Day 1a of the PokerStars.net European Poker Tour stop in Copenhagen kicked off with plenty of star power in the field, including Daniel Negreanu, Mel Judah, Thor Hansen and Thierry van der Berg. Also in the field were EPT Barcelona champ Sander Lyloff, World Series of Poker Europe Main Event Champion Annette Obrestad and Gus Hansen, who joined the field after picking up the award for Best Live Player at the Scandinavian Poker Awards, hosted by Daniel Negreanu the night before the tournament. Also picking up awards at the ceremony were Obrestad and legendary Norwegian poker player Thor Hansen.
230 players took the field on Day 1a, with 82 remaining as the day drew to a close. Sorel 'Imper1um' Mizzi was one of the earliest notable eliminations, as he got his money in ahead early in Level 1 with pocket aces against an opponent's pocket queens. The queen on the river sent Mizzi to the rail early, but he found plenty of notable company as the day went along. Nicolas Jedlicka, Dario Minieri and PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champion Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier all headed to the rail within the first few levels of play.
Annette Obrestad ran into stiff competition from Runar Runarsson to end her tournament early on Day 1a. After a pre-flop raise from Obrestad, Runarsson re-raised and Obrestad made the call. The flop came down , and Runarsson led out with a bet. Obrestad quickly called to see the on the turn. Runarsson bet out again on the turn, and Obrestad once again made the call. Runarsson moved all in when the came on the river, and Obrestad went into the tank for a long moment before making the call. Runarsson tabled A-K, and Obrestad mucked her hand as she headed for the rail.
Gus Hansen drew a rough starting table for Day 1a, with Mel Judah and Barny Boatman both at his table. Hansen took a big pot off Boatman early, but ran into trouble with Judah late in the day. Judah led out at a flop of and Hansen put in a raise. Judah moved all in for slightly more than Hansen's raise, and Hansen quickly called with for top pair. Judah tabled , and doubled through the Great Dane. Hansen hung on for a little longer, but was eliminated shortly before the end of Day 1a.
Other notable eliminations included Juha Helppi, Sander Lyloff, Julian Thew, and Daniel Negreanu. Negreanu moved the last of his chips in with on a board, and found one caller in Noah Boeken. Boeken tabled , and the turn and river came down to send Kid Poker to the rail.
Ola Brandborn went on a tear late in the day to take the overall chip lead, partially at the expense of Danny Silk. Brandborn moved all in over the top of Silk's flop bet on an eight-high board, only to find Silk holding pocket tens to Brandborn's . Brandborn's bluff turned into a winner when an ace spiked on the river to send Silk home and hoist Brandborn to the top of the leader board.
The top ten chip stacks looked like this at the end of the day, as Brandborn hung on to his lead while Noah Boeken and Alex Kravchenko made late moves up the leader board:
Ola Brandborn – 80,000
Joseph Serock – 55,000
Peter Eastgate – 53,000
Martin Bjerring Hansen – 52,000
Frederik Brink Jensen – 44,000
Trond Eidsvig – 40,000
Tommy Pavlicek – 36,000
Dennis Hansen – 27,000
Noah Boeken – 24,000
Alex Kravchenko – 23,000