It was a fast-paced Day 2 in the France Poker Series Monaco Main Event on Friday — so fast, in fact, the decision was made to forgo the dinner break stop a couple of levels early. When the last hands were dealt 60 players remained, all that’s left from the massive 1,261-player field that began the event. And tonight Philipp Wenzelburger enjoys the overnight chip lead after bagging an impressive 1,389,000 at night’s end.


Philipp Wenzelburger
The first two hours today were the Leonardo Pires show, with the start-of-day chip leader from Brazil more than doubling his starting stack during just two levels to sit with 715,000 at the day’s first break. A reprise, it seemed, of what Pires had done at the 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure back in January where he led the tournament for several days before busting in 13th.

That stack would’ve been more than average at the end of Day 2, let alone two hours in, but after a couple more levels Pires had seen that big mountain chips cut down to a couple of hundred thousand, then soon into the day’s fifth level he was eliminated in 160th.

At least Pires made the cash, however, as the top 183 finishers were scheduled to divide the tournament’s €1,223,170 prize pool. The bubble burst late in the afternoon, with China’s Yangzi Wang the unfortunate 184th-place finisher.

Soon after the post-bubble rush of exits, Gleb Tremzin — runner-up finisher in the EPT12 Prague Main Event — enjoyed a period of time as the tournament’s chip leader becoming the first player to reach the 1 million-chip mark. He eventually fell back to the pack, though, while his fellow German Philipp Wenzelburger climbed to the top to sit in first position as the field narrowed to less than 100.

Late in the evening Niall Farrell and Romans Voitovs both began challenging for the top honors, before finally at night’s end Wenzelburger ended up pushing back out in front.

Bruno Cohen, Yury Gulyy, Aaron Gustavson, Marvin Rettenmaier, Arnaud Mattern, Ana Marquez, Mario Lopez, Ivan Freitez, and Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu were among the cashers today. You can check the prize pool and payouts page to see where they finished and how much they took away.

Besides Wenzelburger, there were several others who finished strong on Day 2, including Jean Bertrand (1,171,000), Niall Farrell (1,122,000), Mathew Hopkins (1,120,000), Thierry Morel (1,053,000), Alexandre Sette (982,000), Kamel Hamou (963,000), Mauro Tarantini (957,000), Tudor Purice (917,000), Gleb Tremzin (860,000), and Pedro Oliveira (860,000)

Meanwhile among the others still in the hunt with a chance at taking their FPS Monaco Main Event runs deeper include Keith Johnson (319,000), Julien Brecard (289,000), and Andrey Andreev (155,000).

Tomorrow they pick things back up at 12 noon once more to continue the march toward Sunday’s final table and the €218,000 prize awaiting the champion. See you back here then, but for now, bon soir. –MH


9:20pm: 60 advance to Day 3
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

The bell has tolled on Day 2 of the FPS Monaco Main Event and it looks as if 60 players will be back for Day 3 tomorrow. Play starts at noon CEST. Join us then for Day 3 coverage, but look out for a wrap of the day’s play appearing above, overnight chip counts, and a Day 3 seat draw which will all be available via the @PokerStarsBlog twitter account. –NW

9:08pm: Three more hands
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Clock? Paused. Hands to play? Three. –MH

9:05pm: Crazy four-way all-in!
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Nothing like a four-way all-in to get the pulses racing.

Oleksandr Vorobii shoved from under-the-gun for 122,000 with 2♦2♥, Xiaoyong Liao then re-raised all-in for about 225,000 total with 9♠9♦ and action paused as Jean-Charles Beunas considered his options. Eventually he too moved all-in, he had A♦J♠ and then Pedro Oliveira, who had them all covered, called as well!

Oliveira had K♠K♥ and was looking for a triple-knockout. The 5♥7♣A♣ flop gave Beunas the lead, the 2♣ turn vaulted Vorobii to the front and the J♥ river kept him there.

So Vorobii basically quadrupled up to 500,000, Oliveira all but broke even on the hand, and Beunas and Liao were eliminated. –NW

8:59pm: Graupner gone
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

It folded around to Thomas Graupner who pushed his last 125,000 or so in the middle over the small blind, and Kidhir Megrous didn’t take very long to make the call.

Graupner turned over K♥4♥ and needed improvement to survive versus the A♠9♥ of Megrous. But the 2♠J♥8♠Q♦7♣ board didn’t provide any help and Grauner is out.

Megrous has about 420,000 now, a bit below the average of just over 500,000 with 63 players left. –MH

8:45pm: Haigh jacked
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Down to a handful of big blind Robert Haigh moved all-in with Q♦Q♥ and was up against the J♦J♠ of Kamel Hamou.

The 4♣3♦K♠J♣9♣ board was cruel for Haigh and he exited the tournament. –NW

8:35pm: It’s tight at the top
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

There are 67 players remaining right now and seven of those players have over a million in chips. They are:

Name Country Status Chips
Philipp Wenzelburger Germany PokerStars TV Stars 1,200,000
Niall Farrell UK PokerStars player 1,200,000
Romans Voitovs Latvia PokerStars qualifier 1,200,000
Mauro Tarantini Italy 1,065,000
Miguel Silva Portugal PokerStars player 1,050,000
Jean Bertrand France 1,040,000
Pedro Oliveira Portugal 1,020,000

8:21pm: Last level of the night
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

One more hour of poker to go, and the bagging and tagging will commence. –MH


20 6,000 12,000 2,000

8:17pm: Farrell and Hamou play 900K pot
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Kamel Hamou limped from under-the-gun and next to act Toni Zengovski raised it up to 28,000 total. Action then folded all the way to Niall Farrell in the big blind. He put the price of poker up to 67,000 only for Hamou to move all-in. Zengovski didn’t miss a beat and folded, Farrell though wanted a count. It was 454,000 total and after a couple of minutes he shrugged and call.

The EPT12 Malta champion showed A♠K♠ and was relieved when Hamou opened A♦K♥. The 7♣4♣7♦8♦9♦ board meant the pot was chopped. –NW

EPT12MON_Niall_Farrell_0539_JulesPochy.jpgFarrell fairing well

8:13pm: Andreev knocks out Ruzicic
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Andrey Andreev limped in from middle position and Gleb Tremzin limped as well from the button, then Sloboban Ruzicic reraised all-in for his last 56,000 from the small blind. It folded back to Andreev who called, Tremzin called as well, and those two checked both the flop and turn. Andreev then led with a bet on the river, and Tremzin let his hand go.

The completed board showed K♠K♥J♥7♦Q♥, and Andreev swiftly tabled his 6♥5♥ to show he’d made a flush. Ruzicic showed his beated 4♣4♦ and left to collect his payout.

Andreev is back up around 695,000 now with 75 players left. –MH

8:05pm: Your starting stack in the form of a single chip
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

The starting stack in this event was 25,000 and that equated to quite a few physical chips when play began. At the start of this level tournament staff introduced the lime green chips worth T25,000 apiece. Each of those represents the stack of a player who entered this tournament! –NW

7:50pm: Silva shining
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

All-in and at risk with 7♥7♣, Raphael Montefalcone was hoping the small pair would hold against Miguel Silva’s A♦J♥. But the 10♣K♥A♣ flop quickly swung the advantage Silva’s way, and after the K♠ turn and 4♥ river, Montefalcone is out.

Silva is now up around 1.2 million and starting to challenge Philipp Wenzelburger for the chip lead. –MH

7:34pm: Wenzelburger sizzling
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

The Philipp Wenzelburger express continues unabated, with the Germany continuing to accumulate chips at a rapid rate.

Just now Wenzelburger grabbed a few more while reducing the field by one in a hand versus Mamouni Smain. The latter was all in with a short stack behind 3♥3♠ and had run into Wenzelburger’s 7♦7♥, and after a K♠Q♥A♠6♠9♦ runout Smain was knocked out while Wenzelburger moved up to about 1.325 million — the biggest stack around with 90 players left. –MH

7:30pm: Purice continues to climb
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Tudor Purice has had an up and down day. He was as low as 15 big blinds at one point but now has almost 100 big blinds after winning a large pot against Jessica Drissi. On the river the Romanian bet 92,000 into a pot of around 200,000. Drissi looked at the Q♠J♥9♥2♥8♥ board and then called. Purice showed A♥5♥ for a flush and Drissi mucked.

After that hand Purice has roughly 970,000. –NW

7:19pm: Every decision has a rippling effect
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Ariel Mantel (121st, €2,040), Marvin Rettenmaier (113th, €2,310), Josh Prager (105th, €2,310), and Aaron Gustavson (100th, €2,310) were part of the last wave of knockouts just before the last break. Don’t forget, you can check who finished where on the constantly updated prize pool and payouts page. –MH


Rettenmaier’s run is over
7:10pm: Top 10 stacks
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Below are the top ten stacks at the start of level 19. It’s Philipp Wenzelburger who leads the way.

Name Country Status Chips
Philipp Wenzelburger Germany PokerStars TV Stars 1,247,000
Miguel Silva Portugal PokerStars player 1,052,000
Gleb Tremzin Russia PokerStars player 830,000
Pedro Oliveira Portugal 785,000
Mauro Tarantini Italy 750,000
Olivier Decamps France 738,000
Tudor Purice Romania PokerStars player 730,000
Jessica Drissi France 720,000
Niall Farrell UK PokerStars player 710,000
Bruno Dos Santos Caseiro Portugal 670,000


19 5,000 10,000 1,000

6:55pm: Last break of the day

Reaching the end of Level 18, the remaining 94 players have gone on one last 20-minute break for today. Recall the schedule has changed — rather than go to dinner now, they’ll come back shortly for two more one-hour levels, then call it a day. –MH


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6:42pm: Every decision has a rippling effect
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Ivan Arbatskii opened for 18,000 from the middle position, Andrey Andreev called from a couple of seats over, then Gleb Tremzin made it 51,000 to go from the button. Slobodan Ruzicic called the three-bet from the next seat in the small blind, and it folded back to Arbatskii who shoved all-in for 253,000 total.

Andreev let his hand go, but Tremzin wasn’t going anywhere and called the shove. That sent Ruzicic deep into the tank, and after some time he at last emerged to fold his hand. The remaining two players tabled their cards:

Arbatskii: K♦K♣
Tremzin: A♥K♥

The flop came 9♣Q♣10♥, and while neither of the players in the hand responded at all, Ruzicic was fit to be tied, standing from his seat with his hands on hips. The turn was the 8♣ and river the 4♥, and Arbatskii survived with a more-than-double-up.

Before sitting down, Ruzicic leaned over and poked a finger at the nine on the board, and it wasn’t hard for the others to deduce he’d folded pocket nines.

Gleb Tremzin – 720,000
Ivan Arbatskii – 565,000
Andrey Andreev – 555,000
Sloboban Ruzicic – 345,000

Ruzicic continued to shake his head as he sat back down, although Arbatskii was plenty glad he had chosen not to gamble. –MH


The chips are going back and forth
6:40pm: Down to the final 100
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Just 100 players remain in the FPS Monaco Main Event and there are still two EPT champions among them.

Niall Farrell, who triumphed in Malta this season is chugging along nicely. He’s got 765,000 which is well above the average which is 312,000. In comparison Aaron Gustavson has work to do as he’s got 160,000. — NW

6:32pm: Mattern, Marquez out
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

More eliminated to report — Arnaud Mattern (134th) and Ana Marquez (137th), each of whom earned €2,040.


Marquez out
6:17pm: Gabriel gets got
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Add Niste Mihai Gabriel to the growing list of eliminated players. Gabriel got his small stack in with K♠J♦ versus the 9♣9♦ of Mamouni Smain, a 2♠9♥9♠Q♦5♦ runout giving Smain quads was more than was needed to end Gabriel’s run.

They are now down to 119 players. –MH

6:10pm: What a horrible spot
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Laurent Olive just found himself in a ridiculously tough spot and it’s not one you can ever train for or expect to happen. I’ll explain…

From under-the-gun Massimiliano Patroncini moved all-in for 132,000 and Olive flat called from his stack of 360,000. It folded all the way to Fabio Freitas in the big blind but before the Brazilian could act Patroncini went to turn his hand over, thinking that Freitas had folded.

Before he fully exposed his hand Freitas told him to stop, but it was too late as Freitas had seen the cards. The floor was called and it was ruled that Patrocini’s hand should be exposed and the J♠J♥ was turned over.

It should be noted that Freitas had claimed he’d yet to look at his cards at this point. He then took a peak and reasonably quickly moved all-in. This was not what Olive wanted to hear. He asked for a count and the shove was for 290,000. Olive took some time and then folded the other two jacks face-up!

Freitas showed K♥K♣ and the 6♠9♦5♥6♦5♣ board kept him in front. He’s up to 525,000 whilst Olive is down to 230,000. –NW


18 4,000 8,000 1,000

5:53pm: Tremzin up over a million
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Gleb Tremzin saw both Dany Parlafes and Slobodan Ruzicic go all-in before the flop, and he had a decision.

About Parlafes, Tremzin slightly less concerned, as he was only in for 81,000. Meanwhile Ruzicic had committed nearly a quarter-million, and while Tremzin already had some chips in the middle, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to put any more at risk.

Finally Tremzin did call, showing A♣J♥, and expressed some relief when he saw Ruzicic turn over A♥J♦. Meanwhile Parlafes had 4♠4♥, and looked as though he was about to triple up after the 10♣5♥7♦ flop and 9♠ turn.

But the river brought the 8♠ to give the bigger stacks a straight, and Parlafes was eliminated. Ruzicic sits with about 275,000, while Tremzin now looks to be the first player in seven figures as he has about 1.07 million. –MH


The Tremzinator
5:40pm: Change of plans
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

There were 10 levels scheduled for today but we’ve been informed by the tournament director that the decision has been made to play just eight levels today instead. Play should end around 20.45 CEST. –NW

5:30pm: Stacks of chips
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Gleb Tremzin is the current chip leader, the Russian player is closing in on one million.

Name Country Status Chips
Gleb Tremzin Russia PokerStars player 940,000
Philipp Wenzelburger Germany PokerStars player 900,000
Thomas Popov Canada PokerStars player 780,000
Andrey Andreev Russia 710,000
Niall Farrell UK PokerStars player 675,000
Fahd Boudaouine France 585,000
Maxence Benoulha France 480,000
Stefano Terziani Italy PokerStars qualifier 470,000
Jessica Drissi France 450,000
Mirco Maisano France 445,000
Francisco Acevedo Chile 440,000
Miguel Silva Portugal PokerStars player 440,000
Pedro Oliveira Portugal 430,000
Nicolas Guest France 408,000
Xiaoyong Liao China 400,000
Toni Zengovski Macedonia 395,000
Mathew Hopkins UK PokerStars qualifier 380,000
Keith Johnson UK 370,000
Kidhir Megrous France 362,000
Alexis Queneau France PokerStars qualifier 360,000
Ariel Mantel Argentina PokerStars player 345,000
Raphael Montefalcone France 345,000
Olivier Decamps France 340,000
Makram Saber Lebanon 330,000
Tudor Purice Romania PokerStars player 330,000
Mirko Radovic Monténégro 320,000
Ahmed Sahih France PokerStars qualifier 312,000
Apostolos Bechrakis Greece PokerStars player 306,000
Perego Michele Italy 301,000
Chebli Chebli Lebanon PokerStars qualifier 300,000
Abdulatif Taslim Finland 290,000
Slobodan Ruzicic Serbia 290,000
Ut Tam Vo France 280,000
Ghassan Yared Lebanon 275,000
Nicolaj D Antoni Italy 273,000
Bruno Dos Santos Caseiro Portugal 270,000
Vicente Delgado Spain PokerStars qualifier 265,000
Sergey Tikhonov Russia 263,000
Olivier Aarmougon France 262,000
Arthur Conan France 260,000
Aaron Gustavson USA PokerStars player 250,000
Ivan Arbatskii Russia 245,000
Adrian Apmann Germany PokerStars player 240,000
Oleksandr Vorobii Ukraine PokerStars player 240,000
Olivier Puche France 232,000
Gaetano Preite Italy 230,000
Thomas Graupner Germany 230,000
Nicolas Ferrandes France 220,000
Benoit Averes France 210,000
Leonardo Pires Brazil PokerStars player 205,000
Thierry Morel France PokerStars qualifier 200,000
Yannick Dupont France 195,000
Mamouni Smain Canada 190,000
Bertrand Guenoun France 187,000
Philip Christiernin Rung Sweden 182,000
Sylvain Mazza France 180,000
Cyprien Berger France 170,000
Robert Leszczynski Norway 170,000
Ivan Freitez Venezuela PokerStars player 166,000
Dany Parlafes Romania 160,000
Fred Weiss France 160,000
Mady Cherit France PokerStars qualifier 160,000
Michel PoMaret France 160,000
Steven van Zadelhoff Netherlands PokerStars qualifier 147,000
Marvin Rettenmaier Germany PokerStars player 145,000
Ait Obram Ali France 141,000
Niste Mihai Gabriel Romania PokerStars qualifier 130,000
Arnaud Mattern France 124,000
Yaxi Zhu China Team PokerStars Pro 118,000
Guido Pezzotta Italy 110,000
Armand Lopez France PokerStars qualifier 105,000
Ana Marquez Spain PokerStars player 93,700
Gabriel Nassif France 91,300
Yury Gulyy Russia PokerStars qualifier 84,000
Julien Brécard France PokerStars TV Stars 81,000
Ana Marquez Spain PokerStars player 70,000


What everyone wants
5:16pm: Benoulha bounces Camhi
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Eric Camhi was all-in with a short stack with K♠Q♠, and the stack was short enough that Maxence Benoulha couldn’t bow out of the hand with his 7♦4♦.

The flop came 2♦A♠7♣ to hit Benhoula’s seven, and after the 5♦ turn and 3♣ river Camhi was done for a small cash. Benoulha now is moving up the leaderboard, having chipped up to 525,000. –MH

5:14pm: More fall
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Ricardo Chauriye (149th), Vicente Delgado (155th), and Luca Moschitta (159th) were also among the latest knockouts, with each of them earning €1,770. –MH

5:07pm: Pires busts
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

At the start of Day 2, Leonardo Pires was the overall chip leader with 339 players left. After two hours of play, he’d more than doubled his stack to 715,000 to lead by an even wider margin over the 255 or so players still remaining.

A little over two hours more, and Pires is out in 160th for a 1,770 min-cash, ending his FPS Monaco roller coaster here before the dinner break. –MH


An earlier shot of Pires, when the pots were all going his way
4:59pm: Min-cashers
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Among the first taking trips to the cashier, Kasra Pour Khomamy (178th), Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu (171st), Ivan Freitez (168th), and Mario Lopez (166th) all collected 1,770 for their efforts.

To keep tabs on who is finishing where, check the constantly updated prize pool and payouts page. –MH


17 3,000 6,000 1,000

4:37pm: Break it up

The next 20-minute break has arrived, giving the remaining 163 players a chance to catch their breath after the excitement of the bubble’s bursting. –MH


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4:31pm: Andreev on the ascent
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

End-of-Day-1A leader Andrey Andreev is now sitting behind a formidable stack of chips after picking up a nice post-bubble pot versus Guido Pezzotta.

With about 230,000 in the middle and the board showing A♦5♣8♣7♦, an all-in shove by Andreev just couldn’t be called by Pezzotta, and now Andreev has about 780,000 as the next break nears. –MH


More for Andreev
4:25pm: All-in crazy!
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Since the bubble burst this joint has gone mental! There’s smoke coming off the felt such is the speed that chips are being moved around.

I saw five all-ins in just a couple of minutes, here’s what happened:

1. Cederic Ramqaj moved all-in for his final 30,000 with 9♠8♠ and he found a call from Ariel Mantel who held A♣10♠. The A♠6♣J♥K♠ gave Ramqaj hope but the river was the 5♦ meaning Ramqaj was eliminated and Mantel climbed to 240,000.

2. Julien Brécard had just 18,000 and they went in with 6♥6♦, Vicente Delgado had already opened and he called the extra off with 8♥7♥. A 6♣J♠K♥9♣J♦ board gave Brécard a fright but he survived. Delgado is now down to 260,000.

3. Christos Stefanidis was at risk for his final 53,000 holding A♦7♠ and in the deep stuff against Vincent Antoine Cavailles, who held pocket tens. The 4♥3♦7♥ flop gave Stefanidis hope, the 4♣ turn was a blank, but the A♥ river saw the Greek player survive.

4. Action folded to Stefano Terziani in the small blind, he looked to his left and eyed up Steven Baldolli’s stack. It totaled around 77,000 and Terziani elected to move all-in, a bet Baldolli snap called.

Terziani showed 8♥7♥ and have live cards against Baldolli’s A♠K♦. That proved crucial as the 3♥8♣J♥4♦6♠ board favoured the suited connectors and eliminated Baldolli.

5. Vincent Antoine Cavailles got some of the chips he’d lost back as his A♣Q♦ held against Jimmy Guerrero’s Q♥9♦. Guerrero was all-in for his last 55,000 and sent on his way to the payout desk. –NW

4:11pm: Yangzi bubbles
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

After Morgan Aceto survived a river shove all-in with trip aces — doubling up after he was called by Mario Melis — it was confirmed that 184 players were left, eight each at 23 tables.

On the first hand of hand-for-hand play, Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu saw an opponent raise to 12,000, then while on the button with just 15,000 looked down at what was a playable hand. She grimaced a little, then the table chuckled when they heard “all in and call” coming from a neighboring table.


Zhu wondering what to do
Finally, Zhu let her hand go, and after all of the other tables finished their hands everyone congregated around the table featuring the all-in.

8G2A9715EPT12MON_Bubble_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Yangzi Wang of China was the one at risk. She stood and waiting after having put her last 49,000 in from middle position, with Mauro Tarantini having called her from the big blind. Finally the cards were revealed:

Tarantini: 9♣9♠
Wang: K♣Q♣

The dealer dealt the first three community cards, and a king appeared in the window to give Wang. But when the flop was spread it showed a villanous nine underneath (from Wang’s point of view), the board showing 9♦6♣K♦.

The A♣ then fell on the turn, giving hope to Wang that she might make a backdoor flush to beat Tarantini’s set. But the river was the 4♥, and with a round of applause the bubble had been burst.


Yingzi Wang, 184th place
They’re halfway through Level 16. Let’s see how many visit the cashier’s desk before the break happens in half an hour. –MH

4:06pm: Bad time for kings for Bonavena
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

With 185 players left — just two from the cash — Salvatore Bonavena just found himself in a bit of a nightmarish situation.

A blind-versus-blind hand between Bonavena and Ivan Arbatskii resulted in the former being all in with a below average stack with K♥K♦ only to see Arbatskii table A♣A♥. The board ran out J♦5♣9♥4♠Q♦, and Bonavena exits shy of the cash.

There will be a brief pause as the tables are balanced to ensure just 184 are left. Stay tuned. –MH

4:05pm: Pires gets poorer
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Leonardo Pires was up to 600,000 at one point, he’s now down to 205,000. That seems like a small stack but it’s still above average. Thomas Popov, who’s sat to his right is up to 450,000. The two may be connected. –NW

3:55pm: Miracle for Maisano
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Oh. My. God.

Mirco Maisano just hit a miracle!

I only saw the denouement of the hand but on a 5♠3♥Q♥6♠6♥ Maisano had got his last 163,000 in on the river and Patrick Schuhl had matched it. Maisano had 6♣6♦ in front of him for quads, whilst Schuhl had pocket queens for a flopped set that turned into a full house that lost to quads!

He had his hands on his head and well he might, he’s down to 59,000 whilst Maisano is up to 410,000. –NW

3:45pm: Deadman done for just before the bubble
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

We’re just two spots off the bubble now and Simon Deadman is one of those who’ve just missed out on a cash.

In his exit hand Ariel Mantel raised to 10,000, Tudor Purice three-bet to 32,500 from the small blind and Deadman then moved all-in for 44,500 from the big blind. Mantel smooth called and Purice then wanted confirmation from the floor that he couldn’t raise.

The floor was called and Purice was informed he could only call, which he did. The flop fell 2♥2♣3♥ and Purice moved all-in, whilst Mantel folded. Deadman showed pocket fives and he was ahead of Purice’s A♣Q♥.

The Q♣ turn gave Purice the lead though and Deadman didn’t hit the 9♦ river.

Other players just missing out on a cash include Slaven Popov and Daniel Smith. –NW

3:38pm: Tough spot for Zhu
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Just 190 players remain — seven from the cash — and Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu finds herself in a tricky spot.

Just now she lost a preflop all-in versus Lionel Clerc in which her 10♥9♥ couldn’t catch up to his A♠K♣. Zhu got up to leave, thinking the 85,000 or so she’d pushed forward was completely lost, but as it happened she had Clerc outchipped by a little and so she has kept her seat.

But with less than 10,000 — and the level having just changed — she doesn’t have two big blinds left in her stack. We’ll see if she can hang on and make the cash. –MH


16 2,500 5,000 500

3:26pm: Pires tripped up
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Leader Leonardo Pires just dropped a few chips in a big multi-way pot. We saw him fire a bet of 100,000 — roughly the size of the pot — to force a couple of folds but one player called.

The board showed 10♦K♣7♥2♥A♥ and Pires turned over J♥8♦, appearing a little dismayed as he did. That was no match for the set of deuces held by the winner, and now Pires is down to about 465,000. –MH

3:17pm: Big stacks
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

The bubble is fast approaching as 192 players remain and 183 get paid. For the players below though the bubble should hold no fear as they’re the big stacks.

Name Country Status Chips
Leonardo Pires Brazil PokerStars player 660,000
Andrey Andreev Russia 477,000
Xiaoyong Liao China 460,000
Ahmed Sahih France PokerStars qualifier 448,000
Niall Farrell UK PokerStars player 385,000
Aaron Gustavson USA PokerStars player 365,000

3:07pm: Boeree bounced, Dattani down, Urbanovich undone
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

The field is shrinking down close to just 200 players left, with a few more notables among the recent exits.

Ami Barer, Alessandro De Iaco, Joao Vieira, and Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree have seen their FPS Monaco Main Event runs end shy of the money. So, too, has Michel Dattani lost the last of his stack.

And after persevering with a short stack this afternoon, Dzmitry Urbanovich was finally felted as well. –MH


Urbanovich out
2:55pm: More exits
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Numbers continue to dwindle in this event with Joseph Carlino, Andrei Konopelko, Matias Ruzzi, Dietrich Fast, and Govert Meetal among the latest batch of exits. –NW


Joseph Carlino’s last hand
2:51pm: Patricio picked off
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

LAPT6 Peru Main Event champion sat quietly, his last 75,000 or so pushed out before him. He was waiting to see if Gerard Sanches was going to call or fold. He was hoping for the latter, as we’d come to find out, precisely because Sanches would choose differently.

Upon hearing the call, Rojas showed his J♥10♥, and Sanches turned over 9♦9♣ to claim the pot and knock out the Chilean. Sanches has about 225,000 now. –MH

2:45pm: Much needed double for Cederic Ramqaj
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Tudor Purice opened to 9,500 from early position and Cederic Ramqaj then shoved for 26,000 with Q♥Q♠. Purice made a quick call with A♦8♣ but the pair held on the K♣5♦8♦6♠Q♦ board. –NW

2:40pm: Jaka shot down
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

A big thank you to Faraz Jaka for filling us in on his exit hand as he was leaving the tournament room.

He told us that he got dealt pocket jacks under-the-gun+3 and flat called from a stack of 80,000 after the under-the-gun player had opened to 12,000 with A♥6♥. Another player then moved all-in for 32,000 with king-queen, the under-the-gun player re-raised all-in and Jaka snap called.

Although the covering player turned a flush draw it was looking good for Jaka until he was Barry Greensteined by an ace on the river. –NW

2:29pm: From across the globe to Monaco
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

We have pie! The ever popular nationalities pie chart, that is, giving us some insight on where all 1,261 of these FPS Monaco Main Event players came from to get here.

Unsurprisingly, France was responsible for the most entrants, the 550 players representing just over 43% of the field. Italy was next in line with about 9.3%, with the UK, Russia, and Germany next on the list.

A total of 71 countries sent players. Here’s that pie for more (click to embiggen). –MH



15 2,000 4,000 500

2:07pm: Break time

With less than 260 players left — still about 80 off the money — the first 20-minute break of the day has arrived. –MH


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2:02pm: Pires keeps collecting
Level 14 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 400)

Leonardo Pires just capped off his first two hours of play today having more than doubled his chip-leading stack already. Near the end of Level 14 he picked up another 100,000-plus in a hand of Kasra Pour Khomamy who entered today with a top 10 stack.

The hand started with Pires raising to 11,100 from middle position, and only Khomamy called from the small blind. The flop came 6♥7♠4♣, Khomany checked, Pires bet 15,000, and Khomamy called. The turn was the 5♣, and Khomamy again check-called a bet from Pires, this time for 20,000.

Pires checked his cards once more as the 2♥ completed the board. Khomamy checked a third time, and after acting quickly throughout the hand Pires paused about a half-minute, then slid forward a stack containing 67,300. Khomamy stacked up calling chips, thought about it for another beat or two, the called.

Pires tabled A♥8♥ for a turned straight, and Khomamy mucked.

The Brazilian is up around 715,000 now going to break, more than 300,000 clear of his nearest challenger at present. –MH

1:58pm: Out
Level 14 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 400)

We’re down to just 261 players after the opening two levels with Pablo Gordillo, Ben Heath, Georgios Sotiropoulos, Alex Difelice and Rasmus Agerskov among the big names who’ve crashed out. –NW

1:55pm: Counts!
Level 14 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 400)

The overnight chip leader shows no signs of losing it. Leonardo Pires is up to 605,000 and still holds the chip lead.

Leonardo Pires – 605,000
Andrey Andreev – 490,000
Aaron Gustavson – 395,000
Ariel Mantel – 295,000
Vicente Delgado – 285,000
Niall Farrell – 238,000
Andrei Boghean – 235,000
Keith Johnson – 190,000
Ivan Freitez – 166,000
Dany Parlafes – 160,000
Steven van Zadelhoff – 147,000
Simon Deadman – 140,000
Yaxi Zhu – 118,000
Salvatore Bonavena – 103,000
Liv Boeree – 98,000
Marvin Rettenmaier – 84,000
Arnaud Mattern – 77,000
Julien Brécard – 70,000
Tudor Purice – 63,000
Faraz Jaka – 62,000
Dmitry Urbanovich – 55,000

1:45pm: Deadman’s turn to double
Level 14 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 400)

It’s raining double ups!

The cards were already on their backs by the time I reached table 17 to see Simon Deadman & Weiyi Zhang all-in and at risk, with Tudor Purice looking for the double knockout.

Deadman: A♦Q♠
Zhang: Q♣10♣
Purice: K♣J♠

A 2♦6♠8♥5♥Q♥ board meant Zhang, who was the shortest of the three, was eliminated and Deadman, who was all-in for 68,900, more than doubled to around 150,000. After that hit Purice drops to 63,000. –NW

1:26pm: Dzmitry dzoubles
Level 14 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 400)

Roger Mouries opened for 6,500 from early position and after getting a call from his neighbor to the left watched the table fold around to Dzmitry Urbanovich on the button. Urbanovich swiftly set out his remaining short stack before him as an all-in reraise for about 26,000. The blinds got out, Mouries reraised over the top for about twice what Urbanovich had, and the remaining player folded.

Mouries had 9♠9♣, but that meant Urbanovich was in better shape with 10♥10♠. A ten on the turn then sealed things for the Polish pro, shooting him back up to around 55,000. –MH

1:10pm: Big double for Aceto
Level 14 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 400)

Nicolas Guest requested a count. He was in a precarious position and needed to know exactly where he stood. He’d bet 31,000 on the turn of a 2♠7♠10♦4♦ board and Morgan Aceto had then shoved all-in.

There was already roughly 35,000 in the pot and you could now add 84,200 to that figure as that was the size of Aceto’s shove. Numbers crunched Guest made the call and showed 9♠8♠ for the combo draw.

He’d need to hit as Aceto had K♠K♦, but the 2♥ was a brick and Aceto held to double to over 200,000, whilst Guest is down to 64,000. –NW


14 1,500 3,000 400

1:06pm: Kings serve Brecard
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Julien Brecard was just now all-in and at risk for his last 35,000 or so, but in a good spot, relatively speaking, holding K♣K♦ versus Quentin Lecomte’s A♠K♥. The board came clean for Brecard — 4♠9♥8♦7♣2♥ — and he’s back up around 70,000 while Lecomte is suddenly down to less than 10,000. –MH

1pm: Tough crowd
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

There are a few candidates for ‘table of death’ at the moment. Table 17 is definitely up there as Tudor Purice, Simon Deadman, Marvin Rettenmaier and Ariel Mantel are all scrapping it out for chips there. — NW

12:56pm: Andreev takes his seat
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Day 1A chip leader Andrey Andreev was late arriving today, which meant those two tickets he won for Saturday’s football match (a prize for his Day 1A accomplishment) had to wait with his stack.


Chips and tix
But Andreev did finally get here, and after pocketing his tickets has now gotten to work trying to build his big stack even further. –MH

12:51pm: Loeser leaves, Metalidi moves on
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

More than 25 players have already lost their stacks in the first half-hour of play, with Manig Loeser and Artem Metalidi among the latest wave sent railward. –MH

12:45pm: Malinowski out
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Viktor Malinowski just got the last of his stack in behind K♦J♦ but unfortunately for him had run into the K♣K♥ of Laurent Olive. The board ran out 2♦5♦2♠10♠5♥, and Malinowski hit the rail. Olive meanwhile is now up around 120,000. –MH

12:40pm: Vieira takes a hit
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Joao Vieira has seen his stack cut in half after losing a flip to Jeremie Maxime Beneteau.

Kevin Fallourd opened to 5,100 from under-the-gun and Vieira called from early position. The action folded to Beneteau – who was the big blind – and he shoved for 27,800 total. Fallourd folded but Vieira made the call.

Beneteau: K♣J♦
Vieira: 10♠10♥

The 9♥J♥3♠A♥4♦ board favoured the overcards and dropped Vieira to about 30,000. –NW

12:25pm: Gustavson takes out Metalidi
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Artem Metalidi was all-in for his last 27,000 with 5♣5♦ and Aaron Gustavson had him in deep trouble with 10♠10♣. The board ran Q♣2♠K♦2♦4♣ and Metalidi departed.

Gustavson now has over 180,000 as a result. –NW

12:21pm: Early bustouts
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Among the first to fall here on Day 2 were Cedric Louard, Vladyslav But, Sebastien Boyard, Jeremie Maxime Beneteau, Vasily Kurdin, Stephane Gamet, and Jaroslaw Sikora. –MH

12:14pm: Prize pool and payouts
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

With 1,261 total entrants in this event, the total prize pool is a massive €1,223,170. The top 183 finishers will be splitting those riches, with a min-cash being €1,770 and the first prize €218,000.

Here are the prizes awaiting those making the final table:

1st: €218,000
2nd: €127,900
3rd: €89,900
4th: €67,100
5th: €51,780
6th: €38,500
7th: €29,350
8th: €20,900

For a complete list of payouts, click here. –MH

12:11pm: A sunny start
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Day 2 has begun with 339 players remaining, all still vying to make it to one of the top 183 spots and the money of this event. In other words, everyone still has a relatively sunny disposition as the first hands of the day are being dealt.

Such is appropriate, because tournament organizers have opened the roof on the main tournament room here at the Sporting Club, revealing a glorious blue sky overhead. They’ll keep it open for the first couple of minutes, then close it up to make for a more familiar setting for poker as the sun sets (so to speak) on the day’s first bustouts.

8G2A9514EPT12MON_FPS_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Look on the bright side… everyone still has a chance
Just before play began, Day 1A chip leader Andrey Andreev and Day 1B leader Leonardo Pires were each awarded a pair of tickets to tomorrow’s football match between French Ligue 1 sides AS Monaco and EA Guingamp. Actually only Pires picked up his tickets, as Andreev has yet to arrive today.

Whoever happens to have the top spot at the end of Day 2 will also win the same prize, although given how that person may well be playing poker on Saturday night, the tickets might be going to a friend. –MH

12:09pm: Chip count page
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

With so many players in the field it’s impossible to keep track of everyone but we’ll be updating the chip counts of as many players as possible. You’ll find that information on the selected chip counts page
which will include the big stacks, names and notables as the day progresses.

12:07pm: Let’s begin
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

Day 2 action has started. –NW


EPT Tournament Director Thomas Lamatsch begins the day

13 1,200 2,400 300

11:45am: Time to bust a move but not bust in Monaco

On the various regional tours that PokerStars operate around the world the blogging fraternity refer to Day 2 as ‘moving day’.

It’s the day when tournament winning stacks are built and the money starts to be dished out. Whilst 339 players return today we expect only around 10% of that field will still have chips to bag come the end of the day. The average stack will rocket to around 850,000 and Leonardo Pires’s start of Day 2 chip leading stack of 339,400 will look like chump change 10 levels from now. This is not a day to maintain and stand still, this is a day to move.

The key start of day info can be accessed below. Cards are in the air at noon CEST.

Start of Day 2 seat draw
Start of Day 2 chip counts


PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at FPS Monaco: Martin Harris and Nick Wright. Photos by Jules Pochy. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog


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