The first of two starting days for the 2016 PokerStars European Poker Tour Dublin Main Event saw 147 players pony up the buy-in of €5,300. Eight 75-minute levels later, only 79 of them bagged up chips with Gilles Bernies in the lead on 189,600.
The 27-year-old German had three deep runs at the end of 2015 with a 38th-place finish in the World Series of Poker Europe "Oktoberfest" event and first- and second-place finishes during festivals at Holland Casino of Breda in the Netherlands. Coming into this event, Bernies had $74,990 in live tournament earnings.
Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
Bernies won a big pot off Adrian Mateos after he made the nut flush with the ace-queen of hearts before then flopping two pair against Paul-Francois Tedeschi with five-seven suited to take another chunk of chips.
Mike McDonald jumped onto the overnight podium just before the end of play by flopping a full house with pocket queens in a three-way all-in situation. The hand involved Artem Litvinov, who bagged up 138,900, and Daniel Shapiro, who was eliminated. and the win by "Timex" allowed him to soar all the way up to 162,400 in chips.
Other big stacks and notables included Anthony Zinno (124,800), former EPT Vienna High Roller champion Fabrice Soulier (123,400), Kamran Aliyev (114,200), EPT regular Jean-Noel Thorel (110,000), Walid Bou Habib (87,700), Nick Petrangelo (81,600), Sam Greenwood (57,600), Charlie Carrel (49,900), and 2015 November Niner Pierre Neuville (27,400).
Two members of Team PokerStars Pro, Jason Mercier (83,200) and Luca Pagano (70,000), were also among those to advance, along with former EPT champions Kevin MacPhee (59,000), Sebastian Pauli (28,600), and Aaron Gustavson (23,800).
Among those that failed to bag up chips were Dario Sammartino, Mohsin Charania, Ryan Riess, Ian Simpson, Rainer Kempe, Ricardo Manquant, Rocco Palumbo, Jason Wheeler, Georgios Sotiropoulos, Jared Jaffee, Martin Staszko, Joao Vieira, Max Silver, Balazs Botond, Davidi Kitai, and reigning PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champion Mike Watson. Sammartino, Charania, and Simpson all fell victim to the hot early run of Litvinov.
Day 1b will take place on Monday at 12 p.m. local time with the second starting flight. A much bigger field is expected, and the PokerNews Live Reporting team will be on hand to provide updates.
For those who were eliminated, or for those who advanced and have a day off, check out where you can grab some healthy eats in Dublin in this video below.