EPT London High Roller: Sam Stein leads all-star field
As the EPT London main event creaked towards a final 24, a new event turned the clock back to level one; the £20,000 buy-in High Roller.
It's sometimes difficult to work out which event casts a shadow over the other. The main event is, of course, the flagship event of the festival; a Goliath that, like headlights, attract the attention of everyone in the tournament room. But the High Roller serves as a nimble little diversion, packed with the best players in the world (losers in the main event, mind), who dazzle with skill and swagger, against a mixture of fellow pros and wealthy journeymen out to test themselves in poker's harshest environment,
In the excitement stakes it was the main event all the way in the early stages, the high rollers preferring to fiddle with iPads, phones, anything, to keep their minds occupied as players tentatively tested the water.
But as the surviving 30 players, from a high roller field of 75, bag up their chips tonight, they depart on the eve of what could be a thrilling day's action, with Sam Stein, from the United States, snatching the lead at the bell to lead the field overnight.
Chip leader tonight, Sam Stein
If he were to look over his shoulder the view behind him would be that of the chase pack, which in these parts is made up of Michael Watson, his closest rival, on 225,900, along with Isaac Haxton on 199,200 and Michael Tureniec, with 197,000.
If that wasn't a strong enough cast then those making up the numbers could equally pose a threat when play resumes tomorrow.
Team PokerStars Pros are among them. Surviving the cut today were the likes of Eugene Katchalov (37,800), Joe Hachem (95,800) and Jonathan Duhamel (119,900). Non-liveried alternatives include James Bord, Phil Collins and Luke Schwartz, all of whom will grace the tables of the Hilton for at least one more day.
That day may well fall under the shadow cast by the television table, both literally and figuratively, but duel coverage on the PokerStars Blog will allow you to judge for yourself which event will be remembered most from what has already been a great festival.
Likewise the preamble to that which can be found in the links below, which should help enlighten you with a recap of the day's play. Meanwhile, all the official chip counts can be found on the chip count page.
That's all from the High Roller for today. Play will resume tomorrow at 12 noon when it will race the EPT London Main Event towards a final table. Find out which gets there first on the PokerStars Blog.
Our thanks to Mickey May for all the photography from today. There were no foreign language bloggers reporting the high roller today.
Till tomorrow then, it is goodnight from London.