The second Day 1 flight of the PokerStars European Poker Tour San Remo saw 549 more players part with €5,000 in an attempt to be crowned the new EPT San Remo champion. After nine levels, over half the field was eliminated. Team PokerStars Pro Ruben Visser finished with the chip lead – both for today and overall, with a mammoth 251,500 just ahead of last year's Grand Final winner Nicolas Chouity.
Visser won a 110,000-chip pot with queens against ace-king when he managed to four-flush the board despite the presence of an ace and from then he never looked back. He won another large pot when he made a straight to eliminate yet another player and put some ground between himself and the rest of the pack who are mainly around the 200,000 mark.
Last year's winner Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree was placed on a very tough table to begin with, especially given San Remo's reputation for being one of the easier EPTs where the locals like to play fast and loose and aren't afraid to play for stacks at any point. She shared the table with fellow Pros Lex Veldhuis, Jonathan Duhamel and EPT Deauville finalist Alex Wice, but none of the four managed to survive the day. The casualty list read as a who's who of poker: James Keys, Evelyn Ng, Kevin Stani, Michael Tureniec, Dario Minieri, ElkY, Melanie Weisner, Olivier Busquet Nacho Barbero and EPT Berlin winners Ben Wilinofsky and Kevin MacPhee all couldn't make it through the first day. MacPhee's exit was particularly painful — he lost with to on a for a 100,000-chip pot half way through the day when the river paired the six, which left him with just 200 chips remaining and he was knocked out next hand.
Double NAPT winner, Vanessa Selbst was fairing much better, she did not so much hit the ground running as crush the ground and everything around it, opponents generally got out of the way of her aggression and she finished in the leading group. Fellow Team Pros Victor Ramdin and Joe Cada also had solid days, both finishing above the 100,000 mark, while five-time WSOP bracelet winner Ted Forrest, Terrence Chan and former EPT winners, Carter Phillips, Roberto Romanello and David Vamplew all remain in the mix, as well.
The players return on Friday for Day 2. It all kicks off at 1200 CET (0300 PDT). The plan will be to play straight through five levels with no dinner break, thereby giving all the remaining players a chance to savor some of the excellent restaurants that San Remo has to offer!