Are you ready for some football?
Oui, oui, say several participants of today’s first day of the three-day €25K High Roller, one of the several exciting events helping conclude this PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino®.
Thanks to tonight’s big Champions League semifinal football match between AS Monaco and Juventus in nearby Fontvieille, a decision was made before play began to chop one level off today’s schedule. And as soon as the final level completed, many were already out the door, including the end-of-day chip leader Oleksii Khoreshenin who missed the last couple of hands… and his end-of-day leader photo.
We don’t where Khoreshenin went, actually, though assume the match is what drew him away early. In any case, he had 208,000 at the final whistle here.
As the day began we’ll admit were a few players earning slightly more of our attention than others, among them Bryn Kenney who helped kick off this series with a victory in the €100K Super High Roller. Kenney finished with a short stack of 40,900.
Daniel Dvoress — who has made no less than three high roller final tables here in Monaco and who is Kenney’s nearest challenger on the 2017 (big) money list — also caught our eye. We were keen to watch how he did today, and to talk to him as well about the great tourney run he’s enjoyed of late.
One topic we discussed was the many deep runs Dvoress has had in high rollers, including two runner-ups in Super High Rollers. And where did he end up chip-wise today? Runner-up, just behind Khoreshenin with 207,100.
Looking elsewhere today, Max Silver climbed to the top of the leaderboard in the early going, ending strong with 202,400. Also finishing in fine shape were EPT11 Deauville High Roller champion Josep Simunic (195,500), Justin Bonomo (183,300), and Julian Stuer (176,000).
A half-dozen Team PokerStars Pros took part as well today, with Daniel Negreanu (150,800), Felipe Ramos (100,200), Liv Boeree (95,800), Jason Mercier (91,100) and Igor Kurganov (75,000) all making it through.
Vanessa Selbst was the lone red spade not to finish, having exited a little over halfway through the day (although she could still jump back in this one tomorrow). At the close of play the big board showed 143 entrants so far, with 95 players currently still with chips.
“Have a good night and enjoy the match,” said tournament director Kate Badurek and the close of her announcements to players at day’s end.
“Come on… let’s go, bro!” called Mercier to Dario Sammartino, and the pair beat a rapid path to the exit, dodging tables like so many defenders.
The plan tomorrow is to play 10 more levels, with the late registration and the re-entry option both still open through the start of Level 11. That’s subject to change, of course, although if it does it won’t be because of the footy. And with the prize pool up close to €4 million and sure to grow larger tomorrow, we don’t expect anyone will be in such a hurry to leave the tournament from this point forward.
Day 2 starts at 12:30pm tomorrow. See you back here then for more from the PSC Monte-Carlo High Roller. Until then, bonsoir (and enjoy the match).
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.