The last big event of the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour Malta got underway this afternoon — the €10,300 High Roller.
Here's a thing you should know about high rollers and these tournaments; most of the players aren't very keen on getting up early. And with "early," we mean before noon. So when most high-roller events start at 1 p.m., most of the times there's just a handful of players actually playing from the first deal. More and more players sign up and filter in throughout the course of the course of the day, with the most buying in around 3 p.m. or so.
When there were already over 50 players sitting as the '"shuffle up and deal" announcement was given, we knew this one was going to be a big one. And so it was, with a total of 288 entries made on Day 1. That number was a combination of 228 unique players and 60 reentries. Plus, registration will remain open until 15 minutes before the start of Day 2, and the field is highly expected to get a few more entries.
The definitive prize pool will be announced as soon as registration closes, but it already stands at over €2.8 million — just €1.5 million less than the prize pool of the €5,300 Main Event.
All the big names were in the field on Day 1, or should we say almost all of them? Dzmitry Urbanovich has already won three events in Malta during this festival, finished runner-up in a fourth, and made the final table of a fifth for a total of five cashes. But, he was nowhere to be seen today in the €10,300 High Roller. Why? Well, Urbanovich was busy going deep in another event and told PokerNews he would be signing up for Day 2.
Notables such as Ole Schemion and Bryn Kenney entered twice and busted twice, while others made it through the day on a single bullet like Max Silver, Adrian Mateos, and Ludovic Geilich. It was Silver who finished second in chips with 277,100 in chips — a familiar spot he's been in before here in Malta, after having worked his way to the chip lead on Day 1b of the Main Event. Unfortunately, he failed to cash in that one despite his early rise. Bagging the most chips after ten levels was Rui Ferreira with 280,000.
There was more than one remarkable hand on the day, like the one where Vanessa Selbst bet 3,400 on a flop after getting confirmation from the dealer that Ilkin Amirov had checked. Then, all of a sudden, Amirov had 4,600 in front of him. Despite this, Selbst won that hand, which she described as one of the weirdest hands she had ever played.
Or what do you think of Patrick Leonard's bust out? After a raise, three-bet, and cold four-bet, Leonard found ace-king in the big blind, but the dealer mucked his cards by accident. Leonard got his hand back by telling his exact cards to the dealer, who then fished them out of the muck. Leonard shoved, got called by Geilich with jacks, and busted when the flop came jack-high.
A total of 10 levels were played on the first day, eliminating 136 players. Friday will be Day 2, and play starts at 12 p.m. local time with the 152 remaining players, together with the possible last-minute entries. Another 10 levels are on the schedule for Day 2, or play will stop when the field is down to the final table of eight. Play starts with an average of 95,000 in Level 11 (1,000/2,000/300).
PokerNews will again be present to give you all the updates you can ask for from the PokerStars.com EPT Malta €10,300 High Roller., and you can also follow along with Main Event coverage by clicking here.
While you wait for Day 2, check out this comprehensive video of the 14th annual European Poker Awards: