While the field for Day 1b of the PokerStars European Poker Tour Copenhagen may have lacked a little in quantity — at 232 runners, it didn't quite make its cap — it certainly made up for it in quality. Even taking into account the tradition that states that the second start day should have a higher concentration of big-name pros than the first, the list of railers' favorites that strolled into the Casino Copenhagen today was impressive and included Peter Eastgate, Luca Pagano, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Freddy Deeb and Juha Helppi.
In all, this EPT has attracted 423 runners and thus a prize pool of 14,212,800 DKK (about $2.6 million or €1.9 million), with 3,675,000 DKK, or almost €500,000, going to the eventual winner.
Among all the famous-from-TV pros, one gentleman causing more than a ripple of interest among the ranks of assembled media was 20-year-old Swedish wunderkind Viktor Blom. Suspected by many of being the real-life incarnation of online phenomenon "Isildur1", Blom was not giving anything away today — except, as it turned out, his chips. He pretty much didn't win a hand all day, and was bust by level 4. It seems the world will have to wait for confirmation as to whether he is indeed the famous Isildur1.
Early climbers included young British pro Stuart Rutter who enjoyed an early double-up when Pierre Neuville found kings on the button only for Rutter to wake up with aces in the small blind. He continued to climb but lost momentum toward the end of the day and finished up on an average stack.
Those who failed to make it past all the Day 1 obstacles included such luminaries as Marc Naalden, Jesper Hougaard, Noah Boeken and William Thorson.
The ranks of those who will be rejoining us tomorrow, though, include Pagano, ElkY, and Deeb. Today's chip lead was closely contested between Ilkka Koskinen and Ruthenberg — on 140,900 and 140,800 respectively. Eastgate finished right on their tails with 128,300. All three trail Day 1a chip leader Andrew Pantling however, who on 155,800 goes into Day 2 as overall chip leader.
The remaining 243 players will be back tomorrow at 2 p.m. CET to battle it out. Be sure to join us then for all the action live from the floor.