Jules Dickerson from France ended the day as chip leader with 199,100 but wasn’t even an ante ahead of second placed Naoufel Bennani-Smires who bagged 199,000 in the brand new PokerStars Festival London Main Event.
Bennani-Smires is looking to follow in his father’s footsteps. Karim Bennani Smires finished in eighth place in EPT6 London back in 2009 for £50,100 which was his best cash ever.
It was an early 11 a.m. start for the poker players who arrived at the Hippodrome Casino bleary eyed but in force to play Day 1b.
There were 45 eager players at the tables for the “shuffle up and deal!” but that number steadily increased by the close of registration to 164 which was just five short of yesterday’s turnout.
At the close of 12 levels of play, there were 51 survivors happy to bring chips through to Day 2 and they will be joining the 45 from Day 1a.
Notables in the field who will be returning for Day 2 include Daniel Harwood (166,800), Yehoram Houri (130,000), PokerStars Team Pro Luca Pagano (125,700) and Benjamin Philipps (71,000)
There were also 12 PokerStars Online qualifiers who made it through to Day 2 including the first ever Spin & Go Qualifier John McGlynn who has 72,800.
Some of the big names who failed to bag chips, however, include Natalia Breviglieri who was knocked out by the same player who shoved against her with a flush draw in the High Roller. It happened again, the flush got there again, and Breviglieri had a bad dose of Déjà vu. Joe Grech, Steven Watts, Albert Sapiani and David Urban also failed to make the cut.
Day 1c starts tomorrow at 11 a.m. and follows the same structure, and for those who have played a Day 1 and failed to make it through, there is one final chance in a 10 p.m. Turbo.
Two players who are playing Friday are snooker legend Stephen Hendry and a poker player you may have heard of recently, Will Kassouf.
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