€25,500 High Roller
€25,500 High Roller
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Benny Spindler Leads a Record-Breaking €25,000 High Roller Field

• Taso 10: 800-1,600, 200 ante
Benny Spindler
Benny Spindler

The €25,000 High Roller saw a staggering 158 players enter, 37 more than last year. A total of 47 players used their option to reenter after going bust on the first day, which made for 205 total entries thus far. Registration for this tournament will remain open until the start of Day 2, so that number might grow even more. It's still shy 42 entries from $25,000 High Roller at the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, which had 247 runners, but we're talking Euros as the buy-in here, so the first place might be bigger.

As expected, every table was filled with recognizable faces. There were a bunch of Team PokerStars Pros in the mix with Daniel Negreanu, Alex Kravchenko, Eugene Katchalov, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and two-time European Poker Tour champion Vicky Coren Mitchell representing. Notable absentees were Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, Vanessa Selbst, Richard Yong, and Paul Phua. However, with late registration still open, those guys might hop in tomorrow.

Without a doubt the most entertaining table was the one featuring Artem Litvinov and Viktor "Isildur1" Blom. Litvinov acted as he always does, full of bravado and with crazy antics. In one of the hands he played with Grospellier, the two decided to not look at their cards until the river. That turned out great for Litvinov, who found himself with jacks in the hole. He tried to make it a three-way blind hand the next hand, but Blom wasn't up for it. "No, no," laughed Blom, "This is too crazy!" We imagine stuff like this wouldn't be too crazy for him if it wasn't for the fact that he was extremely short stacked at that point.

Blom proved to be a very patient tournament player. The man that swings online like no other, with millions on the line and all in on one of many tables consistently, was very relaxed. At no point did he let his shoulders hang. He ended the day with 57,600, while Litvinov bagged 84,700.

One more player that got a lot of attention was Ole Schemion. After cashing both the €100,000 Super High Roller (7th - €307,000) and the €10,000 Main Event (44th - €24,400), could he go for the triple like he did in Barcelona and at PCA? He didn't start out that great, busting his first bullet after just a few hours of play. "I bluffed," he joked about his bust out hand. "I check-jammed the river." It turned out his opponent had flopped trips and wasn't willing to lay that down. Schemion promptly reentered.

On his second bullet, Schemion lasted a bit longer. He doesn't have the huge towers of chips we're used to seeing him behind, but it's still early and anything can happen. Schemion will start the second day tomorrow with 128,200 in chips, still well above average.

A remarkable thing happened in the second level of the day. With the board reading {3-Clubs}{4-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{10-Clubs}{Q-Clubs}, Fabian Quoss tabled the {Q-Hearts}{J-Hearts} at showdown against Johannes Strassmann. Strassmann mucked his cards, but immediately realized that wasn't the most optimal way to handle the situation seeing a flush was on the board. Luckily for Strassmann, it wasn't a big pot and they laughed it of. Strassmann and Quoss both wouldn't make the full 10 60-minute levels as they busted before the end of the day.

The biggest stack in the room is that of Benny Spindler. The German EPT London winner ended the day with 384,300 in chips. When we asked him how he got those, it was a tale of mostly winning small pots. To hear how Spindler amassed so many chips on Day 1a, check out his interview with PokerNews upon the completion of play:

Talal Shakerchi (173,100), Chenxiang Miao (231,400), Ismail Erkenov (355,600), and John Juanda (290,600) didn't do too bad either. [Removed:17] (127,500), Bryan Paris (119,100), and Dani Stern (69,000) all busted the Main Event earlier in the day and hopped right into the €25,000 High Roller. Last year's €25,000 High Roller winner, Steven Silverman, is among the final 17 in the Main Event, so he didn't enter this tournament, paving the way for a new champion.

The plan for Day 2 is to play down to a final table or another 10 levels. With the massive field here in Monte Carlo, 10 levels is more likely than the other. PokerNews will again supply you with all the updates, photos and interviews with the biggest players. With just about everyone in the field a big-time player, we'll be busy, busy, busy!

See you tomorrow for another exciting day on the felt.

Tagit: Artem LitvinovBenny SpindlerDani SternDaniel NegreanuFabian QuossJohannes StrassmannJohn JuandaOle SchemionTalal Shakerchi

Stay Tuned for a Full Recap of the Day 1 Action

• Taso 10: 800-1,600, 200 ante

Please stay tuned for a full recap of the Day 1 action from the 2014 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final €25,500 High Roller.

Notable End-of-Day 1 Chip Counts and Eliminations

• Taso 10: 800-1,600, 200 ante

The official chip counts for the entire field will be posted just as soon as they're released by the tournament officials.

Benny Spindler de 384,300 34,300
Ismail Erkenov RU 355,600 305,600
John Juanda id 290,600 35,600
Dmitry Yurasov ru 242,000 62,000
Chenxiang Miao CN 231,400 181,400
Sam Greenwood ca 229,900 179,900
Sorel Mizzi ca 228,700 178,700
Byron Kaverman us 194,100 87,100
Angel Guillen mx 167,500 20,500
Timothy Adams ca 165,500 97,500
Rui Cao fr 154,300 -20,700
Alex Bilokur ru 151,700
Thomas Muhlocker at 142,200
Noah Schwartz us 130,900 80,900
Oleksii Khoroshenin ua 129,900 79,900
Ole Schemion de 128,200 13,200
[Removed:17] 127,500
Vicky Coren Mitchell gb 126,000 1,000
Mike McDonald ca 125,400 65,400
Paul Klann ca 125,400 -4,600
Talal Shakerchi gb 125,400 -66,900
Yevgeniy Timoshenko ua 121,500 70,500
Michael Telker us 119,100
Stephen Chidwick gb 117,300
Daniel Negreanu ca 110,700 90,700

Lue koko

Spindler Sends Voulgaris Out for a Second Time; Becomes Clear Chip Leader

• Taso 10: 800-1,600, 200 ante

In one of the last hands of the night, there was a board reading {8-Clubs}{3-Hearts}{7-Clubs}{j-Hearts}{a-Hearts} and about 65,000 in the pot. Haralabos Voulgaris, who busted once already, checked from the big blind and Benny Spindler slid out a big bet of 60,000, which covered the 40,000 or so Voulgaris had behind.

"If I call, do I have to show my hand if I don't win?" Voulgaris asked the dealer, who indicated that he did. "That's the worst part."

Voulgaris thought for another minute or so before dropping in the call, and Spindler rolled over the {10-Spades}{9-Clubs} for the straight. Voulgaris went to muck, but the dealer revealed his hand — the {j-Clubs}{9-Hearts}. Spindler became the clear chip leader after the hand, while Voulgaris made his way to the exit for the final time.

Benny Spindler de 380,000 30,000
Haralabos Voulgaris ca Ulkona

Tagit: Benny SpinderHaralabos Voulgaris

Guillen Guts Peters

• Taso 10: 800-1,600, 200 ante
David Peters
David Peters

In the closing minute of the evening, David Peters got his stack of 68,400 all in preflop against Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen.

Guillen: {k-Diamonds}{k-Spades}
Peters: {a-}{k-}

It was a bad spot for Peters, and he was looking to catch an ace or some other combination of good cards. That didn't come to pass though as the board ran out a clean {3-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}{10-Spades}.

Angel Guillen mx 147,000 97,000
David Peters us Ulkona

Tagit: Angel GuillenDavid Peters

Just a Couple More Hands

[user18957] • Taso 10: 800-1,600, 200 ante

and the players are done for the day. We'll be back with you in a bit when we write down chip counts and an end of day recap of the action.

Late Night Eliminations

[user18957] • Taso 10: 800-1,600, 200 ante

Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Max Silver and Antonio Esfandiari have been eliminated with just about 15 minutes of play left for the day.

Troyanovskiy ran into Martin Finger's {A-Spades}{A-Diamonds} with {A-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}. The {6-Clubs}{2-Clubs}{3-Spades}{Q-Clubs}{10-Diamonds} board didn't improve either and Troyanovskiy was out of the tournament just like that.

Esfandiari ran kings into Sorel Mizzi's tens with the board displaying a ten.

Max Silver had {A-Spades}{K-Clubs} all in before the flop against the {A-Clubs}{A-Hearts} of a Russian player. The {Q-Spades}{9-Clubs}{2-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}{J-Diamonds} didn't improve him enough and he made his way to the exit.

Max Silver gb Ulkona
Antonio Esfandiari us Ulkona
Vladimir Troyanovskiy ru Ulkona

Tagit: Antonio EsfandiariMartin FingerMax SilverSorel Mizzi

Smith Doubles Through Shakerchi

[user18957] • Taso 10: 800-1,600, 200 ante

As we neared table seven we saw Talal Shakerchi with 3,200 and {8-Diamonds}{9-Spades} in front of him. Smith had about 23,000 and {5-Clubs}{5-Diamonds} in front of him. Shakerchi had apparently opened, and called the shove from Smith that followed.

The board didn't improve Shakerchi's hand, but it did Smith's while he didn't need it: {Q-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{2-Hearts}{K-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}. Smith is back up to around starting stack, Shakerchi drops to just under 200,000.

Talal Shakerchi gb 192,300 -17,700
Dan Smith us 50,000 27,000

Tagit: Talal ShakerchiDan Smith

Cates’ Magic Hand

• Taso 10: 800-1,600, 200 ante
Daniel Cates
Daniel Cates

Tobias Reinkemeier was in the big blind and had called a bet from Dan Cates to see a flop of {6-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{4-Spades}. He then check called a bet of 4,000 from Cates and when the turn card {8-Spades} arrived a check from Reinkemeier saw Cates bet again for 6,000.

Reinkemeier now moved all in and Cates threw his hand away. Reinkemeier showed {a-Spades} and Cates started talking.

“That’s pretty weird. I guess you got a five then.” Cates mused, and when asked what he had by Reinkemeier he answered, “I had a magic hand, a hand that would blow your mind.”

Cates will need some magic to survive as he is currently very short on chips.

Dan Cates us 14,000 -36,000