While the 2014 PokerStars.it European Poker Tour Sanremo Main Event was busy playing down to the final 16 on one side of the room at Casino Sanremo, the €10,300 High Roller — the last with that buy-in in Season 10 — was just kicking off on the other.
Everyone was curious to see what the stop could pull, and the 103 entries (88 unique/15 reentries) that turned out surpassed most expectations. What’s more, that number could go up as players are allowed to register and reenter up until the start of Day 2.
After 10 one-hour levels of play on Day 1, the field was whittled down to 47 players with Alexander Kopylkov and his stack of 331,400 leading the way. Not too far behind is Jason Lavallee with 308,400. If you recall, Lavallee defeated a field of 157 entries to win the EPT10 London High Roller for €357,700 earlier this season.
Lavallee got a good portion of his chips courtesy of David “MissOracle” Yan. It happened in Level 8 (500/1,000/100) when, after a raise to 2,300 and a call, Lavallee three-bet to 7,800 in the small blind and Yan four-bet to 17,000 in the big blind. The other two opponents folded and Lavallee five-bet to 29,800, which Yan called.
On the flop, Lavallee continued for 18,000 and Yan called. The on the turn saw Lavallee continue for another 32,000 before Yan moved all in for just above 50,000. Lavallee made the call with the and Yan turned over the . The river sent Yan to the rail, though he wouldn’t be gone for long.
You see, the EPT10 Sanremo High Roller featured a single reentry option, and quite a few players exercised it. Unfortunately, that decision didn’t pay off for some. Among those to fire two bullets and miss were the aforementioned Yan (who was eliminated by Lavallee for a second time), Nick Maimone, Adrian Mateos, Sorel Mizzi, Aleksandr Denisov, and Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel.
The 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champ was eliminated for the first time in Level 6 (300/600/75). The PokerNews Live Reporting Team caught his last hand on the river with around 37,000 in the pot and a board reading . Duhamel had bet 21,000 from the hijack and Andrea Dato thought for a bit before moving all in. Duhamel had around 34,000 back, and eventually he splashed them into the pot. Dato confidently rolled over the for trips, and it was good as Duhamel elected to send his cards to the muck.
Duhamel reentered after the dinner break, but it was to no avail as he fell for a second time a short time later.
Not everyone misfired their second bullet, though. Among those to bust, reenter, and then make it through to Day 2 were Jose Carlos Garcia (130,200), Tamer Kamel (101,900), and Jean-Noel Thorel (76,000).
Meanwhile, some players had luck on their first bullet including Ognjen Sekularac (232,400), Carl Carlsson (214,600), Artem Litvinov (111,000), Yann Dion (109,500), Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (73,200), Mickey Petersen (47,700), Ami Barer (38,500), and current EPT10 Player of the Year leader Ole Schemion (170,300).
On the flip side, some players who busted Day 1 and chose not to reenter — at least not yet — were Olivier Busquet, Davidi Kitai, Dominik Panka, Chris Oliver, Michael Kanaan, Joni Jouhkinmainen, and Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst, who is currently second on the EPT10 POY leaderboard.
Selbst got off to a hot start by winning a big pot against Mizzi, and she talked to PokerNews on a break about the hand as well as the POY race against Schemion. Give it a listen:
Unfortunately Selbst would fall late in the evening to Griffin Benger, which you can read about by clicking here.
Day 2 action is set to kick off at 12 p.m. local time, which is when registration will close. The the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand in Sanremo to bring you updates from the High Roller as well as the Main Event, which will be playing down from 16 to the final eight.
Join us then, but while you wait be sure to check out this video featuring pizza making in Sanremo: