Day 1b of the PokerStars.net European Poker Tour London Main Event kicked off with a field full of EPT champions, WSOP champions, online superstars and one Olympic gold medalist. A field of 309 players started the day at the Grosvenor Victoria Casino, with some big names like Jean-Robert Bellande and David Williams relegated to alternate status as the field swelled past organizers' expectations.
Among the champions in the field were Scotty Nguyen, Joe Hachem, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer and tennis champ Boris Becker, who won gold of a different type in 1992 when he took the Olympic gold medal in men's doubles. Also in the field were a double helping of former EPT champions, including Julian Thew, Andreas Hoivold, Mads Andersen and Sebastian Ruthenberg, who took down the EPT Barcelona title last month.
Greg Raymer's day ended early when he got all his chips in on a flop of . His lone opponent thought for a moment before calling with for top two pair. Raymer showed for the flopped straight, and was well ahead through the turn. The on the river, however, gave his opponent the full house and sent Raymer packing early in the day. By the end of Day 1b, Scotty Nguyen was the only World Champion standing, as Chris Moneymaker and Joe Hachem both joined Raymer on the rail.
Celebrated author Anthony Holden (Big Deal, Bigger Deal) lost to a turned set when his opponent's pocket queens cracked his aces. A few minutes later, Johnny Lodden's aces fell to runner-runner flush when he got all his money again against pocket kings. Lodden flopped a set, but the four-flush on the river sent him packing. Other Day 1b eliminations included WSOP Main Event final table player David "Chino" Rheem, Boris Becker, Mike "timex" McDonald, Phil Ivey and David Williams.
Huseyin Yilmaz took the chip lead late in Day 1b on a big hand where he took out three opponents at once, including Norwegian poker legend Thor Hansen. All the money went in preflop, as Yilmaz showed to Hansen's pocket sixes. Another opponent tabled K-Q, and the third showed pocket jacks. The board of K- had something for everyone, as two pair was the worst hand anyone had at hand's end. Yilmaz made a runner-runner flush to crack two pair and two sets and scoop a massive pot as his three opponents packed up for the day. He finished the day with a slight chip lead over Alexander Albertsson as preliminary chip counts showed these players among the session's leaders:
Huseyin Yilmaz 125,000
Alexander Albertsson 125,000
Erik Sjodin 120,000
Philippe D'Auteuil 112,000
Alain Roy 92,500
Andrew Teng 75,000
Julian Thew 75,000
Javier Dominguez 73,500
Joao Barbosa 73,000
Antony Lellouche 69,000
The surviving 85 players from Day 1b will combine with the Day 1a survivors on Friday at 1:30 PM London time. Join PokerNews for all the live updates from the Vic.