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Main Event
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Main Event
Day 1b Completed

EPT Barcelona Main Event Shatters Attendance Record; Chimkovitch Claims Overall Chip Lead After Day 1b

KaleGozer • Level 10: 600-1,200, 1,200 ante
Anthony Chimkovitch is the overall Day 1 chipleader
Anthony Chimkovitch is the overall Day 1 chipleader

Over the years, the PokerStars European Poker Tour Barcelona has always been the most popular EPT-stop, and it comes to no surprise it's the one that has been featured on the calendar every single year. Two years ago, the record for biggest EPT Main Event was set at 1,785 and today, that number got shattered as no fewer than a staggering 1,903 total entries of €5,300 each were made in total, with 1,305 of them coming from Day 1b.

Late registration will be open up until the start of Day 2, which means the number is expected to rise even higher. While the total prize pool and payouts will be announced shortly after the start of Day 2, one thing is for certain: the winner on Sunday, September 2 will walk away with a life-changing seven-figure payday.

Tournament_Room
This is what a record EPT Main Event field looks like

As expected, Day 1b featured a who's who of poker, with all of the big dogs from Europe duking it out with some of the overseas stars to set the first step towards the payday of a lifetime. After ten levels of 60 minutes each, it was Anthony Chimkovitch from Belgium who led the 535 survivors and bagged the overall Day 1 lead with 390,000 in chips.

Chimkovitch is no stranger when it comes to performing in this event: in 2016, he finished in 20th place and last year, he ended up in 114th. With 390k after the first day, the young Belgian has set himself up quite nicely to make the third time the charm. Pivotal towards Chimkovitch's big lead was a pot against Pierre Merlin in the late stages of the day. Merlin had flopped the nut straight but Chimkovitch turned a higher straight to stack the Frenchman for heaps as the day drew to a close.

The only other person to cross the 300k threshold was Patrick Clarke (321,500), who was able to get himself in some distance of Chimkovitch after a late-night surge. Clarke, already one of the bigger stacks, held king-five of diamonds in a four-bet pot and shoved the turn on an ace-trey-four-eight board with two diamonds. His opponent called with ace-king but Clarke rivered a diamond to stack up to over 300k.

Other top stacks on Day 1b belonged to Fabien Motte (233,000), Pavel Plesuv (221,400), Justin Ligeri (221,300), Dominik Panka (217,000), Andres Korn (212,600), and Niall Farrell (209,000). Defending champion Sebastian Malec (78,000) and last year's winner Sebastian Sorensson (18,800) both advanced as well.

Jamie_Staples
Team PokerStars Online Jamie Staples had an excellent showing on Day 1b

After Fatima Moreira de Melo had advanced on Day 1a, the vast majority of Team Pokerstars Pro showed up for Day 1b and at the end of the day, nearly all of them were able to find a bag, The team was led by online star Jaime Staples, who bagged 186,000 to find himself back in the higher echelons of the leaderboard. Andre Akkari (71,300), Randy Lew (65,500), Maria Konnikova (57,500), Muskan Sethi (51,200), Leo Fernandez (49,200), Jeff Gross (34,700) and Daniel Negreanu (31,700) also advanced. Celina Lin didn't make it through.

With 535 out of 1,305 advancing, there were plenty of those that had to wave the white flag in their quest to claim a share of one of the juiciest prize pools in Europe. Among those that busted were Ludovic Geilich, Paul Berende, Barny Boatman, Michal Mrakes, Ari Engel, Anthony Zinno, Joep van den Bijgaart, and golf star Sergio Garcia, who each fired either one or both of the allowed bullets in this event to no avail.

On Wednesday, cards will be back in the air at 12 p.m. local time for the second of six days. which will feature five levels of 90 minutes each. The tension in the room will be palpable right off the bat, as one of the three $30,000 Platinum Passes up for grabs in this tournament will be awarded. With the Crazy Pineapple Flipout, everyone has an equal shot to punch their ticket to the Bahama's. Win all the flips? The Platinum Pass is yours!

Day 2 will also mark the start of the PokerStars TV coverage. The cards-up live stream will be airing on Wednesday and every subsequent day, starting at 12:30 p.m. (with hole cards up, on a security delay). PokerNews covers the biggest EPT Main Event of all time from start to finish, so make sure to come back tomorrow to not miss any of the action from the vibrant Casino Barcelona, where good times are shared. Cheers!

Viktor_Blom_Cesario_Andrade
Viktor Blom & Cesario Andrade

All photos in this article courtesy of Neil Stoddart / PokerStars.

