Another 254 players joined the field at the Partouche Poker Tour debut in Cannes on Thursday, and the field was loaded with star power. In addition to American superstars Robert and Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, Jeff Madsen and David Williams, international stars Alexander Kostritsyn, Pascal Perrault and Nicholas Levi also took to the felt. Also in the field were former World Champion Scotty Nguyen, Erica Schoenberg, Tiffany Michelle and Phil Ivey, who took his seat partway through Level 3. By day's end, Denmark's Casper Hansen held the top spot, with Michael Mizrachi close behind.
Ivey's day was short, as he busted before the end of Level 6. Three players saw a flop of 2-3-6, and the preflop raiser led out. Another player raised, and Ivey moved all in over the top. The preflop raiser folded, but the other player called with 4-5 for a flopped straight. Ivey tabled pocket threes for middle set. No help came for Ivey on the turn or river, and he was gone after just a few levels of play.
Other eliminations on Day 1b included WSOP Main Event Final Tablist David "Chino" Rheem, Theo Tran, and internet gaming legend Fata1ity, who busted during Level 1 when he ran pocket queens into pocket kings. Nothing unexpected happened, and Fata1ity headed to the rail early. Also busted on Day 1b was Poker Battle founder and CEO Philippe Rouas, who headed to the rail shortly after dinner.
Nenad Medic came back from dinner for an unpleasant dessert, as he busted just after the dinner break. Medic fired out on the turn with the board reading , and Thierry Labat raised in position. The button made the call and Medic thought for a long moment before moving all in. Labat snap-called, and the button folded. Medic tabled for top two pair, but was drawing thin against Labat's turned straight with . Medic was drawing to a full house, but the on the river was no help, and Medic was eliminated.
Rafe Furst had a good Day 1, finishing up among the big stacks. He shared a table for part of the day with Antonio Esfandiari, who also picked up chips to finish the day with a healthy stack. Jean-Robert Bellande and David Williams shared time at one of the more active tables in the room, as Williams took out two players in one hand to move near the top of the leader board. Williams picked up pocket aces at the perfect time – when one opponent held pocket kings and another held A-K. All the chips went in preflop, Williams' aces held, and two opponents headed to the rail.
Williams doubled Bellande up late in the day when he called a preflop all in bet from a tilting Bellande. Bellande tabled pocket jacks to Williams' , and the board ran out to double Bellande up. Bellande picked up another big pot just before the end of Day 1b to move his stack into healthy territory. On a flop of , Bellande led out. Williams called and another player moved all in over the top. Bellande called with pocket sixes for middle set, and Williams flashed A-J before folding. The remaining opponent showed A-Q for top pair, and failed to improve as the turn and river came down . Bellande finished the day with a healthy stack, as did fellow pros Michael and Robert Mizrachi, Scotty Nguyen, Rafe Furst and Nicholas Levi.
The top ten chip stacks looked like this at the end of the day:
Casper Hansen - 163,400
Michael Mizrachi - 160,300
Brice Cournut - 152,300
Raul Paez - 132,400
Patryk Hildebranski - 126,800
Davidi Kitai - 106,500
Frederic Vernege - 105,400
Soren Kongsgaard - 98,200
Rafe Furst - 94,100
Philippe Rottemberg - 93,800
Join PokerNews today for all the live updates from Cannes as the remaining 216 players work their way down past the money bubble in Day 2 action.