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2011 EPT Barcelona Day 1b: Darcourt Leads the Way

Guillaume Darcourt

The tournament room at the European Poker Tour Barcelona was full Sunday because 465 players turned up with the hope of scooping the whopping €850,000 first-place prize. The field of 811 players created a prize pool of €4,055,000. The man at the top of the chip counts, Guillaume Darcourt, bagged up 195,300 chips and will lead the field coming back for Day 2.

Darcourt amassed his stack by running a huge multistreet bluff with {q-Clubs}{4-Clubs} on a {7-Hearts}{8-Hearts}{j-Hearts}{6-Spades}{3-Diamonds} board. His river shove finally got his opponent off his hand. The Frenchman showed and then used this image to build his stack all the way to the end of the day. He has a history of using a big stack well, including his 35th place finish at this year’s WSOP Main Event and a WPT title are.

He’ll have to be on top of his game, though, because the chasing pack from today’s field has formidable talent including Eugene Katchalov (153,100), Leo Fernadez (148,600) Vytautas Milvydas (172,400) Marvin Rettenmaier (114,200), Matthias De Meulder (110,000) and James Mitchell (84,000).

Those remaining from Team PokerStars Pro, aside from the three above, are Ivan Demidov (36,600), Jason Mercier (25,500), Arnaud Mattern (21,400) and Victor Ramdin (21,400). And we can’t forget Team PokerStars SportStar Boris Becker who seemed to have a very enjoyable knockabout with Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier en route to building a 47,500 stack.

The talent on show Sunday confirmed what we thought Saturday; EPT Season 8 is well and truly alive and kicking. Those who came but failed to progress included Chris Moneymaker (coolered), John Duthie (queens never good), Viktor Blom (sophisticated bluff fail), Roberto Romanello (stuck in the blocks), Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (Beckered), Daniel Negreanu (missed the world) and Liv Boeree (three-outered). The list goes on. The omens for the live tournament scene in Europe this coming year look very good indeed.

The remaining 228 players will combine with the 179 survivors from Day 1a, meaning 407 players will return at 1200 CEST (0300 PDT). Only 120 on those will walk away with a payday. The min-cash will net them €8,000 and if you make the final table the money starts at €73,000 and rapidly increases in ever bigger jumps. Of course there is always the chance for stardom as well tomorrow since the TV set is built and ready to go for the feature table that will be in action until the sweet end of the tournament on Thursday.

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