Tags: Andre AkkariAnthony ChimkovitchAnthony ZinnoAri EngelBarny BoatmanCesario AndradeDaniel NegreanuFabien MotteFatima Moreira De MeloFernando PonsJaime StaplesJeff GrossJoep van den BijgaartLudovic GeilichMaria KonnikovaMichal MrakesNiall FarrellPatrick ClarkePaul BerendePavel PlesuvPierre MerlinRandy LewViktor Blom

End of Day 1b Chip Counts (full)

KaleGozer • Level 10: 600-1,200, 1,200 ante
Anthony Chimkovitch be 390,000 40,000
Patrick Clarke ie 321,500
Fabien Motte fr 233,000 -27,000
Pavel Plesuv md 221,400 11,400
Justin Ligeri us 221,300
Dominik Panka pl 217,000 180,000
Andres Korn ar 212,600 212,600
Niall Farrell gb 209,000 9,000
Patrik Hansen NO 207,700 207,700
Raul Martinez es 205,800 205,800
Enrico De Rosa IT 198,000 198,000
Anthony Mowad US 195,500 195,500
Ghattas Kortas se 192,400 192,400
Siarhei Chudapal by 192,100 192,100
Renato Kaneoya br 190,600 190,600
Jaime Staples ca 186,000 56,000
William Blais ca 184,200 184,200
Jack O'Neill gb 179,400 29,400
Ka Kwan Lau hk 178,800 178,800
Ariel Silveiro Celestino BR 178,500 178,500
Gerald Ringe gb 175,600 175,600
Nicolas Chouity lb 173,200 83,200
Ognyan Dimov bg 172,500 172,500
Sergey Aristov RU 170,500 170,500
Salvatore Camarda it 162,800 162,800

Read full

Day 1b is Done

KaleGozer • Level 10: 600-1,200, 1,200 ante

A total of 1,305 entries have been made on Day 1b, and according to the clock 547 of them have survived the day, although this number will be lower once the final tally has been made.

A recap of the day and the chip counts follow.

Five More Hands

KaleGozer • Level 10: 600-1,200, 1,200 ante

The clock has been paused and five more hands will be played until chips are bagged and tagged for the night.

Peters Makes A Sharp Read

KaleGozer • Level 10: 600-1,200, 1,200 ante
Tobias Peters
Tobias Peters

Tobias Peters is sitting behind 85,000 in chips and relayed how he got those chips to PokerNews. According to Peters, he called a raise with {K-Spades}{Q-Spades} on the button and the big blind called as well. The flop was {7-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} and Peters bet 3,700 after two checks, which only the big blind called.

The turn brought the {Q-} and both players checked. The river was the {K-Diamonds}, giving Peters kings and queens, but also completed the flush draw. His opponent overbet shoved for 28,900, while Peters himself played 30,000. Peters thought a very long time before calling and was right against his opponent's {6-Clubs}{5-Clubs}.

Tobias Peters nl 85,000 71,000

Tags: Tobias Peters

Chimkovitch Coolers Merlin, Claims Chip Lead

KaleGozer • Level 10: 600-1,200, 1,200 ante
Anthony Chimkovitch, all smiles
Anthony Chimkovitch, all smiles

Claiming the overnight chip lead is always a highly sought after affair, especially at the EPT. Anthony Chimkovitch from Belgium, who finished 20th in this very event in 2016 and 114th last year, has set himself up as the top contender to add the chipleader badge to his name after a massive clash with Pierre Merlin.

It all started with a raise from the Belgian in early position. Dean Clay called one seat over and Pierre Merlin called from the big blind. On the {J-Spades}{10-Spades}{8-Diamonds} flop, Merlin checked, Chimkovitch bet 3,600, Clay called, Merlin check-raised to 14,400, Chimkovitch called and Clay folded.

The turn brought the {K-Hearts} and Merlin continued his aggression with a bet of 25,500. Chimkovitch shoved all in and Merlin instantly called it off for around 37,000 more.

Pierre Merlin: {Q-Spades}{9-Hearts}
Anthony Chimkovitch: {A-Hearts}{Q-Hearts}

It was a brutal cooler for Merlin, who could only hope for a chop on the river. Instead, it was the {Q-Clubs} and Merlin's tournament came to a sudden end. Chimkovitch, on the other hand, stacked heaps on top of his already massive stack and sits at 330,000 with fifteen minutes to go in the day.

Anthony Chimkovitch be 350,000 95,000
Pierre Merlin fr Busted

Tags: Anthony ChimkovitchPierre Merlin

Bad Beat Ends Pustala

KaleGozer • Level 10: 600-1,200, 1,200 ante

Milad Oghabian and Jacek Pustula had their stacks in the middle preflop. Oghabian was all in for 22,600 and Pustala had slightly less in front of him.

Milad Oghabian: {Q-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds}
Jacek Pustula: {A-Spades}{Q-Spades}

The dealer fanned out a board of {Q-Hearts}{9-Hearts}{10-Spades}{8-Hearts}{6-Diamonds} and Oghabian, who finished 5th in yesterday's €2,200 EPT National High Roller, improved to a straight to eliminate Pustula.

Milad Oghabian ir 46,000 46,000
Jacek Pustula pl Busted

Tags: Jacek PustulaMilad Oghabian