FPS Monaco: Main Event Day 1B coverage archive

April 28, 2016

We knew when we saw 349 come out for yesterday’s Day 1A — the first of two Day 1 flights in this €1,100 buy-in France Poker Series Monaco Main Event — that today was going to be grand (bilingual pun intended). That was well over last year’s Day 1A turnout, and eventually 993 players took part in that FPS Monaco Main. So we knew this year’s total was all but assured to be more.

As anticipated, today’s Day 1B was massive, with 907 entrants making for a total of 1,256 altogether for this year’s event. Players filled the huge main tournament room, much of the adjacent cash room, and the Americas Room located a promenade away. After 12 fast-paced 45-minute levels just 248 of those players remained, with the boisterous Brazilian Leonardo Pires the biggest-stacked among them after bagging 339,400 to conclude the night.


Leonardo leading again
Leonardo some may remember from the 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. There he similarly raced out to a big chip lead, then held it well into the money until the final two tables before busting in 13th. And he’ll be the pace-setter again here when 339 players return for Day 2 tomorrow, as his count exceeds that of Day 1A leader Andrey Andreev.

Others doing well for themselves on Day 1B included the following:

Andrei Boghean – 313,000
Gleb Tremzin – 284,700
Olivier Puche – 251,600
Massimiliano Patroncini – 237,200
Pedro Oliveira – 235,400
Philipp Wenzelburger – 227,500
Tarik Kerbouci – 224,600
Thomas Djefaflia – 223,000
Julian Fernandez – 200,200
Romain Matteoli – 200,000

And looking at a few of those also making it through to tomorrow:

Abraham Serrano – 196,200
Maxence Benoulha – 192,200
Vicente Delgado – 179,500
Niall Farrell – 153,000
Steven van Zadelhoff – 135,000
Arnaud Mattern – 125,900
Faraz Jaka – 123,300
Liv Boeree – 118,000
Dzmitry Urbanovich – 116,000
Gabriel Nassif – 91,300
Joseph Carlino – 90,400
Joao Vieira – 63,100
Yaxi Zhu – 59,200
Ivan Soshnikov – 53,400
Simon Deadman – 40,100

Meanwhile hundreds of Day 1B were less fortunate today, failing to survive the night. That group included Max Greenwood, Andrey Zaichenko, Antoine Saout, Joao Simao, Dermot Blain, Sergio Aido, Mayu Roca, William Foxen, Martin Finger, James Akenhead, and Team PokerStars Pros Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Chen-An Lin, Jake Cody, and Eugene Katchalov.

Tomorrow they get going at 12 noon once again, with the plan being to play 10 one-hour levels. The money bubble is due to burst tomorrow as well, at which point we’ll begin to see how the big prize pool will start to be divided.

Thanks for following the story so far, and see you back here tomorrow for the next chapter as we discover together who will be the next France Poker Series Main Event champion. Until we reconvene, bon soir. –MH


11:40pm: That’s your lot!
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

It’s been a mad day of poker with 907 players in total taking their seats on the second starting flight of the FPS main event. Roughly 280 survived. A wrap of the day’s play will appear above shortly. Also keep your eye on the @PokerStarsBlog twitter account and the widget to the right for the overnight seat draw and chip counts.

11:22pm: Four more, says the floor
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

They’ve paused the tournament clock and announced there will be four more hands before play stops tonight. And leader Leonardo Pires looks like he’s nearing the 400,000-chip mark. –MH

11:15pm: Buzzer bad beats
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

It’s tough lines on the following players, who’ve grinded all day only to fall at the last as: Roman Korenev, Georgics Zisimopoulos, Luc Greenwood, Jelcides Monteiro, Rocco Palumbo, Shola Akindele-Deadman, Louis Salter and Bart Lybaert.

300 of 907 players remain and the average stack is 75,900. –NW

11:05pm: Chip leaders and notables
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

With less than 20 minutes to go here’s a list of some of the big stacks and big names still in. –NW

Leonardo Pires – 338,000
Julian Fernandez – 210,000
Maxence Benoulha – 199,000
Tarik Kerbouci – 194,000
Faraz Jaka – 150,000
Niall Farrell – 145,000
Liv Boeree – 125,000
Joseph Carlino – 90,000
Vicente Delgado – 85,000
Ami Barer – 62,000
Ivan Soshnikov – 46,000
Joao Vieira – 39,000
Rocco Palumbo – 18,000

10:47pm: One level to go
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

They’ve moved into Level 12 which means there will be approximately 45 minutes’ worth of poker left, then the bagging and tagging will commence. We’ll be spending much of that time scouting for big stacks. Currently no one appears yet in this field to have moved ahead of Andrey Andreev’s Day 1A total of 281,300, but several are getting close.

Incidentally, besides bragging rights and a nice spot heading into Day 2, tonight’s chip leader — like Andreev and like the player ending tomorrow atop the counts — will win a pair of tickets to Saturday’s football match between French Ligue 1 sides AS Monaco and EA Guingamp. –MH


12 1,000 2,000 300

10:45pm: Sweet relief for ElkY
Level 11 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier was eliminated from this tournament during level 10 and he’s indulged in some food therapy to help ease the pain.


10:30pm: Mansouri gets angry, tilts chips to Gordillo
Level 11 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Ouassini Mansouri is not a happy man and as it’s been 20 years since I studied French I’m not sure exactly what it is he’s got in such a fuss about. What I can tell you is that over 22,000 of his chips now belong to Pablo Gordillo.

I joined the action to see a bet of 3,200 in front of Gordillo, a call of that bet in front of Erick Guedj and Mansouri, who was in the big blind arguing with the dealer. The small blind still had cards in front of him but it seemed to matter not to Mansouri. After the small blind folded the back and forth between Mansouri – who’s French – and the dealer who’s also French but speaks perfect English – continued.

What I did pick up was the dealer telling Mansouri that it was English only at the table and Mansouri replying that he didn’t speak English. Fair enough. Eventually after some back and forth Mansouri threw out the call but wasn’t happy. My best guess (and it’s only a guess) is that he wanted to raise but he’d done it out of turn and as a result had been forced to just call.

The flop fell Q♥4♦Q♣ and action checked to Guedj, who bet 5,000, Mansouri check-raised to 16,000 total and Gordillo then shoved for 20,800. Guedj folded and Mansouri called the extra.

Gordillo: Q♦9♣
Mansouri: K♥J♣

The Spaniard had flopped Mansouri all but dead and the running cards Mansouri needed did not arrive on the J♥ turn or 7♣ river. Mansouri stormed off, but he’s got plenty of chips should he need an extended break. He’s down to 145,000 after that hand whilst Gordillo is up to around 59,000. –NW

10:18pm: Matias meets end
Level 11 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Allberto Meran Matias was all-in and at risk with 7♣7♦ versus Slaven Popov’s A♣8♣, hoping the medium pair would hold. But the flop brought an ace — coming A♦K♦K♠ — and after the 3♣ turn and 6♣ river it was the end for Matias.

He joins a crowded rail, as now there are less than 370 players still with chips with a couple of levels left to go on Day 1B. –MH

10:15pm: No more chips for Chen-An
Level 11 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

We just spied Team PokerStars Pro Chen-An Lin gathering his belongings to go, yet another of the knockouts here late on Day 1B. –MH


Chen-An Lin down
10:05pm: Level 10 fallers
Level 11 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Lots of exits in level 10 including: Nicolas Le Floch, David Pourraz, Adrien Delmas, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Gregor Abmayr, Laurent Reboul, Alexander Nemchin, Andrew Hulme, Sandrine Wilhelm, Max Greenwood, and Andrey Zaichenko. — NW


11 800 1,600 200

10pm: Set bests two pair
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

What a crazy hand!

Cherif Zermiche opened to 2,000, a player then moved all-in for just 500 and two more players called the 2,000 and the four players saw a J♥K♠8♥ flop hit the felt.

Zermiche c-bet 4,000, Yan Portal then moved all-in for 26,700 and Maxim Panyak then re-raised all-in to 48,000 total. Zermiche shook his head a couple of times and folded. The all-in player knew the jig was up and meekly turned over 10♠6♣. Portal showed 8♠8♣ for the flopped set and Panyak showed J♦8♦ for two-pair!

The K♣ turn and 9♠ board rounded out the board and Portal moved up to over 60,000 whilst Panyak dropped to 48,000. –NW

9:53pm: Half the field they used to be
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

The rate of attrition is high, as a post-dinner level full of tournament casualties has brought the overall number of Day 1B entrants down to about 440 — less than half the 906 who began the day. –MH

9:46pm: Guess Boeree’s stack
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

So how many chips do you think Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree has in this picture? The blue chips at the front are worth 5,000 a piece.

9:33pm: Leonardo back in the lead
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

A familiar-sounding laugh came from the far side of the room. Investigation resulted in the sight of a familiar face, Leonardo Pires, he of the deep run at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event in January where he finished 13th.

Laughing and smiling, Pires once more appears to have built a decent-sized stack once again. Drawn to the table, we watched as his neighbor to the right opened, and he tossed out chips appearing to intend a call, but it was a raise. It came back around and the raiser four-bet, Pires shrugged and called, then folded to a small flop continuation bet.

Pires appears to have about 220,000 now. We’ll continue to pay attention to him as the night develops, not that one can easily avoid doing so. –MH

9:30pm: Mad Turk still trucking
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Despite telling the PokerStars Blog a few hours ago that he’d probably double his 100K-plus stack or lose it Yucel “The Mad Turk” Eminoglu is still going strong, he’s lost a few chips but still has around 105,000. –NW


They’re buyin’ what Yucel-in’
9:20pm: Play resumes

Cards are back in the air and play has resumed in the Main Event. –MH


10 600 1,200 200

8:00pm: Dinner break

The level has ended and the remaining players are now taking a 75-minute dinner break. –MH

7:57pm: Sol takes a stroll
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Sander Sol thought he’d been eliminated. It had been an all-in situation on the turn between himself and Ibrahim Al Bishri. The board showed 3♣9♠9♣K♣ and Sol had K♠Q♣, but he was drawing all but dead as Bishri had Q♥9♦. The deuce on the river didn’t change anything, but once the chips were counted Sol was surprised to learn he had 400 left — just four brown chips worth 100 each.

“Okay that’s the last hand,” said the tournament director, suddenly appearing over the dealer’s shoulder. The table was breaking. Sol had to laugh. Handed a tray he set his four chips in it, then traveled from one corner of the huge tournament room all of the way to the other, a big grin on his face the entire way,

As he took his seat at the new table, he slowly turned the tray over and let the four chips fall. The table chuckled in response.

“Bring it!” he said.

Sol had to wait through another hand to play, and now the dinner break is approaching. He may not last that long, but he’ll have a story either way. –MH

7:50pm: Akkari plodding on
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Team PokerStars Pro André Akkari is on one of the few tables still in use in the cash game area and he’s still pretty much got starting stack, with 23,000 from his starting stack of 25,000.

He watched on as Fred Weiss opened to 2,100 and received two calls. Danut Chisu then squeezed to 8,500 and one by one his opponent’s folded. –NW

7:35pm: Felted
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

The rate of bustouts in this tournament has noticeably ramped up a notch or two since the last break. Those who’ve recently departed include: Mayu Roca, Walter Treccarichi, Usman Siddique, Sergio Aido, Nikolaus Teichert, Antoine Saout, Joao Simao, Dermot Blain, Ross Loggie, Andrew King, Dean Hutchison and Padraig O’Neill. –NW

7:30pm: Boeree busting a move, Cody sadly bust
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

If you’re a fan of the UK Team PokerStars Pros then I’m afraid we’ve got some good news and bad news. First the good stuff, Liv Boeree has run her starting stack of 25,000 all the way up to 88,000. That’s more than double the average stack, which is 39,000 at the moment.

Jake Cody though is out, no details I’m afraid but he’s one of over 300 players who’ve busted so far on Day 1B. 580 of 906 players remain. –NW

NEIL9034EPT12MON_Jake_Cody_Neil Stoddart.jpg

So long, Jake

9 500 1,000 100

7:13pm: Dzmitry with designs on a different title
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Those of us in the media room had spotted Dzmitry Urbanovich a bit earlier, wondering if perhaps he were about to enter the €100K Super High Roller — i.e., the event in which he finished runner-up a year ago here in Monaco to earn a prize of €1,446,600.

Mais non, not this particular soir. No, tonight the young Polish phenom has opted to join the FPS Monaco Main Event, a tournament he could enter about 1,315 times over with those winnings from last year’s SHR.

We just spotted him watch the player two to his right raise the button and the small blind call, then Urbanovich three-bet big to force folds from both. We’ve no immediate context or cards to help explain what happened, but the contrast between the proficiency of the reraiser and the unease of the folders was nonetheless discernable.

Having only settled behind his 25,000-chip starting stack late in the afternoon, Urbanovich is now up around 60,000. –MH

7:10pm: Fanego has to go
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

With a Q♣6♣4♠ flop on display Ludovic Heude (under the gun) bet 2,600, he was called in one spot, only for Stephane Fanego (big blind) to check-raise to 7,500 total. After about 20 seconds Heude smooth called and it was heads-up to the 3♣ turn.

Fanego moved all-in for 12,800 and Heude paused a beat before calling. “You have the flush?” asked Fanego and indeed Heude did, K♣8♣. Fanego showed 7♥5♥ for the straight, a fine hand, but one that was drawing dead in this instance. –NW

7:04pm: News from the Americas
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

The number of tables in use in the Americas Room continues to dwindle but there’s still plenty of action going on down there.

Joao Vieira is an EPT regular but he’s struggling today. He three-bet all-in for 14,400 over the top of a 2,000 open and waited for his opponent to make his decision. He got it through though and is up to the relative safety of 20 big blinds now.

Maria Lampropulos is another in action down there. Since her deep run in the EPT Dublin main event she’s had two more big cashes. She came second in the WPT National event in Brussels for € 68,200 and then followed that up with another runner-up finish at Eureka Rozvadov. The man who beat her, was none other than her boyfriend Ivan Luca.

We saw here get involved in a hand against Ramin Hajiyev, who opened to 1,800 from the hijack, there was a flat call and Lampropoulos then raised to 6,000 from the button. Both players called and the flop fell A♥7♥2♠. A c-bet of just 5,000 from the Argentinian was enough to earn her the pot.

Elsewhere Arnaud Mattern has a stack of 82,000 but that’s not as much as Marc Manzo Bodrone who’s up to 105,000. –NW

6:59pm: It’s late… loosen up!
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Hand ranges widen from late position. Even so, sometimes if those hands get to showdown, eyes widen, too.

Andre Akkari (cutoff) and Fred Weiss (button) were just involved in a hand that saw Akkari leading postflop with increasingly-sized bets on the flop and turn, then slow down with a check on the river. Weiss called the first two streets, then looking at the completed board of 6♦J♦Q♥3♦10♠ decided to check behind.

Akkari turned over 7♠3♣ for treys, while Weiss showed his Q♠9♥ for top pair of queens to claim the pot. The pair shared a chuckle afterwards as the next hand was dealt.

Weiss is up to about 75,000 now while Akkari is down to 25,000. –MH

6:48pm: Eights deliver for Sahih
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

After an Ahmed Sahih raise to 2,000 from middle position, it folded to Giancula Speranza who three-bet all-in with his last 7,200 from the cutoff. Then Daniele Cuomo reraise-pushed himself from the button for about 10,000. The blinds got out, Sahih confirmed the counts, and decided to go for the double-knockout.

Speranza: K♣Q♠
Cuomo: K♥Q♥
Sahih: 8♠8♥

The A♦3♣J♥ brought some added hope to the all-in players, providing Broadway outs. But the turn was the 2♠ and river the 4♦, and both Speranza and Cuomo were eliminated. Sahih is up to about 60,000 now. –MH


8 400 800 100

6:12pm: Break it down

Let’s regroup, shall we? The players are taking 20 minutes to gather their thoughts, and so shall we. They’ll return for two more 45-minute levels, then will come the 75-dinner break. Perhaps it’s time to make that reservation. –MH


Ready to play? Click here to get a PokerStars account.

6:10pm: Huet flushed away
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 (ante 75)

With the board showing 10♥3♣3♥Q♥ Gilles Huet moved in for his remaining 9,000 with K♠K♣ and got snap called by Alexandre Vanadia. The reason for that soon became clear as he turned over K♥5♥ for the turned flush. The meaningless 9♣ completed the board and Huet was on his way.

Roughly 680 of 906 players remain. –NW

6pm: Mooney rising
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 (ante 75)

Down to just 8,025 Geoffrey Mooney moved all-in with A♦Q♦ and Mehdi Tafer gave him a spin with A♥9♠. It was a great spot for Mooney and his dominating ace held up on the 7♥J♣2♦A♠6♦ board. He’s up to around 17,700 whilst Tafer drops to 39,000. -NW

5:55pm: Don’t blame the messengers
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 (ante 75)

If you’ve been looking for Xia Lin, Jose Pascal Godfroy, Laurent Guyon De Montlivault, Mohamed Fayad, Cedric Massaro, Thierry Navarro, Julien Mariani, Karim Benkhelouf, Thys Vincent, Enrico Mosca, Guillaume Roiron, Marcel Vadella, Thierry Mangot, Sigoli Michele, Ozgur Arda, Tony Jean Rose, Mikael Guenni, Jason Barton, Chris Dowling, Antonio Scalzi, Daniel Tudorie, Leonardo Parmiggiani, David Urban, Yusuke Okada, Maximiliano Gavilan, Emil Lukac, or William Foxen, well, we hate to break it to you, and really, we had nothing to do with it personally, we’re just passing along the news, but they’ve all busted. –MH

5:45pm: Gordillo getting along
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 (ante 75)

After another quick tour of the Americas Room, we bring back two pieces of information worth passing along.

For one, Pablo Gordillo has amassed a nice stack down there of about 80,000. The Spaniard who finished fourth out of 993 in this same event a year ago is off to another strong start this time around.


Gordillo on the go
Also worth sharing — a couple of the tables have emptied down there, signaling the start of what will be a lengthy process of breaking tables back into the main tournament room. It will still be some time, though, before the field becomes manageable to house under a single roof. –MH

5:37pm: ElkY and Katch
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 (ante 75)

A couple of other Team PokerStars Pros are here and playing. Both Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and Eugene Katchalov are helping to make up the massive FPS Monaco field, with both hovering around 30,000 at the moment.

ElkY and Katch… sounds like a ’70s television cop-buddy drama series, oui? –MH


Katch me if you can
5:30pm: The poker hokey cokey
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 (ante 75)

Up until level five of this tournament players were doing their level best to get into it, with a slew of alternates lining the tournament room. Now they’re all doing their best to not get knocked out it. Unfortunately for Huidong Gu, Danis Budovskis, Mark Baxter, Ivan Deyra, Gregory Vivat, Raymond Santucci, Oliver Weis, Alex Goulder, Sylvain Naets, Sacha Israel, Erwann Pecheux, Herve Regis, Julien Renard, Erich Tedeschi, Alexandra Laudicina, Peter Akery, Mark James, Raffaele Castro, Igor Yaroshevskyy, Mikalai Pobal, Irina Petrova, Damien Luis, Neil Strike, David Even, Mike Hill, David Stocker, Richard Pearsona, and Nick Crozer, they’re all out. –NW


7 300 600 75

5:18pm: More on Farrell, who is not folding
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

“I knew you didn’t have a king,” said Giulio Spampinato with a grim-looking grin. It was a Pyrrhic victory he’d earned, having correctly read Niall Farrell’s holding, but incorrectly anticipated how the EPT12 Malta Main Event champion would react to his all-in push.

With the board showing 5♥8♣K♥7♦7♣, Farrell had come up with a call against Spampinato. The latter showed but 9♦2♥ for total air, and while Farrell didn’t have a king, he had an eight with Q♣8♠ to make two pair and score the knockout. “Very nice hand,” said Spampinato, tapping the table as he departed.

Farrell is up around 80,000 now. –MH

5:18pm: Farrell off to a flyer
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (ante 50)

A couple of hours ago we saw Niall Farrell wandering away from the tournament room with a ticket in his hand. We asked if he was playing the FPS Main Event and he said: “I am but I’m alternate one million so I’m going to get a drink first.”

He’s got his seat now and is sat to the right of Team PokerStars Pro Chen-An Lin. The Scotsman has wasted little time in running up a stack as he’s got about 70,000. The last time he got off to this sort of start he won EPT12 Malta. You’ve been warned. –NW

5:12pm: Mad man
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (ante 50)

He might’ve been born Yucel Eminoglu, but to everyone in the poker world he’s known simply as “Mad Turk.” In fact you can type just that into a popular poker database and his profile will pop up. He’s got 118,000 at the moment and we’ve not seen a bigger stack.

“Come back in an hour and they’ll either all be gone, or I’ll have doubled it,” he told the PokerStars Blog. He’s not lying, we’ve seen him play! –NW

5:05pm: Playing Fitoussi or foldoussi
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

The famous Frenchmen Bruno Fitoussi is in action here today, although found himself in a tricky spot just now in a hand versus Tsveterina Pavlova.

Following a Pavlova open, Fitoussi three-bet from the button, then obliged by showing his remaining stack of about 10,000 when Pavlova asked how much he had behind. At that she reraised all-in, and after a pause Fitoussi thought it best to his hand go. –MH

4:55pm: Some counts from the Americas room
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Below are the counts of some of the names and notables who’re plying their trade in the Americas Room. There are about 200 players down there spread over 21 tables.

Name Chips
Keith Johnson 72,000
Yves Kupfermunz 63,000
Oluwashola Akindele 55,000
Pablo Gordillo 39,000
Oliver Price 39,000
Manig Loeser 37,000
Marvin Rettenmaier 35,325
Simon Deadman 27,800
Chris Dowling 24,600
Jason Barton 19,300
Faraz Jaka 18,200
Andrew Hulme 18,200
Joao Vieira 12,300
Maria Lampropulos 8,000

4:44pm: Akkari and Boeree join in
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

We noted earlier how the tournament had spilled over into the cash game area. A couple of those who rode the wave into that part of the Sporting Club were Team PokerStars Pros Andre Akkari and Liv Boeree, both of whom were among the relatively late entrants for the event.


Boeree joins the battle
Akkari we forgive for arriving late, as he first had to try out the Sports Simulator out in the lobby.

EPT12_MON_Velli-227_Andre Akkari.jpg

It’s important to have goals
Both Akkari and Boeree are persevering with stacks of around 15,000 at present. –MH

4:40pm: Leaving the Americas
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (ante 50)

A plethora of exits from the Americas tournament room as the following players have all seen their stack of 25,000 reduced to zero: Remondino Massimo, Paul Hoefer, Aouini Said, Alexandre Pouzet, Christophe Reynaud, Arunas Sapitavicius, Martin Finger, Alexandre Pacharel, William Alvernhes, Maksim Shulga, Jose Jimenez, Jerome Buruil, Richard Dromzee, Jon Garde, Bartholomeus Sol, Laurent Polito, Adrien Casanova and Maxim Colom. –NW


6 250 500 50

4:27pm: A few for Zhu
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

With the board showing 5♦A♦5♠A♠7♣ and about 10,000 in the middle, Yaxi Zhu checked to Oliver Weis on her left who thought a good while before checking behind. He was glad he did, as Zhu showed A♥8♥ for aces full.

The Team PokerStars Pro is up around 45,000 at present. –MH


Here’s looking at Zhu
4:14pm: 904!
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

With late registration closed, the big board shows 904 players having entered just today, which added to the 349 who played yesterday’s initial starting flight adds up to more than 1,250 FPS Monaco players. We’ll await the official word of just how many took part — as well as prize pool information — and pass along that news when it arrives. –MH

4:05pm: Big stacks from the main room
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Two players have managed to quadruple their stack during the opening four levels, whilst plenty more have got a treble or a double-up.

Name Chips
Fabio Freitas 107,000
Nicolaj D Antoni 104,000
Erick Levy Guedj 94,000
Abdelkrim El Kandoussi 84,000
Patrick Muleta 79,000
Leonardo Pires 77,250
Mike Said 68,500
Pierre Merlin 66,800
Stephane Dossetto 65,000
Gregory Caubet 63,000
Francisco Rodrigues 57,500
Giuseppe Zarbo 56,600
Makram Saber 55,500
Raphael Parisi 53,200

3:55pm: Play resumes
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

They’re back and at it again, with late registration now closed. We’ll let you know soon just how énorme this FPS Monaco Main Event field has turned out to be. –MH


5 200 400 50

3:32pm: Break it up

They’ve reached the end of Level 4 and the second 20-minute break of the day. This marks the last chance for late entries, as that door will close at the start of the next level. –MH


You could win your way to Monaco and elsewhere. Click here to get a PokerStars account.

3:29pm: Gone, but not forgotten
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Forgive us if we don’t let you know about every player who busts Day 1B today, as there will like be something like 500-600 of them who do. But we feel we owe it to you to let you know Tiberiu Zanfirache, Igor Salomasov, Peter Jaksland, Valerii Lubenets, Xavier Detournel, Alexandre Moreau, Franck Putinier, Laurent Villard, Riccardo D’Urso, Ronald Tasse, Ismail Tas, Hicham Zebidi, Srdjan Patkovic, Nils Maibaum, Nadim Hage Ali, Samuele Grassi, Oleksii Liashenko, Raffaele L’abate, Mehdi Bidi, and Fabrice Maltez have all been eliminated prior to the day’s second break.

Vlad Darie also lost his stack in the early going, as did James Akenhead. –MH


Akenhead out
3:27pm: Hey, I see an open table on the deck over there
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

With about 15 minutes left to go in Level 4, they’ve seated some FPS Monaco Main Event players in the cash room as well now, meaning the tournament is taking up just about every available area in the Sporting Club. More than 850 players have come out for Day 1B thus far.

No word yet whether they’ll try to get permission to set up any tables on the luxury yachts parked in the Mediterranean nearby. –MH

3:25pm: Chip counts
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Below are some counts of some of the names and notables in the main tournament room. Nicolaj D’Antoni has accumulated a six-figure stack over the first four levels, whilst Jake Cody has arrived (see 3pm post) in fact Cody almost missed his flight because it left on time! “I’d been told it was delayed by 90 minutes and then 30 minutes before the scheduled take-off time I looked at the board and it said ‘boarding now’.”

Cody’s one of 852 players who are playing today and there’s still a list of alternates waiting to get in, EPT12 Malta champion Niall Farrell is amongst them.

Name Chips
Nicolaj D’Antoni 100,500
Andrey Zaichenko 33,200
Vicente Delgado 29,000
Naoya Kihara 28,800
Dimitar Danchev 28,075
Rocco Palumbo 27,000
Ami Barer 23,800
Benjamin Winsor 23,700
Steven van Zadelhoff 22,800
Jake Cody 21,100
Jelcides Monteiro 21,000
Chen-An Lin 19,900
Padraig O`Neill 19,800
Anatoly Filatov 17,800
Mike HIll 8,900

3:21pm: The garden of forking paths a dead end for Borges
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

With about 10,000 in the middle and four players still in, Manuel Leal Borges fired all in from the small blind with his last 15,000 following a 9♣4♥3♥ and only Alexandre Vanadia, sitting to his left in the BB, chose to look him up. Borges had 9♦2♠ for nines but Vanadia had K♠K♣, and after the turn and river brought a couple of sevens Borges was done.

Vanadia chips up around 60,000 with that pot. –MH

3:09pm: Over and out
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

More knockouts to share, among them Yeray Mesa De Armas, Damien Combe, Chaoiki Raaisat, Vebjorn Monstad, Steve Roedsens, Shakhabiddin Muradov, Charlo Azzopardi, Axel Colin, Olivier Boyer, Alfie Adam, Francois Lafleur, Yunhsiang Fan, and Jullian Feriolo. –MH

3pm: Now that’s a bad beat
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Jake Cody’s not had the best start to the day…



4 150 300 25

2:45pm: Villard’s day takes a bad turn
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

They started with 25,000. But after just over two hours of poker Laurent Villard’s stack had dwindled down to just 3,450. Picking up A♦Q♠ in middle position, the Frenchmen decided it was time to turn things around and put his stack in the middle. The table folded to Alessandro De Iaco of Italy in the big blind who after getting a count called with A♥10♥, and after a flop of 8♥8♠2♦ it looked like Villard was in decent shape to keep his seat.

Alas for Villard the turn brought the 10♦, earning a weary exhalation from him. The K♦ sealed it and he moves on, opening up a seat for one of the alternates in line to take his place. De Iaco meanwhile chips up to around 45,000. –MH


Plenty are ready to fill seats when they empty
2:38pm: It’s getting historic in here
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

More than 800 have joined the Day 1B fun now, which carries the overall total number of entrants above 1,150. Our amis from the France Poker Series have begun to look back over the FPS’s six-season history, finding just one other FPS Main Event with a bigger field.

There were 1,355 jouers at FPS Deauville during Season 4 to set the all-time high for the tour. Late registration here is open until the start of Level 5, remember, so there’s still time for this FPS Monaco event to close the gap even more. –MH

2:36pm: Castro can’t be moved
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

I joined the action on the turn of a 4♠J♣4♦Q♥ board to see Raffaele Castro firing out a bet of 3,800. Action was on Jonathan Sironval and he check-raised to 9,100 total. Castro gave it a think and then called.

The 3♠ completed the board and Sironval continued his aggressive line, firing out a chunky river bet totaling 11,600. Castro, who’s every inch the modern poker player with heavily tattooed arms, three blingy rings and large headphones leaned forward and did his best Daniel Negreanu impression by running through the hand out loud.

Eventually he decided that as the flop had checked through that he likely had the best hand and so he called. Sironval showed 8♥8♠ and Castro showed A♠Q♣ to take the pot. –NW

2:23pm: Call the floor!
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

Usually when the floor is called to a table to rule on a decision at least one player argues/kicks up a fuss. However, in a hand I just witnessed between Mehdi Tafer and Alex Goulder there was none of that, in fact its probably the smoothest acceptance of a floor decision I’ve ever seen.

In the hand in question Goulder and Tafer were heads-up to a 5♠2♦4♦ flop. Goulder had the betting lead and fired out a 2,000 chip bet. Call from Tafer. On the A♥ turn Goulder checked the action to Tafer and the Frenchman threw out a single blue 5K chip and said: “Three,” as he did so. Goulder asked the dealer if this was a bet of 300 or 3,000 and the floor was called. The floorman ruled that as 300 was still legal bet that Tafer’s bet was for 300. There was no histrionics on Tafer’s part and Goulder made the call.

The K♥ fell on the river and Goulder check-folded to a bet of 5,000. “If you bet 2,000 I call,” he said to Tafer after the hand. With that dent Goulder drops to 19,000. –NW

2:16pm: Rockets survive
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

That post title obviously does not allude to the Houston Rockets, bounced as they were from the first round of this year’s NBA playoffs. We’re talking cards, here, natch.

“Five players,” said the dealer. Not necessarily what preflop raiser Josy Laurent Benhayoun would have preferred. See, he had A♦A♣, but a preflop raise had failed to encourage exactly half of his eight opponents from coming along.

The flop came 3♣J♥4♥. “Check, bet, fold, fold,” said the dealer. That sounded a little better to Benhayoun, who raised Gordon Nord’s thousand-chip bet to 2,500. Nord called. The turn was the K♠, and Nord checked, Benhayoun bet 3,000, and Nord called once more. Both then checked the 4♠ river, and when Nord showed J♠10♠, Benhayoun knew his aces were good. –MH

2:09pm: Tough table
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

It’s a huge field with a (relatively) low buy-in, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some tough tables, depending on your seat draw.

Let’s say you landed at Table 14 in the main tournament room. You’d find the Italian Rocco Palumbo there, winner of over $1.7 million in tournament earnings and both a WSOP bracelet and a WPT title. Ami Barer of Canada is there as well, who has won more than $3.2 million in tournaments with an Aussie Millions his crowning achievement. That’s not even counting the $7.5 million or so Barer has won online, most of which while playing as “UhhMee” on PokerStars.

Oh, and the German Adrian Apmann is at Table 14, too. He only has a WSOP bracelet as well. –MH


3 100 200 25

1:40pm: And relax
Level 2 – Blinds 75/150

Well that was a whirlwind start to the second of the two opening flights of the FPS Main Event. Time to take a 20-minute break. –NW


Next year, it could be you. Click here to get a PokerStars account.

1:35pm: Over a thousand
Level 2 – Blinds 75/150

Last year this tournament attracted a total of 993 runners, well that figure is being well and truly obliterated in 2016. Already there are 1,029 players in this tournament and that number will rise significantly. There’s still a queue of players waiting to get in and late registration is open until the start of level five. The question now is could the Day 1B figure eclipse the total number of runners from last season. There’s a chance.


The ever-expanding field
Another whip round the tournament unearthed a few of the players who’ve taken this tournament over the 1,000 runner mark. Anatoly Filatov, wearing trademark braces, was busy chatting away to his table in his usual jovial manner.

Spanish sensation Vicente Delgado is playing too, he’s at the same table as Jelcides Monteiro, who finished seventh in the UKIPT5 Dublin main event. And Antoine Saout is another big name we’ve spotted. –NW

1:28pm: Exits before the antes’ entrance
Level 2 – Blinds 75/150

You wouldn’t guess it by the looks of things, but as the field grows it is also being reduced… well, technically. That is to say, before we’ve even gotten through two 45-minute levels, a handful of folks have managed already to be separated entirely from their 25,000-chip starting stacks.

