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PokerStars EPT San Remo Day 1a: Dragan Galic Tops Leaderboard

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While the competitors in the LAPT Mar del Plata were making their way down to the final table, half a world away the festivities at the PokerStars European Poker Tour San Remo were just kicking off. A whopping 578 players took their seats on Day 1a, with Team PokerStars Pro represented by Marcin Horecki, Alex Kravchenko, Chad Brown, and 2004 WSOP Main Event champ Greg Raymer. Other notables in the field included last year’s EPT San Remo champ Jason Mercier, 1983 WSOP Main Event winner Tom McEvoy and 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event champion Annette Obrestad.

The world champions in the field numbered three to start Day 1a, but ultimately only one survived the first flight of the tournament. Greg Raymer busted early in the day when he moved all in preflop with {A-Diamonds}{9-Hearts} and found himself facing Simone Debbia’s {A-Spades}{K-Clubs}. The board missed both players as it ran out {6-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}{Q-Diamonds}{J-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}, and Raymer made an early exit into the Italian afternoon.

Annette Obrestad was heard to remark, “I played so bad…” after she busted to Benjamin Spindler just before a break. Obrestad and Spindler saw the flop of {10-Clubs}{8-Spades}{2-Hearts}, and Obrestad bet out. Spindler raised with {2-Clubs}{2-Spades} for bottom set, and Obrestad called. Her pocket aces were no good against Spindler’s set of deuces, and when the turn and river brought no two-outer for Obrestad, her tournament was over. That left Tom McEvoy as the only world champ standing at the end of the tournament’s first day. McEvoy finished Day 1a with a workable stack, but was not among the chip leaders.

Other notable eliminations on Day 1a included Soren Kongsgaard, Casey Kastle, Antony Lellouche and Chad Brown. Brown open-shoved with {Q-Clubs}{J-Clubs}, and found one caller from the big blind with {A-Hearts}{8-Hearts}. The flop of {5-Clubs}{9-Spades}{A-Diamonds} gave Brown a couple of backdoor draws, but made top pair for his opponent. The {10-Clubs} on the turn gave Brown a ton of outs to stay alive, but the {3-Hearts} was a huge brick as the Team PokerStars Pro headed to the rail.

Mike “Timex” McDonald busted late in the evening when he called Jussi Jaatinen’s all-in move with {J-Spades}{J-Diamonds} on a {10-Clubs}{7-Clubs}{5-Spades}{8-Clubs} board. Jaatinen tabled {A-Clubs}{9-Clubs} for the nut flush, and McDonald stopped ticking with the {2-Diamonds} on the river. Dario Alioto also headed home near the end of Day 1a, as did Ludovic Lacay, who ran A-10 into pocket aces and couldn’t catch up as he busted just before the end of the day.

At the end of the day, everyone was looking up at Dragan Galic as he sat atop the leaderboard with over 100,000 in chips. Among the notable survivors were Tom McEvoy, Marcin Horecki, and Jason Mercier, who finished the day with a relatively short stack but his hopes for a repeat championship still alive. Join PokerNews at 2PM local time for all the live updates from Day 1b.

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