EPT Grand Final: Paul Newey heads early leader board

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With one day in the books and another 10 still to come, the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final is a marathon. But it’s a marathon comprising a number of sprints.

The first of those raced away at a remarkable clip this afternoon in the Sporting Club at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel. It was Day 1 of the first €10,000 high roller event, and it attracted a remarkable 156 players. To think they only opened about five tables at the start, so unsure were the tournament organisers that anybody was yet in town. Of course they were. And they’re all already playing.

Leading the pack heading around the first bend is Paul Newey, who bagged up 189,500 chips tonight after eight levels of play. He did that on his first and only bullet (so far), boosted by an early double-knockout when he rivered a full house against a flush and a set. Jean-Noel Thorel is close behind, with 189,000.

The prize pool swelled with the money of those less fortunate. About 50 players were knocked out, of whom 21 have already taken the optional re-entry.

Registration is open until the start of Level 11 tomorrow, which is the third they will play. So there may well be many more players and more re-entries. We’ll also know the full size of the field, and the prize structure, somewhere close to the mid-point of the day.

Among the other big stacks tonight are the following:

Julian Stuer – 180,000
Bryn Kenney – 168,000
Vlad Darie – 166,000
Stefan Sontheimer – 155,500
Koray Aldemir – 151,200
Onur Unsal – 148,500
Jason Wheeler – 137,000
Kully Sidhu – 137,000
Farid Jattin – 135,900
Steve O’Dwyer – 133,000

But there are big names all the way through this field. Other familiar faces, and their stacks, include:

Charlie Carrel – 130,300
Chance Kornuth – 121,800
Dzmitry Urbanovich – 93,500
Patrik Antonius – 39,300
Jason Mercier – 24,000

Action grows even more frenetic tomorrow, when the France Poker Series (FPS) main event and the Monaco Cup both get going and there’s also a €10,000 super-satellite to the super high roller tournament. Our focus will be on the FPS and this €10K, where they will play another 10 levels. The first two will last 45 minutes, then it’s 60-minute levels until the end.

Scroll down to read all of today’s coverage. And that chip-count page will have the full counts from the day’s play as and when we get them.

Goodnight for now.

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