While UK & Ireland Poker Tour was already in full force in London, the second stop on Season 10 of the European Poker Tour officially kicked off on Friday with the £50,000 Super High Roller. A ton of big names showed up for this exhilarating event, but it was Johannes Strassmann who closed out Day 1 as the chip leader with a massive 1.53 million-chip stack. The German is a well-known fixture on the EPT, having final tabled three events in the past and bubbling two others. All told, Strassmann has nine top-50 finishes on the tour.
Just 32 players remained at the end of Day 1, but late and reentry registration will remain open until 15 minutes before the start of play on Saturday. In total there were 52 entries on Day 1, including 14 reentries.
At the beginning of the day, just eight players were present, one of whom was Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier. The Frenchman did not benefit from his decision to play from the start as he was knocked out early. Grospellier did not reenter into this event, but he might still do that before Day 2.
As the room filled up, the Germans made up a big portion of the field. All at once, Tobias Reinkemeier, Fabian Quoss, Max Altergott, and Philipp Gruissem showed up. Gruissem had a very tough day, as he was knocked out three times. He can still enter back tomorrow by doingso would become the reentry record holder in Super High Roller events. The other Germans all made it to the next day, as did their fellow countrymen Ole Schemion, Igor Kurganov, and Martin Finger.
John Juanda, runner-up last year to Mike Watson in the €50,000 Majestic High Roller at the World Series of Poker Europe, grabbed an early lead when he took a big chunk of chips off Bill Perkins. Perkins busted out shortly afterwards, but he returned and crushed Haralabos Voulgaris’ first bullet.
Voulgaris and Perkins clashed in a huge pot with a set against a straight and flush draw. On a flop of , Voulgaris held the for middle set and Perkins had the for a combo draw. Thanks to a run out of the on the turn and on the river, Perkins boosted his stack up to 910,000 and remained in the driver seat the entire day before finishing on 760,000.
The youngest EPT winner ever, Mike "Timex" McDonald, made his presence known at the feature table, and he was the one who took Richard Yong’s first stack. McDonald ended the day with a decent pile of chips, and he’ll be looking to make back-to-back Super High Roller final tables after finishing fourth in Barcelona for €269,400.
Sorel Mizzi, Jason Mercier, Jonathan Duhamel, and Talal Shakerchi all reentered on Day 1, and all managed to survive the day on their second bullet, but in order to win money in this tournament they will have to cash for more than £100,000.
While Perkins was chip leader for a large portion of the day, and Steve O’Dwyer (903,000) got really close, Strassmann finished on top.
There is plenty of poker left to be played in this event, starting with Day 2 on Saturday where the plan is to play down to the final table of eight. Tune back in with PokerNews at 12 p.m. UK time on Satruday as we will bring you all the hand histories, chip counts, photos, and other stories from the felt here in London.