On Thursday, 36 players returned to the tables in Deauville, France to play four 90-minute levels in an attempt to become the next to earn a European Poker Tour (EPT) title. By the time Day 4 drew to a close in the PokerStars-sponsored event, just 15 players remained with their eyes on the trophy and the €543,700 first-place prize money.
Joseph Carlino, of the hosting nation, was the player with the largest stack. He will come back for Day 5 with 2.757 million chips. Two others finished the day with over 2 million stacks. Carlo Savinelli bagged up 2.565 million and Benjamin Buhr put his name on 2.01 million.
Another player who is still in contention for the title is the man we claimed as our honourary Canadian contender, Kevin MacPhee. The young American spends a lot of his time in Canada where he plays online. MacPhee very nearly became the second person to earn two EPT titles last year. His first was earned in 2010 in the EPT Berlin Main Event, and he fell just short of the feat last October when he came second in the EPT London Main Event. Victoria Coren-Mitchell became the first player to ever win an EPT twice last year, and MacPhee is in the hunt at EPT Deauville to join the elite club.
Some of the notable players whose run came to an end on Day 4 include Bertrand Grospellier (31st — €14,490), Ruben Visser (28th — €14,490), and Guillaume Darcourt (19th — €22,160).
Day 5 will resume with MacPhee sitting third from the bottom with 581,000, and Benjamin Pollak continues with 877,000 as well.
€10,300 High Roller Kicks Off
Thursday was also the day the second EPT event of the Deauville stop got its start. The €10,300 High Roller found 128 entries, which broke the record set last year with 115.
By the end of the day, Eric Sfez from France had the most chips after playing the 10 one-hour levels. He will return with 315,300 chips. Hot on his heels was American Jonathan Little with 283,100 and Argentinean Ivan Luca in third with 244,300, making it a truly international top three.
Coming as no surprise, there were no Canadians in the field, as Canadians were also a no-show for the Main Event. But among the players who will continue to Day 2 include some familiar faces like Vincente Delgado, Davidi Katai, Eugene Katchalov, Oleksii Khoroshenin, Tobias Peters, Dominik Nitsche, Andrea Dato, Sylvain Loosli, and Anton Wigg.
Dominik Panka, Bertrand Grospellier, and Fabrice Soulier were among those who fired a shot at Day 1 but failed to survive the day.
Registration remains open until 15 minutes before play resumes, so the record-breaking field may be pushed a little further yet. Check back with PokerNews Canada for our report of the action when Day 2 concludes.