The dynamic of day two is always hard to predict. The days prior seem pedestrian compared to the cut throat nature when the fields of days 1 A&B join together. The brief camaraderie of having survived that day evaporates, and the simple ‘every man for himself’ nature of the game rears its head once more – just as it should. It’s normally enough to determine who we’ll see later in the week and who we won’t.
The day started with great hope for two Team PokerStars Pros, each choosing ‘impossible comeback’ as their order of the day. That was before those hopes were pulled out from beneath them like rugs.
First it was Victor Ramdin, starting the day with less than 2K. The typical format in these circumstances is a swift all-in within the first few hands, a “thanks very much and good luck guys”, from the vanquished before they hot-foot their way to the rail.
The first bit of this scenario was true for Victor, but by the end of the first hour he’d somehow amassed a stack of over 30K, doubling up more than once to leave himself feeling a little better.
“I don’t have to be crazy now!”
But there was nothing protecting him from that other kind of luck, tangling in a pot all-in with A-K against A-2, a deuce that found a partner on the river.
Barry Greenstein looked likely to take over as revival story of the day. Playing a permanent short stack since he started yesterday, Barry bided his time like few others would, calmly waiting for a hand before doubling up, working his stack to an impressive 70K. But like Victor the wheels came off his run, seen off anonymously amongst the crowds as the day wore on following the dinner break.
It would be an equally bad day for other Team PokerStars Pros – Humberto Brenes, Chad Brown, Noah Boeken and Vanessa Rousso. EPT Copenhagen winner Tim Vance paced his way through most of the day before falling late in the day, as did Gus Hansen, Patrik Antonius, Marc Goodwin, EPT San Remo winner Jason Mercier and EPT Dortmund champ Mike McDonald.
There was no doubting the ugly table/feature table of the day – depending on whether you were sat at it or not.
Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem held court in the company of team mate Luca Pagano, Ed de Haas, Anna Wroblowski, Dan Glimme, Surinder Sunar and PokerStars qualifier Vincent Secher, who it emerged is paying €18 a night to pitch a tent in Nice, having found a shortage of hotel rooms in Monte Carlo. All but Swedish author Glimme found safe passage through the day, albeit with various scrapes and bruises along the way.
The other toughie featured American Antonio Esfandiari. “The Magician” jousted several times with Barry Greenstein, as well as Frenchman Nicolas Levi and internet maestro Sorel Mizzi, finishing the day still in good shape.
But the day was dominated by a trio of Norwegians – Johnny Lodden, Andreas Hagen and Oyvind Riisem. Lodden, who is no stranger to a big stack, finishes with well over 300K, Hagen close behind, but it’s Riisem, with over 400K who leads the field into tomorrow, hoping to better his fourth place at the WSOP Europe last September.
So a Norwegian one-two-three lead us into tomorrow. Day three will take us into the money and will sculpt the tournament into the shape of someone hell-bent on EPT domination and European poker history. It also brings us a day closer to the start of our EPT Live coverage starting Wednesday, giving you the chance to watch all the action in the closing stages of the grand final for yourself.
In the meantime you can find details of all the stories of the day by following the links below. Official chip counts will be posted HERE as they become available.
Back with a bang for day two in Monaco
Light shed on table Greenstein
Elite among the elite
A-games and A-bombs in level 8
Level 7 and 8 wrap
Team PokerStars Profile: Luca Pagano
From Africa to Vegas to Monte Carlo
The difference between coach and first class
Level 9 wrap
Dinner break look-back
Elevator fears and fooseball with Noah
The Unbearable Lightness of Deeb
Level 10 wrap
What about room service?
Level 11 wrap
A scout around the tables
Young guns vs. Old hands
Elites shoot for stars of poker