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2011 World Poker Tour Amneville Day 1b: Jean-Francois Rigollet Takes Overall Lead

Jean-Francois Rigollet

Action moved forward at the 2011 World Poker Tour Amneville with Day 1b on Wednesday. With the 203 players who came out to the felt, a total of 379 came to play throughout both Day 1 starts. They generated a prize pool of €1,164,288 with first place worth €310,633 plus a $25,500 WPT Championship seat. About half of the field (105) was left at day's end. Leading the way was Jean-Francois Rigollet, who bagged up 164,700 in chips.

Like Day 1a's chip leader Nicolas Babel, Rigollet hails from Paris. He only has four career cashes and $46,576 in career tournaments earnings. The largest cash of his career was in March 2011 when he placed second in a $1,000 Wynn Classic event for $27,315.

Plenty of notables were in action on Day 1b, and, of course, a handful were eliminated. Some of those who hit the rail throughout the day were Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Brandon Cantu, John Eames, Kevin MacPhee and Ludovic Lacay.

According to the WPT Live Update Team, Grospellier was eliminated during Level 5 with the blinds at 150/300/25. Bastien Faessen raised from the small blind after action folded to him and Grospellier reraised all-in from the big blind. Faessen made the call holding {J-Spades}{J-Diamonds}. Grospellier held {A-Hearts}{Q-Hearts}. The flip went Faessen's way as the board ran out in his favor to send Grospellier out the door.

Also eliminated on the day was defending WPT Amneville champion Sam El Sayed. His exit opened the door for a new champion to be crowned this year. Last year, El Sayed bested the 542-player field to earn €426,425.

Rounding out the top five behind Rigollet from Day 1b are Thibaut Durand (147,300), Jamie Rosen (145,300), Erik Von Buxhoeveden (142,700) and Edouard Sadoun (125,500).

Notables Joseph Cheong, Arnaud Mattern, Marvin Rettenmaier, Paul Berende and Ilan Rouah all bagged up plenty of chips and will take their big stacks into Day 2. Cheong, Mattern and Rettenmaier all bagged up over 100,000 in chips. Joining them will be Ozzy Sheikh, Ilan Boujenah, Bruno Fitoussi, Liv Boeree and Roger Hairabedian.

With 215 players remaining in all, Day 2 will take place on Thursday. Action kicks off at 1200 CET (0300 PDT). Rigollet leads all players and Day 1a's Babel comes sits in second place with 163,600 in chips. Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for the daily recap.

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*Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour.

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