World Series of Poker Europe

European Poker Tour Deauville Day 2: Home-Field Advantage For the French

European Poker Tour Deauville Day 2: Home-Field Advantage For the French 0001

The 395 players who survived their respective Day 1 flights were together under one roof on Friday as the Casino Barrière played host to Day 2 of the EPT Deauville. Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano was at the head of the Day 1b class, but everyone was still chasing Day 1a big stack Robert Cezarescu. The leaderboard was shaken up considerably by the time today's six levels were finished, though, and a respectable number of familiar faces still remain in contention for the title.

Ludovic Lacay progressed steadily upward throughout the day, and before long, he found himself hovering around the 400,000-chip mark and in the mix of the leaders. Then during the final level of action, with the money bubble drawing tantalizingly close, the largest pot of the day unfolded. The blinds were at 2,000/4,000 when Ricardo Mazzitelli opened the pot to 12,500. Lacay bumped it up to 30,000, and Mazzitelli came right back with a reraise to 70,000. Lacay then dropped the hammer with a five-bet shove, and his opponent committed the other two-thirds of his stack to the pot as he turned over {A-Spades} {10-Spades}. Nobody was terribly surprised to see him in bad shape; Lacay tabled the dominating {A-Hearts} {K-Hearts}, and he dragged a pot of more than 400,000 chips when the board ran out safe: {A-Clubs} {Q-Hearts} {Q-Diamonds} {5-Spades} {2-Diamonds}.

That vaulted Lacay up over 600,000 and into a commanding lead, but a few small slips in the final orbits knocked him back to the half-milllion mark and into third place overall. The chips are staying in the French corner, though, as the top spot now belongs to his countryman Nicolas Levi. Nobody was paying particular attention to Levi’s middling stack for most of the day, but a late and powerful surge shot him past Lacay and into the lead. Levi has been without his trademark flip-brimmed fedora for the last couple of events and the change of wardrobe seems to be serving him well thus far. His finishing count of 648,500 puts him more than 100,000 chips in front of his nearest rival, George Secara.

During one of the midday breaks, Gloria Balding caught up with Nicolas to talk about how things were progressing for him, and it appears she may have brought him a bit of luck. Here's what he had to say shortly before he surged to the top of the scoresheet:

Not everyone had things so easy today, though. Team PokerStars Pros Arnaud Mattern and Vlad Zguba were sent to the rail fairly early on, and Jean-Robert Bellande, Jon Aguiar, and EPT Prague champion Jan Skampa weren't far behind. A bit further into the evening, Katja Thater and Alexander Kravchenko met with the same fate.

Even with a few of their counterparts falling by the wayside, the Team PokerStars Pros are well represented in the remaining field. Jude Ainsworth is in the middle of the pack alongside Vadim Markushevski, the Belarusian who was recently added to the Team Pro roster. The Italian duo of Dario Minieri and Luca Pagano is still going strong, and Peter Eastgate's stack of 294,000 puts him in good position for a deep run as well.

The 133 runners who made it out of Day 2 with chips will be back inside the ballroom tomorrow, and they'll be on the prowl for a payday. The money bubble should hit within the first level or so, and then it's off to the races for a spot at the final table and a chance to hoist the trophy. Day 3 commences at 3:00 p.m. GMT+1, and our Live Reporting team will be there to catch every flopped flush and busted draw as the field is reduced to the final three tables.

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