Norway's Oyvind Riisem, fourth-place finisher in the WSOP Europe Main Event, ended Day 2 of the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour Grand Final in Monte Carlo as chip leader with 441,400 chips. Fellow Norwegian Johnny Lodden finished the day second in chips with 380,300. And in case the Norwegians needed to further prove they could accumulate chips, the third and fourth chip positions were occupied by Norway's Borge Dypvik and Andreas Hagen with 296,000 and 276,800 chips, respectively. Former WSOP Main Event Champion and Australian Team PokerStars pro Joe Hachem finally cracked the Norwegian stronghold, finishing the day in fifth position with 255,300 chips.
The PokerStars.com EPT Grand Final had a record starting field of 842 players, which had been whittled down to 382 for the beginning of Day 2. By the end of Day 2's action, only 129 players remained, all vying for the €2,020,000 first place money. While Day 3 will be "money day," when the top 80 finishers will start collecting their payouts, Day 2 was nothing but hard work – and in some cases, hard luck.
Noah Boeken and Patrik Antonius were among the early casualties of they day. Antonius' exit came when Marcel Luske pushed him for all his chips on an flop. Luske had the advantage, flopping top two pair, but Antonius' big slick with one diamond had outs; those outs never came. All in, elsewhere, Daniel Negreanu's pocket queens were well ahead of his opponent's pocket tens, but a ten on the flop was the beginning of Negreanu's end.
Barry Greenstein started Day 2 with a relatively short stack but managed to battle back for most of the early going. After a hand with Antonio Esfandiari where Greenstein had to concede after a flop re-raise, Greenstein was relegated back to a short stack. He ultimately pushed pre-flop with , but Henrik Gwinner's pocket threes held up, and Greenstein signed yet another copy of his book Ace on the River. Chad Brown started Day 2 in solid chip position but lost ground throughout the day. It was Hachem's pocket kings that ultimately sent Brown to the rail. Within a 20-minute period, Gus Hansen was first crippled and then eliminated by the same player. In both hands, his opponent flopped a set, first holding pocket deuces and then pocket eights.
Vanessa Rousso and Shaun Deeb were late eliminations in the day, but Luca Pagano, Sorel Mizzi, Raul Paez, Marcel Luske, Freddy Deeb, Woody Deck, Anna Wroblewski, and 2007 WSOP Main Event final tablist Raymond Rahme will all be back for Day 3. The end-of-day top ten:
Oyvind Riisem Norway 441,400
Johnny Lodden Norway 380,300
Borge Dypvik Norway 296,000
Andreas Hagen Norway 276,800
Joe Hachem Australia 255,300
James Campbell USA 241,700
Luca Pagano Italy 229,000
Amit Makhija USA 219,100
Andreas Fluri Switzerland 205,900
Sorel Mizzi Canada 203,200
Join the PokerNews reporting team for Day 3 action at 1:00 pm local time.