It’s hard to say the story of day 1b in San Remo was any different to yesterday. Just when you thought a tournament field couldn’t get in any bigger, a new crowd arrived equally charged, enthused and ready to disregard the hopes and dreams of another for the sake of their own ruthless advancement.

That’s part of the game’s attraction – anyone can play. Like Mr and Mrs Patrik Antonius for example, who were drawn on the same table before they headed their separate ways – Patrik to early elimination, Maya to a short but workable closing stack of 7,500.

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Maya Antonius

The family Antonius were part of what was a stellar cast for day 1b, one that starred Team PokerStars Pros Minieri, Pagano, Nelson, Boeken, Thater, Nelson, Khan and Lodden and co-starred the likes of Marcel Luske, Jens Kyllonen, Moritz Kranich and Lex Veldhuis, ready to sit for the eight hours it takes to make it through an EPT day one.

Of the 600 (the absolute maximum) who arrived up at Casino San Remo today and made a total field of 1,178 – 263 did just that. The leaders were a mixed bunch with the top dog on today’s pile being Austrian Ljubmir Josipovic on 83,200. Behind him is Italian Vicenzo Spinelli on roughly 79,100, pursued by internet trail blazer Sami “LarsLuzak” Kelopuro with 55,900. They come back tomorrow ahead, but behind yesterday’s top dog Dragan Galic on 107,800.

To the defeated though, today was a story of agony and what you’d call forgivable bitterness at having missed out on a prize pool in excess of €5 million.

Minieri and Thater started the day together but didn’t end it that way. While Minieri busted within minutes of his dinner break return Thater fought on, ending the day bagging up a short stack of 10,000.

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Dario Minieri

Tournament host Luca Pagano took a day off from the duties of logistics to take on the duties of player. As if to thank him for the great job he’d already done the deck conspired not only to give him quads, but to give an opponent a tasty looking full house. Naturally the money went in giving Pagano an early double up.

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Luca Pagano

Pagano was up but then down again, finishing the day on 25,000 after an all or nothing move two hands from the end with king-queen, only to run into ace-queen. But what were we saying about a touch of card karma? The king hit the flop ensuring he’ll be kept away from the desk job at least for another afternoon.

It was a mixed day for his team mates. New arrival Johnny Lodden was rail bound early, as was World Champion Peter Eastgate. Noah Boeken went later, along with Hevad Khan and Lee Nelson. Isabelle Mercier went on a late surge, closing on around 30,000 while Friend of PokerStars Bill Chen did something the same, a Phoenix-like final burst, going from 1,000 to 35,000 in the space of a level.

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Isabelle Mercier

Day 1b often proves to be the more heavyweight day, and San Remo is no exception. Big names fell as quickly as the new guys getting their baptism of EPT fire. We said farewell to Illari Sahamies, former WSOPE runner-up John Tabatabai, Julian Thew and Peter Jepsen. Marcel Luske fared better, ending the day on 26,000.

There are other stories from day 1b which will be revealed when official chip counts are made available later tonight. They’ll be posted right here in their entirety shortly after we receive them.

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Vincenzo Spinelli

In the meantime you can recap on all the events of the day, and news about a special event tomorrow, using any of the links below.

Pulling out the stops
The cast in order of appearance
Tabatabai up to bat
The poker community does its bit
A town called San Minieri
The full payout details
Two down
The good and the bad
On the move
Internet sensations
Dario Done
RaiNKhaN down
Cato Solsted chopped
Times are hard
The daddies -Marcialis and Ljubomir
Last gasp climbing

It may as well be code to the unskilled linguist but the PokerStars blog is available in Swedish, German and Italian. We can’t prove it ourselves but we’re told they’re very good. You can also find all the video blogs from today and more on PokerStars.tv.

That’s all for tonight. Play resumes tomorrow afternoon at 2pm. See you then.

All photos (c) Neil Stoddart.

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