When the European Poker Tour (EPT) scheduled a stop in Malta on the 2015 calender, it was bound to be a big event. Timed to coincide with the Global Poker Masters, there were big names a-plenty registering for the first day of the Main Event on Sunday.
Day 1a saw 260 total entries, and after eight levels of play, 152 players bagged chips to return on Day 2. Greek player Evangelos Tsairis leads the way with 180,300 chips with Romanian Ignat Liviu close behind at 161,900. Other notables in the top 10 include American Alec Torelli with 133,100 as well as Austrian Thomas Muehloecker with 121,200.
As is often the case, Canada is well represented at EPT Malta. The top Canadian at the end of Day 1a is Ryan Yu looking to improve on his recent 20th place in Melbourne at the Aussie Millions Main Event. Yu heads to Day 2 with 98,000 chips. Ryan McEathron bagged up 74,100 while Montreal's Samuel Chartier finished the day at 67,000.
Other notable Canadians on their way to day 2 include Marc-Etienne McLaughlin with 52,000 and Sam Greenwood with 25,600. Another Canadian bagging a short stack at the end of Day 1a was Carter Swidler who's second bullet was the charm. After busting one buy-in, he managed to bag 36,000 from his second buy-in.
The Canadians will have heavy competition from some big names that also made it through Day 1a. Russian Andrey Shatilov was the last person to bag over 100K at 102,000, and German Team PokerStars Pro Jan Heitmann bagged a healthy 75,600. 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure winner Dominik Panka will bring 66,700 chips into Day 2, while the always-entertaining Theo Jorgensen ended with 52,900. The always-dangerous Ole Schemion finished with a small stack of 36,200.
Day 1b gives players another chance to get into Day 2, and at least one Canadian is ready to go. After a second place in a Full Tilt Online Poker Series event, Griffin Benger tweeted his intentions to roll that confidence into EPT Malta.
Finished 2nd in the FTOPS $2500 for $78k. Nice little confidence boost going into Day 1B of the #EPTMalta Main Event tomorrow!Follow @GriffinBenger
Check back here with another recap after Day 1b concludes from PokerNews Canada.