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2011 European Poker Tour Loutraki Day 1b: Puccini Leads the Way

Mario Puccini

Day 1b of the European Poker Tour Loutraki saw 191 players take their seats for seven levels of fun and flops. This sizable jump was no more apparent than in the number of PokerStars Team Pros who chose to play the second of the Day 1 flights. Vanessa Rousso, Theo Jorgensen, Toni Judet, Arnaud Mattern, Eugene Katchalov, Johnny Lodden, Randy Lew and Jude Ainsworth were all amongst the field and hoping to top Tuesday's Julian Herold as the overall chip leader.

The day ended with Mario Puccini (who despite his suspiciously Italian sounding name, is in fact German) as the chip leader with 159,150 and he'll be the chip leader overall when the remaining players come back Thursday for Day 2.

There were mixed fortunes for the Team Pros on Day 1b. Rousso suffered a tough start to the day when she lost over a third of her stack in an early four-bet pot when her ace-king ran into aces on a king-high board, though she was lucky not to lose too much more. However, it seemed that destiny wasn't with her on Day 1b, because she was eliminated later on, running pocket nines into pocket jacks.

Mattern also had some trouble when Loykia Lypraioy check-called him on the flop and turn of a {6-Clubs}{J-Spades}{7-Hearts}{K-Hearts} board before leading the {10-Hearts} river. Mattern made the call with {J-Clubs}{J-Diamonds} but it turned out to be no good against Lypraioy's {9-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}. The Frenchman struggled with a short stack for a couple of hours before eventually being eliminated.

Better luck came for Toni Judet who finished the day with 143,500, finishing near the top of the leaderboard, but Johnny Lodden was happy to finish with a day high of exactly 40,000.

Elsewhere EPT Berlin winner Kevin MacPhee was handed a gift halfway through the day when another player decided to make a big bluff with ace-queen in a four-bet pot against the MacPhee's pocket kings, and finished the day with 74,500.

Although Puccini finished the day with the chip lead, Jan Collado did much of the running during the day, hitting the heady heights of 110,000 when he flopped the nut flush against Georgios Yiangou's flopped straight. Collado's good fortune did not last however, because he ran ace-queen into Jude Ainsworth's aces for an almost 50,000 pot late in the day and ended up finishing with 72,275.

Players who won't be coming back tomorrow include both William and Jens Thorson, Vitaly Lunkin, Team Online Pro Randy Lew, as well as MMA fighter Heath Herring.

Nevertheless the remaining 130 players will join the 102 survivors from Day 1a when the fields combine on Thursday. With several former champions and a multitude of Team PokerStars Pros, it's going to make for some very entertaining action tomorrow!

Play will begin again at 1200 EET (0200 PST) on Thursday and you can follow all of the action on PokerNews.

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