On Sunday, Season 11 of the European Poker Tour continued from the tournament floor of Casino Barrière de Deauville, France. A grand total of 199 players came out for Day 1a of the €5,300 Main Event, and after eight full levels of play, the board showed just 108 players remaining in contention. In the end it was Nathan Gozlan of France who bagged up the biggest stack with 148,500 in chips.
While Gozlan finished the day with the most chips in the room, other players were hot on his heels. Sweden's Alexander Ivarsson bagged up the second largest stack with 145,800, while Poland's Patryk Slusarek rounded out the top three with 123,300 in chips.
Top 10 Day 1a Chip Counts
The aforementioned players topped the counts, but other familiar faces were present and made it through the first day of play as well. Notable players who'll return for Day 2 include EPT Copenhagen winner Anton Wigg (84,500), Martins Adeniya (74,400), Artur Koren (62,100), 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champion Dimitar Danchev (32,900), and EPT London winner David Vamplew (18,400).
Team PokerStars Pro also had a strong showing throughout the day with Marcin Horecki (92,900) and Eugene Katchalov (16,000) each making it through the day. Ronan Monfort was the only surviving member of Team PokerStars Pro Online, bagging up 47,500. PokerStars Sponsored player and 2014 PCA champion Dominik Panka also survived the day with 48,800 to his name.
While the day was a success to some, others were left with nothing but empty felt in front of them by the time the final hand of the day was dealt. Players like Ian Simpson, Leonid Markin, Adrian Mateos, and Joseph Mouawad were all unable to survive the perils of Day 1a.
Three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Dominik Nitsche was also present in Sunday's field. Unfortunately for the German pro, he was unable to add the title of EPT champion to his résumé as he was eliminated from play during the fifth level of the day. On his most important hand, Nitsche and France's Gilles Huet looked down at a board of . With 6,425 already in the middle, Huet checked over to Nitsche. The German bet 4,200, his opponent raised to 9,500, and Nitsche called to see fifth street. The dealer produced the to complete the board and Huet led out with a bet. Nitsche moved all in over the top and Huet instantly called, showing the for a full house of jacks full of queens. Nitsche tabled the for a smaller full house leaving him with just 10,000 in chips. That last 10,000 he lost to Jorma Nuutinen with king-jack to ace-ten.
Also seeing an early exit from the Main Event was EPT Season 4 Prague Main Event champion Arnaud Mattern. Mattern was unable to gain any momentum throughout the day and was ultimately eliminated from play early in the fourth level. After losing a sizable pot to Frederik Jensen with pocket queens, Mattern's tournament finally came to an end after he shipped in before the flop and ran into an opponent's pocket aces. Despite turning a gutshot, Mattern was unable to improve and his hopes of becoming a two-time EPT champion were dashed.
Play resumes on Monday at 12 p.m. local time where a much larger turnout is expected for Day 1b. Players will repeat the Day 1a schedule, hitting the felt for eight full 75-minute levels. As always, PokerNews will be on hand to provide all of the latest updates from the tournament floor. While you wait, check out this poker in Poland update with Panka: