There was a different perspective available to anyone following the opening day of EPT Deauville today. For the first time ever followers of the tour could watch the action for themselves on EPT Live, which broadcast coverage from a small selection of tables, bringing a unique first day look at an event usually kept under visual media blackout until the penultimate and final days.
The view to most will have been fascinating. A behind the scenes look at how the first levels of a major poker tournament play out, a chance to glimpse a few players previously never seen, until they bust, never to be seen again.
Ready to play
Less cynically, it presented an opportunity to watch some top grade poker from players who may not go the distance, for all manner of reasons, but who display obvious talents. EPT fields are loaded with this type, talented players still waiting for that breakthrough event, but who often go unreported owing to overwhelming numbers.
Failing all that it gave a realistic impression of how difficult it is to actually follow a poker tournament accurately on day one. The feature table played hundreds of hands today and there were nearly 50 other tables in play. With existing technology (a few people with notepads) that makes for far too many hands to keep track of. It means many highlights, and lowlights, are often missed altogether.
Then there are others, like Patrick Schuhl, hard to miss in a purple scarf and a green bush hat, give you reason to think that the day’s results will be straightforward. He won a big hand at the midway stage (his queens against aces and ace-king, catching another queen on the river), and then, admitted tired, sat back to rest on his advantage. He was up to 180,000 at one point and looked certain to lead at the close, being some way ahead of the next man.
But sometimes the last few hands throw up a few surprises, players who leap out of the woodwork in the closing hand of the day, to lead the field. Step forward tonight’s chip leader Jesper Feddersen, who did just that.
All smiles for chip leader Jesper Feddersen
Feddersen bags up 188,900 tonight, a clear lead for one of the stories of the day. It’s hardly an original story but a good one nonetheless. Feddersen qualified on PokerStars for this event, his first ever EPT. Feddersen found quads in the last orbit of the day and was called by ace-high. Sometimes that’s how it goes in a major poker tournament, with long periods of inactivity punctuated by moments of sheer drama.
The tournament room at EPT Deauville
Of course, it will be a few days before we present the real story, one which may or may not feature the leaders from today. For now know that it was a good day for Feddersen, as well as for James Mitchell, Jeffrey Hakim, Marvin Rettenmaier, Zimnan Ziyard and Rousso, all of whom finished with chips tonight, their official counts listed on the chip count page.
Facing a different fate were high profile players like Jon Spinks, Martin Staszko, PCA champion Dimitar Danchev, Eugene Katchalov, Jonathan Duhamel, Nicholas Chouity and David Vamplew, each among the eliminated.
For their departures, check out the live coverage page, while today’s other stories can be found using the following links:
That’s the first day done with; the second day starts at 12 noon on Monday. It was a fascinating day to to watch poker and you can do the same again tomorrow, and indeed every day there is EPT action from now until the final day of the Grand Final. You can also follow the action on the PokerStars Blog from the start of Day 1B, with EPT Live picking up roughly two levels into the day.
Until then we bid you goodnight from Deauville.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter