EPT8 Campione: Chouity leads all star pack at end of Day 1


Not unlike its predecessor, Day 1B was not much on drama today. Well, not for the first hour at least. That's when Ilan Boujenah came to life.

Agitated by what he deemed to be the unsporting actions of an opponent acting before him, Boujenah, who reached the final table in Madrid last weekend in similar fashion, erupted, earning himself a half round penalty. Then, walking away, he shouted something else, earning himself a full one round penalty. He returned, smiling, accepting his punishment and using the time to calm down. The Israeli would go on to bust this evening, unable to match his Spanish form. The tournament felt worse for it.

Illan Boujenah

That said there were consolations. It's normally misleading to put too much significance on events so early in a tournament, with Day 1 rarely impacting on the events yet to take place in a main event.

Regardless former EPT Grand Final winner Nicolas Chouity will feel buoyant tonight, bagging up 165,900 and the chip lead at the bell having sent the six-bet shoving Vanessa Selbst to the rail with aces. Selbst showed jack-nine suited.

Nicolas Chouity leads

Vanessa Selbst in happier times before busting

But a day like today, chock full of potential, it's more about who's left than who's winning. Chouity might look twice at the crowd of players amassing behind him, which will prove hard to shake off, particularly close rival Andrea Benelli, picked out at the start of the day, slightly behind on 163,400.

Andrea Benelli, among the leaders tonight

Former winners David Vamplew, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Kevin MacPhee, Liv Boeree, Rupert Elder, Toby Lewis, Ronny Kaiser, Martin Finger and Arnaud Mattern will all return after spirited days at the tables.

David Vamplew

Liv Boeree

While joining them will be the likes of Fabrice Soulier, Victor Ramdin, Bryn Kenney, Eugene Katchalov, Patrick Antonius, Ondrej Vinklarek, Melanie Weisner, Benny Spindler and Steve O'Dwyer.

Patrik Antonius

There will be no place for the only Italian EPT winner Salvatore Bonavena, who departed today, nor for Martin Staszko or Zimnan Ziyard. Also leaving early are Lex Veldhuis, Jeff Sarwer, Michael Tureniec and Will Molson, all looking ahead to EPT Berlin for their next shot at Shamballa glory.

Martin Staszko

It only leaves the detail, such as there are 325 remaining from a starting field of 570. The rest can be found in the live coverage and at the links below; although sadly, that doesn't include Boujenah.

Hills, bills and thrills ahead of Day 1B
Two more to watch
Walking on egg shells with Victor Ramdin
New approach for Minieri about to pay off?
Passionate Hallaert a sucker for the game
Italians dominate but still await second winner
Boeree and Weisner on trolling and talent
It's in the bag for Faraz Jaka
Prize pool and payouts

Day 2 of the European Poker Tour main event in Campione starts tomorrow at 2pm as we play into the money. For those that make it to the end there will be financial consolation. For those who don't there will be EPT party consolation.

We get a little of the first and none of the second. Join us tomorrow for all the live coverage and colour from EPT Campione.

Until then it's goodnight from Italy.

All photography © Neil Stoddart

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in Campione