Season 9 of the European Poker Tour kicked off on Friday with Day 1 of the 2012 PokerStars.com EPT Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller. The tournament attracted 54 players including an eclectic mix of Europeans, North Americans, and online pros. After eight levels of play, Steve O’Dwyer was best positioned to make a run at the title with a massive chip stack of 1.249 million, almost twice as much as his next closest competitor.
It was a polarizing day for O’Dwyer, who busted early and became the first player to rebuy. It proved a wise decision as things went much smoother the second time around.
His choice to rebuy is reminiscent to when his good friend, Justin Bonomo, had to reload in the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino European Poker Tour Super High Roller. In case you don't know, Bonomo's reload was the wise decision as he went on to win the event and €1.64 million.
O’Dwyer’s Twitter tells the tale:
"sigh, busted my first bullet in the EPT €50k early level 3 vs philbort with my TT<his J6hh all in on QT6hhx. rebuy!"
"got busto soon's last 100k chips with A5cc>KQcc on 743ccx, up to 350k on my 2nd bullet."
Another man who thrived on Day 1 was Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel. Early on, action folded to Seidel in the hijack and he put in a raise. John Juanda flatted from the cutoff, and Kyle Julius, who finished runner-up in the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event, three-bet to 14,200 in the big blind. Seidel responded with a four-bet to 34,000, Juanda folded, Julius five-bet to 62,800, and then Seidel six-bet 100,000. Julius wasted little time in seven-betting all in for around 190,000, and Seidel made the call.
Julius was in a rough spot and in need of some help, most notably an ace. The flop didn't contain an ace, but it did give Julius outs to a Broadway straight. The turn wasn't what he was looking for, and neither was the river. Seidel used that momentum to finish second in chips at the end of Day 1 with 738,000.
As previously mentioned, the €50,000 Super High Roller, which features open registration until the start of Day 2, allowed for unlimited rebuys on Day 1, and a few pros took advantage. Team PokerStars Pro and 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champ Jonathan Duhamel was one such player.
On his first go around, a preflop raising war between Juanda and Duhamel resulted in the latter shoving his entire stack in the middle. Juanda quickly made the call holding the , while Duhamel held the for the second best preflop pair.
The board ran out , and the Canadian made a hasty exit from the tournament floor. A little while late, Duhamel returned and gave it another go, but within an hour another preflop raising war resulted in him being all in preflop with and up against the of Vadzim Kursevich. The flop was innocent enough, but the turn was a dagger through Duhamel's heart as it paired Kursevich. The river would provide no relief, and a dejected Duhamel exited the tournament for a second time, though he did say he would return on Day 2 to see if the third time was the charm.
Some Day 1 eliminations such as Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, and Philipp Gruissem are expected to give it another go on Day 2. Other players who fell and may return were Dani Stern, Alec Torelli, Sorel Mizzi, Bryn Kenney, Marc-Andre Ladouceur, Michael Tureniec, Jani Sointula, Johan Van Til, Dan Shak, Juan Luis Casanas, Salman Behbehani, Ilya Bulychev and Luke Schwartz.
Of those who managed to ride their initial buy-in to the end of the night were Team PokerStars Pros Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Eugene Katchalov and Jason Mercier. The sole woman in the field, Cheung Yin Sun; 2010 €10,000 EPT Vilamoura High Roller champ Raffaele Gerbi; online sensations Ilari Sahamies, Sami Kelopuro, Mike McDonald and Terje Augdal; along with consummate pros Sam Chartier, Scott Seiver, Andrew Lichtenberger, Peter Jetten, Timothy Adams and Andy Moseley all advanced as well.
Here’s a look at the top 10 chip counts at the end of Day 1:
Top 10 Chip Counts
|4th||Ignat “0Human0” Liviu||656,000|
Day 2 is set to kick off at 1200 CET (0600 EST), which is when the official number of entrants and the prize pool will be determined. Join us then as the PokerNews Live Reporting Team brings you all the hands and eliminations from the PokerStars.com EPT Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller.