The first of two starting days for the Unibet Open Cannes €1,100 Main Event at Casino Barriere attracted a field of 182 entrants. Ten 60-minute levels later, only 59 hopefuls bagged up chips for Saturday's Day 2.
In the lead was Julien Sitbon with a massive 354,300 in chips, followed by Matyas Csiszar and Christer Nagell with 271,200 and 211,200, respectively. Sitbon and Nagell shared the same table in the last half an hour of play and were involved in a big three-way hand to the river that saw the Frenchman turn the nut straight and get paid off. Nagell himself was down to 5,000 in chips after the first two levels, but then won a flip with ace-jack against pocket nines thanks to an ace on the river in order to stage a big comeback.
Top 10 Day 1a Chip Counts
This was the third time the Unibet Open was visiting the French Riviera. Most recently, Daniel Smith defeated a 457-entry strong field in 2014 for a payday of €88,000.
Notables that advanced to Day 2 include Joachim Kleiven (163,100), UnibetPoker.fr Team Pro Quentin Lecomte (144,600), Robert Giordano (119,400), Peter Eichhardt (109,500), Peter Harkes (103,600), Pierre Antona (100,100), Mateusz Moolhuizen (83,300), and Gilbert Diaz (75,400).
Others were less fortunate. World Series of Poker gold bracelet winners Marc Naalden and Antonin Teisseire fell early on, while other notables such as Jean-Paul Pasqualini, 2014 Cannes finalists Giuseppe Zarbo and Krzysztof Stuchlik, Unibet Poker ambassador Pierre Menes, Jonathan Rozema, Paul Testud, Damian Porebski, and 2013 Unibet Open Troia champion Dmitry Varlamov all failed to bag up chips.
For all those eliminated, further side events such as the €2,200 High Roller are still available, while those yet to take their shot can do so on the second starting day at 13:00 local time on Friday. The PokerNews Live Reporting team will be there when another champion is crowned.