The light snow drifting down over Copenhagen on Day 1a turned into a blizzard on Day 1b, making staying within the confines of the Radisson Blu hotel just that little bit more enticing. And it was a good thing, too, as 235 players either satellited, bought or begged their way into the second start day of the 2011 PokerStars European Poker Tour Copenhagen, bringing the total number of runners up to 449 — well up from last year's 423. The field generated an impressive-sounding DKK 15,086,400 (around €2,023,500), of which DKK 3,700,000 (around €496,270) will go to the winner.
The "Scandie Open," as it's affectionately known, has a reputation for attracting one of the toughest fields in Europe, and this year's tournament has not disappointed in that respect. Among the better-known faces to grace the tournament room at the start of the day were Jake Cody, Juha Helppi, both Thorson brothers and a very respectable smattering of Team PokerStars Pros including Viktor "Isildur1" Blom, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Vadim Markushevski, Florian Langmann, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Toni Judet, John Duthie and JP Kelly.
Viktor Blom began the day well with pocket tens making a straight to crack another player's aces and put the Blom stack well above the average. But around halfway through the day, Blom's stack began moving in the wrong direction, and he was at less than his starting stack when he got the whole lot in with on a flop against Ramzi Jelassi's . The turn and river blanked, and Blom hit the rail. A by-product of Blom's misfortune was to propel Jelassi up the leaderboard where he remained for the rest of the day, finishing up on 169,200, in third place overall.
Other players who failed to make it through the day included EPT Prague champion Roberto Romanello, two-time EPT Copenhagen finalist Rasmus Nielsen, William Thorson, Sebastian Ruthenberg and EPT Vilamoura winner Toby Lewis.
On the other hand, those still in with a shot at those tasty DKK 3.7 million first prizes include Kelly, Duthie, Cody, Jonathan Weekes, David Vamplew and Michael Tureniec.
The chip lead changed hands several times throughout the day. Online qualifier Michael Aron and Vojtech Ruzicka took turns for a while, but the biggest stack in the room at the bagging and tagging was Lithuanian Domantas Klimciauskas. Klimciauskas, whose best live result to date was fifth place in the €2,000 side event at the recent EPT Prague, goes into Day 2 with 203,800, making him the overall chip leader. Michael Aron seems to be in second place on 191,000 and Ramzi Jelassi in third. The biggest stack from Day 1a was that of Mark Hirleman, who finished up with 163,400.
The remaining 262 players from the combined Day 1s will reconvene Wednesday at noon local time in an effort to whittle themselves down to a more manageable number. We'll be with them the whole time, documenting their progression toward the money, at PokerNews.com, so join us then.
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