Now Live EPT Malta888Live Festival London EPT Barcelona High Roller Day 1: Schemion Leads; Piqué Builds Big Stack

Gerard Piqué

Day 1 of the €10,000 High Roller at the European Poker Tour Barcelona came to a close on Thursday. The first 10 levels of play are in the history books, and a hefty batch a competitors have advanced to Day 2. Throughout the day, players trickled in one after another to take their seats. Some did so for the second time as this event allowed for a single re-entry. When the day was finally over, the board read 168 total entries.

Leading the way into Day 2 was Ole Schemion. He bagged up 393,600 in chips, thanks to a huge hand right towards the end of the day where he busted both Vitaly Lunkin and Vincent Verdickt. Schemion has had himself one heck of an EPT Barcelona so far. First, he took sixth place in the €50,000 Super High Roller for €159,200. Then, he went on to finish in 123rd in the Main Event for €10,000. Amazingly, Schemion has now held the chip lead at one point in all three events.

One of the big stories of the day — and a repeat story here at EPT Barcelona — was the appearance of superstar footballer Gerard Piqué. Like many others in the field, Piqué took his seat late. After starting the day with 50,000 in chips, Piqué worked his way up to 308,500 where he finished the day. He stayed fairly active throughout the day, but the most interesting of the hands he played came when he had to play pocket queens face up because he had prematurely exposed his hand. You can read about the hand here, which resulted in a two-hand penalty for the FC Barcelona central defender.

As standard in marquee poker events, Team PokerStars Pro was well represented throughout the field. Jason Mercier, Jonathan Duhamel, Maxim Lykov, Vanessa Selbst, Alexander Kravchenko, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, and Eugene Katchalov were all involved today, but it was Daniel Negreanu who caused the biggest stir of the group.

Negreanu was involved in a controversial ruling surrounding the "first card off the deck rule," and it resulted in him being eliminated from the tournament. The entire recap of what happened can be found here, but know that Negreanu did return later on in the day to fire a second bullet. He managed to finish out the day with 50,400 in chips.

Other notables that advanced to Day 2 were Chino Rheem, Sam Chartier, Richard Yong, Igor Kurganov, Martin Jacobson, and Peter Jetten.

Day 2 will begin on Friday at 12 p.m., and the plan will be to play down to the final table. With registration remaining open until 11:45 a.m. Friday morning, the field should grow a little more with a few late entrants and some others re-entering with a second bullet.

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