EPT11 Deauville: From one to eleven
It's a sight we've become accustomed to Day 1 of the EPT Main Event. The lights dim, the video footage starts - this time it depicted the first four winners of EPT Season 11 before asking who's next? - and then the spotlight focuses on EPT President Edgar Stuchly. A short speech follows, the lights come back up and play gets started. Well as long as there are three players at the table of course.
But whilst all the fanfare might have surrounded the Main Event there's enough going on here today in Deauville to fill a football team as eleven events in total are on the schedule today. Whilst the Main Event might have the captain's armband there's a strong spine to this team.
The record-breaking FPS Main Event plays to its conclusion today, in that event 22 will become one and someone will take home €197,000. Leading the way when play restarted at 12.30pm was Ivan "Negriin" Luca. The Argentinian is on an extended international poker tour after winning packages for EPT Prague and the PCA where he also had some success. Others still in contention for that near €200,000 first prize are: Sacha Israel, Felix Lambertz and Anthony Apicella. You can follow the exciting conclusion to that event here.
A further two event events were off to a prompt noon start both of which will also play to a finish today. The €500 Seniors Event - players must be over 50 to enter - was one of those and the level of headphones, sunglasses, hoodies and baseball caps in that event is staggeringly high, Pierre Neuville is among the 92 entrants (and counting) in that event but, as you'd expect, is wearing none of the above.
The €2,000 FPS High Roller began yesterday with 415 players entering the fray, with 144 returning today. They're still some way off the money in that event as only 55 players get paid. That event will likely go on way into the night. Among those hoping they'll still be there if that is the case are: ElkY, Julian Brecrad, Gabriel Nassif and a slew of EPT champions including: David Vamplew, Salvatore Bonavena and Robin Ylitalo.
Continuing the theme of big fields and bigger prize pools the €300 Deauville Cup will be handing out a winner's cheque of €62,400 to one of 33 hopefuls today. They're all that remains from a massive 1,138 players (and 72 re-entries). Dutchman Tim Van Leeuwen leads the way in that one, whilst tour regular Vlad Lache is also in contention. They've all locked up €1,260 so have already secured a handsome return on their investment.
If that wasn't enough action for one day there are also three satellites to the Day 1B of the EPT Main Event a €1,000 eight-handed pot-limit Omaha turbo a woman's event and a men's event. The latter two both carry €200 buy-ins and whilst a woman's events is a fixture at EPT stops the Men's event is, of course, an anomaly. That it finds its way onto the schedule isn't down to a quirk of French gaming law, it's just to 'even things up'. In fact men can enter the women's event and vice-versa we're told. Today isn't even the start of middle of the festival, you can see the schedule for the entire 45 event series here.