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2015 PokerStars.com EPT Malta Main Event Day 1a: Greece's Evangelos Tsairis Leads

Evangelos Tsairis

While the final day of the inaugural Global Poker Masters was playing out at Portomaso Casino at the Hilton Hotel, the first-ever European Poker Tour stop in Malta was kicking off their €5,300 buy-in Main Event. Day 1a of the EPT Malta attracted 260 players, and after eight 75-minute levels of play only 142 would remain in contention.

Leading the pack with 180,300 is Greece's Evangelos Tsairis, who finished 18th in the EPT Deauville Main Event back in January for €22,160. Nipping at his heels are some accomplished players including online star Ignat "0Human0" Liviu (161,900), high-stakes pro Alec Torelli (133,100), and EPT10 Barcelona High Roller champ Thomas Muehloecker (121,200).

Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts

RankPlayerChips
1Evangelos Tsairis180,300
2Ignat Liviu161,900
3Thomas Berends144,200
4Alexander Ivarsson138,300
5Alec Torelli133,100
6Thomas Muehloecker121,200
7Ilkin Amirov116,000
8John O'Shea114,200
9Francois Billard110,000
10Ryan Yu106,900

Day 1a got off to a fast start with former EPT champ Michael Tureniec bowing out in Level 1, making him the first elimination of the tournament. From there, the eliminations came at a steady pace and included EPT Vienna champ Oleksii Khoroshenin; last year's EPT Grand Final winner Antonio Buonanno; World Poker Tour champ Paul Klann; high rollers Stephen Chidwick, Paul Newey and Jeff Rossiter; Team PokerStars' Fatima Moreira De Melo and Liv Boeree; and Miss Finland, Sara Chafak.

Chafak actually fell in the last level of the night after she got her stack all in on a board reading {k-}{6-Hearts}{5-Hearts}{8-Hearts} holding the {q-Hearts}{10-Hearts}. Unfortunately for her, Thomas Berends held the {a-Hearts}{k-Hearts} for a better flush. Just like that Chafak was out while Berends went on to bag.

Others who survived Day 1a were John O'Shea (114,200), Simon Higgins (96,700), Fedor Holz (87,100), Jack Salter (73,600), Sam Chartier (67,000), Simon Ravnsbaek (47,000), Dimitar Danchev (40,600), and Ole Schemion (36,200), who jumped into the mix after Team Germany was eliminated from the Global Poker Masters. Likewise, Team PokerStars Pros Jan Heitmann (75,600), Marcin Horecki (66,400), and Theo Jorgensen (52,900), as well as PokerStars Sponsored Player Dominik Panka (66,700).

Day 1b will get underway at Noon local time on Monday. The plan is the same in that the field will play eight levels. Of course the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be there every step of the way, so be sure to check the live blog then. In the meantime, check out this video of Team Italy's victory in the Global Poker Masters:

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