Evgenii Sboev, Jacques Der Megreditchian, Drice Hamza, Jean Napiot, Mustafa Biz, Antoine Contreras, Bernd Vogelhuber, Samir Chriraa, Morad Ahabbad, and Sardor Shagulyamov are all part of the unfortunate group sent railward before even the antes came in today. –MH

1:10pm: How high can you go?
Level 2 – Blinds 75/150

There are somewhere in the region of 670 players now with bums on seats here on Day 1B. It’s impossible to know for sure as the players keep on coming.

We’ve been furnished with a player list and can tell you that as well as the big names we’ve already spotted, that: Dimitar Danchev, James Akenhead, John Gale, Quan Zhou, Salvatore Bonavena, Slaven Popov, Nicolas Cardyn, David Susigan, Bart Lybaert, Andrew Hulme, David Urban and Padraig O’Neill are all set to make an appearance today. We’ve yet to set eyes on them, but with such a large field spread over two areas that’s not a surprise! –NW

12:59pm: Working out the tightness
Level 2 – Blinds 75/150

There are so many taking part in today’s Day 1B of the FPS Monaco Main Event, every available inch of space is taken up with players. We just told you about the Americas Room having been called into service. Back over in the main tournament area, several tables have been set up in the upper tier (near the ongoing high rollers), and the space in between them is relatively tight.

Massimo Mauri is seated in one of those tables, and he just now called one of the massage therapists over to help him relax here in the early going. Finding himself in Seat 3 at his table and back-to-back with Seats 7 and 8 at the neighboring one, space had to be negotiated for the massage to be able to occur. All were accommodating, though, and Mauri is now on two clocks — the tournament one and the one for his massage.

Much like a tense player’s muscles, the tightness all around should be relieved as we go today. But not for a while, as players continue to stream in to fill every empty seat. –MH


2 75 150 0

12:45pm: Meanwhile in the Americas room…
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

This tournament is bursting at the seams and there’s still a long line of players waiting to get into this behemoth of a Day 1B. There’s a ton of players currently playing in a tournament area called the Americas Room, which is a short walk from the Sporting Club. The likes of Pablo Gordillo, Simon Deadman, Shola Akindele Deadman, Eureka champion Keith Johnson, former Aussie Roller Hockey player Nick Galtos, ex-snooker pro Jason Barton, Joao Vieira and Chris Dowling are all trying to build up a stack down there. –NW


The FPS conquers the Americas Room
12:26pm: The day’s first face cards
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

Players continue to arrive here during the first couple of orbits of Day 1B. Upon arrival, each player shows a registration ticket to the dealer along with a picture ID — the first “face card” everyone must play before beginning.

Among the faces in the crowd so far are three red-spade sporters, including two relatively new members of Team PokerStars Pro, Chen-An Lin of Taiwan and Yaxi Zhu of China. Also here is WSOP bracelet holder Naoya “nkeyno” Kihara of Team PokerStars Pro Online who hails from Japan. –MH


Chen-An Lin has checked in
12:17pm: Spotted
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

As mentioned below, there are a lot of players here already — over 500 of them now, including a number of notables.

On a first pass we’ve spotted the likes of WSOP bracelet winner Adrian Apmann, APPT champion Dermot Blain, and UK pros Alex Goulder, Neil Strike, Mike Hill, and Ben Winsor. –NW

12:08pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

The first hands of Day 1B are being dealt, and there are already more players in their seats than played Day 1A.

There were 349 entrants yesterday all told. Here the number is already nearing 500, and with late registration lasting until the start of Level 5, it’s sure to increase significantly. –MH


1 50 100 0

11:45am: B is for bigger

Let’s cut to the chase today is going to be big. It’s going to be gros, grande and большой all rolled into one. In the language of poker that means play will be spread across three rooms to start with. The main tournament room, the cash game area and the Americas room will all be pressed into service today.

Yesterday 349 players entered the fray, up from 265 in 2015. If we get the same percentage increase year on year today we’re looking at 953 players today alone! Play is due to start at noon and they’ll be a dozen 45-minute levels today. Add in the various break and play should wrap around 23:30 CET. Stay right here for exclusive live coverage. –NW

Key FPS Monaco Facts:

– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
– Late registration remains open until the start of Level 5
– Day 1B is today, the field will then combine for the first time on Friday. We’ll reach the money during the 10 levels of play on Day 2 (approximately 15% of the field will be paid) and then play down to a final table on Saturday. On Sunday the final table will play out on the TV table on EPTLive with cards-up coverage. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of champagne from the trophy (possibly).
– Full FPS Monaco schedule here.
– There’s a boat load of other events today including the €100,000 super high roller. You can follow live updates of that event here.
– It’s not all about the poker here in Moncao. There are plenty of #StarsFun activities including the player party at Jimmy’z Nightclub on April 29 a Sports Simulator Challenge and Live Spin and Gos. Full details on that available here.


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


Next Story