EPT8 Campione: Balazs Botond bags up the best to lead into Day 3
If Day 1 introduces the players, Day 2 introduces the likely winners. As the dust settled on another six levels (there really was dust, stoked up by the television people rigging up the set for later this week), a handful of players had separated from the pack to look independently for spoils. They will be the markers for the 99 players returning tomorrow, brightest of the lot being chip leader Balazs Botond, with 646,000.
The Hungarian was giving players at his table the jitters tonight as play reached a conclusion, and Ronny Kaiser was doing the same a table away.
Chip leader: Balazs Botund
It's difficult to play against a big stack, against an enormous stack it can be impossible. For a period tonight Botond steamrollered his table, a look of indifference on his face and a veil of no-speak-English to hide behind.
While his table grew more and more frustrated Kaiser's table was under the same pressure, albeit with less antagonism. Ronny ruled though, their table Kaiser, bagging up 505,900 tonight, good for second place.
"It was just a rollercoaster day," said Kaiser. "I started with 90,000, went down to 30,000, up to 120,000, back down to 30,000 then won jacks against kings to get to 80,000. I then made some nice hands to get to 240,000, no big showdown. Then I had a three-way all-in with aces against ace-king and pocket eights for a 600,000 pot. That was it."
And that was that.
Others returning include David Vamplew (solid), Liv Boeree (swingy), Andre Benelli (Italian), Dag Palovic (hooded) and Nick Yunis (hatted), as well as other former champions Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Nicolas Chouity, Martin Finger, Roberto Romanello and Rupert Elder. Day 2 will puncture the money bubble and create more drama from somewhere, it can only be a good thing that this list of players are still in the mix.
Liv Boeree and David Vamplew in action
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier
Not in the mix are Patrik Antonius, Chris Moorman, Heath Herring, Victor Ramdin, Melanie Weisner, Alex Kravchenko, Luca Pagano, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Kevin MacPhee, Eugene Katchalov and Ondrej Vinklarek, all of whom busted today.
The stories of their day are plentiful, and can be found on our live coverage page, along with chip counts. Colour features, including those about Antonius and Boeree, can be found among the feature posts listed below.
Things hotting up and other Day 2 cliches
Day 2 seat draw, now it's getting Italian
Hard working, tee-totalling, PoY chasing Romanello
Chip leader Chouity chasing recognition
Swingy Boeree chipping up in shadow of Vamplew
What's that got to do with the price of tea?
Fighting the postprandial dip
What's not to like as Antonius returns to the tour
Day 3 continues tomorrow with the traditional celebrations associated with the money bubble which will burst, we expect, within a level of the 2pm start.
For now it's ship ahoy, as the EPT Party sets sail aboard a Lake Lugano pleasure cruiser. Provided we stowaways aren't hurled overboard with the empties, we'll bring you the details tomorrow.
For now, full steam ahead and goodnight from Campione.
All photography © Neil Stoddart