World Series of Poker Europe EPT San Remo, Day 1b: Stars Out in Force EPT San Remo, Day 1b: Stars Out in Force 0001

Day 1b of the European Poker Tour San Remo Championship was even bigger than Day 1a, with superstars such as Daniel Negreanu, Lee Nelson, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Todd Brunson and Chad Brown joining the field. A total of 361 players entered Day 1b of the event, bringing the total field to 702 entrants and creating a first-place prize of $1,340,867.

Chad Brown had a rough start to his tournament, busting just before the first break. He was joined on the rail by early eliminations Marco Traniello and Isabelle Mercier. Mercier's {k-Hearts}{k-Clubs} was outflopped by her opponent's {q-Hearts}{10-Hearts} on a board of {j-Hearts}{9-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}. Mercier missed her runner-runner outs, and busted early in the event. Other eliminations on Day 1b included EPT Prague champion Arnaud Mattern, Lee Nelson, Thierry van den Berg and Tony G. Tony G found himself on a short stack early, and picked up the blinds and antes by moving all in preflop for a few orbits, but finally found a caller who showed {k-Clubs}{q-Clubs} when he moved all in preflop with {4-Hearts}{4-Clubs}. The flop came down {q-Spades}{6-Spades}{2-Diamonds}, and Tony G needed help to stay alive. The turn and river down {a-Hearts}{2-Spades}, and Tony G headed to the rail.

Team T6 Poker had a rough day on Day 1b, as Thierry van den Berg and Anders Henriksson went out almost simultaneously. Van den Berg got all his chips in the middle with {q-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds} on a board of {j-Spades}{10-Hearts}{q-Hearts}, only to see his opponent catch running spades for a flush. Almost immediately afterwards, Henriksson and Team T6 stablemate Billy "The Croc" Argyros got all their chips in the middle with Argyros' A-K to Henriksson's A-9. Argyros' hand held up, and Henriksson was eliminated.

Anthony Lellouche had a strong finish to his Day 1b, taking a big pot off of Antonio Esfandiari to vault into the chip lead as play ended for the day. Earlier in the day, Lellouche took out Ed de Haas when they got all their chips in the middle, with Lellouche's {7-Spades}{7-Diamonds} against de Haas' {a-Clubs}{q-Diamonds}. No help came on the board of {5-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{2-Spades}{9-Spades}, and de Haas was eliminated.

Max Pescatori also finished strong, doubling up as the clock wound down on Day 1b. Pescatori got all his chips in the middle with {k-Spades}{k-Diamonds} to his opponent's {k-Hearts}{q-Diamonds}. Nothing unexpected occurred, and the "Italian Pirate" finished the day with enough chips to move back into contention on Day 2. Other survivors from Day 1b included Argyros, Todd Brunson and Juha Helppi. Helppi ended the day as one of the big stacks by amping up his aggression in the last hour of play. Brunson also made a late push, doubling up to move back into the hunt at the end of the day.

Preliminary end-of-day chip counts had these players among the Day 1b leaders:

Anthony Lellouche – 94,000

Jan Heitmann – 92,000

Roberto Romanello – 83,000

Mads Wissing Andersen – 82,000

Theo Jorgensen – 65,000

Juha Helppi – 46,000

Richard Holmes – 45,400

Antonio Esfandiari – 43,000

Rob Hollink – 38,000

Billy Argyros – 37,500

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