More than 500 people of the nearly 900 who registered made it through one of the Day 1s in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Malta Main Event, including 25 Canadians. 121 players will share a piece of the €4,340,750 prizepool, and by the time the final cards were dealt on Day 2, only 198 players remained in contention for the title.
Leading the way is Canadian Samuel Chartier, who ended the day sitting on 465,500 chips. Coming off a strong 2014 in which he won the High Roller at the PokerStars Canada Cup and placed fifth in World Poker Tour Montreal, Chartier is looking to translate his success at Playground Poker onto the European stage. Also in the top 10 chip counts is Quebec native Francois Billard with 320,000 chips. Billard has had some success on the EPT circuit already when he came third in the High Roller event from 2014's EPT Prague.
Germans Moritz Dietrich and Ismail Kalkan are hot on Chartier's heels in second and third with 460,000 and 426,900, respectively. Also in the top 10 breathing down Chartier's and Billard's necks is the ever-dangerous Sam Trickett, bagging a sixth-place stack of 345,000.
Top Canadian from Day 1b, Noah Vaillancourt, bagged a very respectable stack of 285,000 for 12th place. Other Canadians bagging notable stacks include Martin Fournier Giguere (225,000), Marc-Etienne McLaughlin (159,200), Sorel Mizzi (131,900), and Griffin Benger (110,400). Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel finished with a smaller stack, and will take 77,500 into Day 3.
The money bubble will burst on Wednesday in Day 3, and there are some familiar names to watch as the money approaches. Alec Torelli bagged over 200,000 chips, and 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champion Dominik Panka, a PokerStars-sponsored player, finished the day with just under 200K at 197,300. Coming off a second place in the recent High Roller at this EPT stop, Connor Drinan ended with 113,400, while the reigning World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Martin Jacobson manages to take 67,700 into Day 3.
First place will pay €810,400 and the first step to that prize is sure to happen tomorrow when the money bubble bursts. Check back here for a recap of all the action from Day 3 and find out which Canadians will take home money from Malta.