Day 1b of the inaugural PokerStars.net EPT Snowfest drew 276 players to the felt, making a total of 546 entrants. After both Day 1 sessions, over half the field had been eliminated and just 259 players remained with hope of claiming the top prize of €445,000. Emerging as the top stack in the room was Koen Berendsen, finishing the day with 162,200 in chips.
Koen's relentless aggression was on display throughout the day and one hand in particular stood out. Berendsen put in a three-bet with ace-queen and his opponent came over the top with a fourth bet. Unfazed, Berendsen five-bet shoved and forced a fold from his opponent, helping secure his Day 1b chip leader status. He stands fifth overall behind the Day 1a leaders.
Ivo Donev boosted his stack to 170,000 late in the day when his pair and flush draw got there against an opponent's top pair. The chips got in on a board. Donev's bested his opponent's when the fell on the turn, propelling Donev toward the top of the chip counts, ultimately finishing with 160,000. Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis, spent a good part of the day on the lower end of the chip counts, but three key doubles helped propel him toward the top of the counts. The last of them had Veldhuis all-in with a set of nines on a board against his opponent's flush and straight draws. Fortunately for Lex, his opponent did not get there and Veldhuis finished the day with 134,300.
Among the notable players to make it through to Day 2 were Nasr El Nasr, Felipe Montenegro, Team PokerStars Pros Florian Langmann, Luca Pagano, Rino Mathis, Luis Medina, Johannes Steindl, Richard Toth and Nacho Barbero. Birthday Boy Jim Collopy also will be returning on Tuesday.
Team PokerStars Sports Star Boris Becker was having a solid day, but ran into a tough cooler hand against Luca Pagano. Pagano held , and, fortunately for him, not only did the board came out , but Becker also held . A series of raises took place on the river when Becker made the ace-high flush and all of his chips made their way to Pagano's stack. Other notables that failed to survive the day included Sorel Mizzi, Evelyn Ng, Team PokerStars Pros Dario Minieri, George Danzer, Sandra Naujoks, and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier.
Play resumes at 2 p.m. local time Tuesday. Our Live Reporting Team will be back on the floor to keep you up to date on everything that happens, and as always, follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.