternoon -- close to double yesterday's 199 -- featured a whole host of former champions and stars. Kevin MacPhee, Jannick Wrang, Salvatore Bonavena, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Michael Tureniec, Jake Cody, Remi Castaignon, Gaelle Baumann and Robin Ylitalo all played and made it through the day.


Jannick Wrang

The defending champion Sotirios Koutoupas also returned to the scene of his greatest triumph, but departed before time was up. Only about 250 made it through the day, and they will join the 108 who progressed from Sunday's action.

Here are those notable stacks at the end of the second opening flight:

Guillaume Darcourt, 167800
Alessandro Valli, 154,800
Michal Mrakes, 135,900
Jan Heitmann, 126,100
ElkY, 123,500
Stavros Kalfas, 116,100
Sergio Aido, 97,600
Remi Castaignon, 91,800
Michael Tureniec, 90,600
Kevin MacPhee, 86,300
Lucien Cohen, 85,600
Govert Metaal, 81,600
David Gutfreund, 76,900
Gabriel Nassif, 74,700
Robin Ylitalo, 63,400
Julien Brecard, 61,800
Jannick Wrang, 58,900
Jake Cody, 53,000
Salvatore Bonavena, 43,200
Dario Samartino, 28,800
Vicky Coren-Mitchell, 22,200
Fabrice Soulier, 17,000

Our coverage today went far and wide across the poker spectrum, from horse handicappers, to astrophysicists, to directors of nosebleed documentaries.

There was also a packed schedule of side events, which play on into the night.

Survivors of both opening flights reconvene tomorrow at noon, and we'll try to shift a few more of them. We'll also know what they are all playing for, so join us then.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in Main Event