On Monday, Day 1a of the 2015 European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event kicked off from the lavish Casino Barcelona. A grand total of 459 runners came out for the first of two starting flights. After eight 75-minute levels, the clock read that just 286 players remained. In the end it was Imad Derwiche who bagged up the chip lead with 170,000 in chips.
Derwiche is no stranger to success, holding over $1.16 million in career live tournament earnings. A majority of those winnings came mere months ago during the EPT Grand Final when Derwiche finished runner-up to Charlie Carrel in the €25,500 High Roller. Derwiche pocketed €750,000 for his impressive finish, but was denied the prestige of earning an EPT title. Derwiche's stellar performance on Day 1a puts him in solid position for a deep run and a chance at redemption.
While Derwiche bagged the top stack, others are hot on his heels heading into Day 2. Denmark's Martin Vallo put 163,300 in the bag, which is good for second place on the leaderboard. Rounding out the top three was Finland's Jesse Liljegren, who bagged up 153,100.
While the aforementioned players hold the most chips in the room, they are among tough competition returning for Day 2. Some of the notable players advancing include Vladimir Troyanovskiy (115,600), Patrik Antonius (103,800), Andoni Larrabe (100,400), John Juanda (89,300), Mustapha Kanit (83,200), Sebastian Pauli (78,400), David Vamplew (75,300), Benjamin Pollak (68,000), and Dong Kim (66,000).
Team PokerStars had a stellar showing, with five members advancing to the second day of action. Those to move on include Matthias Brandner (108,700), Isaac Haxton (79,200), Leo Fernandez (74,700), Naoya Kihara (69,400), and Leo Margets (55,300). Unfortunately, members of the PokerStars family such as Grzegorz Mikielewicz, George Danzer, and Jason Mercier were unable to gain momentum and were eliminated by the time the final hand of the day was dealt.
In Mercier's case, he flopped top two pair with the against Luca Falco. After all of the money went in on the turn, Mercier found out that Falco had also flopped a monster by making a set of deuces. Mercier was unable to improve on the river and he was sent packing in Level 4.
Other familiar faces to hit the rail throughout the day include Max Silver, Adrian Mateos, Martin Staszko, Paul Newey, Erik Seidel, Martin Finger, Nicholas Palma, and Jonathan Little.
This exciting event will continue on Tuesday where players will once again flock to the felt for Day 1b. Play will begin at 12 p.m. local time when another eight 75-minute levels will take place. As always, PokerNews will be on hand with all of the latest updates, so be sure to stay tuned for more coverage.
While you wait for tomorrow's Day 1b action to commence, check out the following Meet the Rising Star video with Charlie Carrel: