A total of 113 players paid the €25,000 buy-in and took their seats in the middle of the Salle Des Etoiles for an 11-level day.
Daniel Negreanu, Gus Hansen, Tony G, Johannes Strassman, Lex Veldhuis, Barry Greenstein, Humberto Brenes, Dario Minieri, Sorel Mizzi, Jason Mercier and last year's champion Vanessa Rousso, were just a few of the notables to hit the felt at the start of the day.
Left to see another day are Gus Hansen, Allen Bari, Luke Schwartz, Tony G, Sorel Mizzi, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Chad Brown, Paul Berende, and Yevgeniy Timoshenko, just to name a few.
Not all survived however. At the end of play 41 were left and moving on to Day 2. Of those, Tobias Reinkemeier (457,300) is the chip leader, with Luke Schwartz (300,500) and Markus Golser (291,000) close behind. The players will be back tomorrow at noon local time to play down to a final table and we'll be here covering all the action.
ElkY opened the pot to 5,000 from the button (as table mate Sorel Mizzi tells us he's been opening "100% of buttons"). John Duthie had just 28,000 chips left in the big blind, and he stuck it in there with . Naturally, the Elk woke up with ace-queen, and his high card held on a jack-high board.
Unable to improve his king-high, EPT founder and all-around swell guy Duthie has been eliminated.
Viktor Blom opened the pot with a standard raise, and Tobias Reinkemeier three-bet to 18,500 two seats over. When it came back to Blom, he made another raise to 42,400, and Reinkemeier moved all in over the top. Blom called off his small remainder, turning up pocket jacks.
Once again, jacks were second best. Reinkemeier tabled two kings, and he had his foot squarely on Blom's throat.
The board ran out full of blanks, and the mythical Viktor Blom has departed the tournament room practically unnoticed.
Daniel Negreanu just joined Table 1, wishing everyone a "Good morning," as he arrived. "Hey, Tony G!" Negreanu noticed.
"That's right," The G responded. "I got my name on my shirt so people don't confuse me."
And onto the hand in progress: Liv Boeree opened the pot with an all-in shove for her last 33,600 chips. Michael Frederic considered for a minute before announcing an all-in reraise, and that was good enough to get him heads up with Boeree for the knockout.
"Come on, let me win my first race of the day!" Boeree pleaded, but her cries fell on deaf ears. The dealer ran out a board of , and that is the end of her day.
We picked up the action between Olivier Busquet and Yohan Azoulay when Yohan checked river and Olivier moved all in for 136,000 into a pot of approximately 50,000.
The board read . Yohan asked for a floor person who could speak some French, and proceeded to ask if he could show his cards to gauge Oliver's reaction. He was informed that he could not, but instead stated that he had five-six for a flopped bottom two pair.
After about 2 minutes in the tank, he laid that hand down, only to have Olivier table for a missed straight draw and the eight high bluff.
The board read when we joined the action, and Luke Schwartz made a bet of 7,000. His opponent was someone we don't recognize, and he moved all in for 36,000 total. Schwartz was baffled.
"I could hero you with ace-high," he said. Table mates Daniel Negreanu and Allen Bari found this very entertaining as they burst into muted laughter. Eventually, Schwartz let his hand go, and he managed to coax his opponent into showing .
"Is that a set? Or did I just get owned so hard? I don't think I've ever been owned in a pot so bad in my life!" This banter continued for another minute or so, with Negreanu and Bari giggling like school children in the background. It was all very entertaining. Truth be told, it doesn't take much to be entertained at 2am.