Day 2 of the PokerStars European Poker Tour Deauville is done and dusted with 205 players remaining from the 501 who started Wednesday. David Sonelin, the Swede whose previous best finish was 11th place at EPT Baden in 2007, is the overnight chip leader, having finished the day with 438,900 — nearly 50,000 more than his nearest rivals.
Sonelin's chip charge came toward the end of a frantic but short day in which only five levels were played but around 60 percent of the field were sent to the rail as more hopes and dreams were cruelly shattered by the mere turn of a card.
Sonelin's late surge at the chip lead displaced Mathew Frankland from the top of the pack after the latter had led the field for the best part of the day. Frankland was the first player over the 400,000 mark after he won a huge pot against former Irish Open winner James Mitchell who ended up check-calling off his entire stack after three streets only to muck when he saw Frankland's aces. Sharing the table with these Brits was Fabrice Soulier, the Frenchman marked the day with steady progress up the ladder before picking up a couple of huge pots near the end of the day to secure himself in second place for the time being.
Meanwhile Praz Bansi looked tired even early on, confessing that he had been up most of the night following the PokerNews updates on his friend Sam Trickett's final table in the $250,000 Super High Roller at the 2011 Aussie Millions. Bansi, a double bracelet winner in his own right, has never managed to cash in an EPT despite probably playing close to 20 of them, but finished the day with just over 300,000 after winning a big pot against fellow Brit Tom Macdonald at the end of the day.
Elsewhere, there were many eyes on the gangly Swede Viktor Blom who began the day as one of the big stacks but suffered a couple of sizeable hits early on and could never manage a recovery much to the obvious disappointment of both the media and many of those following the action online. Blom's final hand saw his pocket sixes missing out on the flip against Cyril Hanouna's ace-ten which had managed to river a flush.
Other players to fall included Team PokerStars Pros Pieter de Korver and Nacho Barbero, the Argentinian falling when his pocket tens couldn't improve against pocket queens. Some of the big French players also failed to make it into Day 3 as Antoine Saout, Julien Brecard and Tristan Clemencon all received their marching orders.
The remaining players will return at noon local time for Day 3 with only 128 spots being paid, so we're expecting a fairly quick couple of early levels and then all the drama during the bubble.