It was an action-packed start to the €25,000 EPT High Roller as the 2022 PokerStars European Poker Tour presented by Monte-Carlo Casino starts to wind down. There were a total of 160 entries over the course of the first 10 levels and just 69 players bagged up chips to move on to Day 2.
Many players managed to run up a healthy stack with over half of the field eliminated. Steve O'Dwyer had a strong start to the day, taking over the chip lead in the opening levels and cruised to a stack of 251,500 chips by the end of the day. Stephen Chidwick, on the other hand, had a tough start to the day but finished strong and finished with a stack of 246,800, good enough for a top-ten stack.
O'Dwyer and Chidwick are both regulars on the high-roller circuit and have accomplished so much in their careers. O'Dwyer is recently coming off a win at the Irish Open in his home country, something he said means more than most of his other victories. Meanwhile, Chidwick just captured a title two months ago at EPT Prague in the €5,200 6-Max and has gone on to add three six-figure scores since.
Top 10 Notable Chip Counts from Day 1
|Rank||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|6th||Stephen Chidwick||United Kingdom||246,800||154|
Finishing the day on the top of the leaderboard was German poker pro Sirzat Hissou, with a chip count of 359,000. Sirzat will hold a comfortable lead heading into Day 2 with Troy Quenneville being his closest opponent at 294,800. Rounding out the top three counts was Orpen Kisacikoglu who wound up at 263,200 chips.
The action got underway at 12:30 p.m. local time with 50 players in their seats for the 50% registration fee rakeback offered by PokerStars. The number of entries grew consistently throughout the day, despite the single re-entry format. Some of the notables that were eliminated on Day 1 include Koray Aldemir, Kitty Kuo, Patrik Antonius, Seth Davies, Dietrich Fast, and PokerStars ambassador Sam Grafton who narrowly missed out on some "EPT history".
Grafton was dwindled down to just a couple of big blinds and started to spin it back up for all of a couple of hands, stating that he was going to make a historic EPT comeback. That dream was diminished just a couple of hands later when Grafton lost a flip.
Late registration will remain open until the start of Day 2 for those that still wish to play, or for those that still have a re-entry available to them. Day 2 will begin at 12:30 p.m. local time in America's Room at Monte Carlo Sporting, where another 10 levels will be on the schedule. The PokerNews live reporting team will be back on the tournament floor to bring you all of the live updates throughout the day.