Baptiste Carteau Tops Day 1a of EPT €1,100 French National Championship
One of the most highly-anticipated events of the 2019 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino European Poker Tour festival kicked off at The Monte-Carlo Sporting with Day 1a of the €1,100 French National Championship attracting a field of 353 players in the first of three starting flights. The popular mid-stakes event, formerly known as the France Poker Series and EPT National, was whittled down all the way to the top 15% of the field and 53 players ensured a portion of the expected seven-figure prize pool.
Topping the field with 12:12 left in Level 16 at blinds of 2,000/5,000/5,000 was Frenchman Baptiste Carteau with a stack of 607,000. He was closely followed by WPT champion James Romero (550,000), as well as WSOP bracelet winner and 2019 $25,000 PokerStars NL Hold’em Players Championship runner-up Julien Martini (539,000). The trio atop the counts were the only players to amass more than half a million in chips.
Other big stacks and notables through to Day 2 include Gilbert Diaz (464,000), Giuseppe Zarbo (461,000), Zakhar Babaev (425,000), Danut Chisu (392,000), Maya Geller (291,000), Dutch EPT stalwart and Monaco resident Govert Metaal (188,000), Leo Margets (149,000), Joey Weissman (110,000), Aylar Lie (86,000), John Mooney (62,000) and 2018 EPT National Barcelona winner Jean-René Fontaine (42,000).
Top 10 Day 1a Chip Counts
Babaev was the chip leader after Day 1 of the initial €1,100 NLHE Event and finished in 24th, Martini ended up in 21st place, and both then jumped right back into the action to end with top 10 stacks each. The last player to bust without anything to show for was Romania’s Radu Catoiu, who lost a flip with jacks against the ace-king suited of Danilo Velasevic.
The long list of notables who will have to re-enter on Day 1b or Day 1c in order to make a profit in the tournament include such big names as Antoine Saout, Sergio Castelluccio, Jack Salter, Ami Barer, 2018 EPT Barcelona runner-up Haoxiang Wang, Gaelle Baumann, Randy "nanonoko" Lew, Ryan Tosoc, Dinesh Alt, Erwann Pecheux, Paul-Francois Tedeschi, and Ali Reza Fatehi.
Lew’s vital showdowns of the day included pocket treys. First, he cracked the pocket eights of Tedeschi to oust the Frenchman. However, the American failed to come from behind a second time when his treys were dominated by the pocket fours of Diego Furlanetto. A four appeared right away on the flop and Lew was left drawing dead on the turn.
For Kristen Bicknell, things were looking very promising mid-way through the day when she entered and soon joined the big stacks after a double elimination with a straight flush, but the Canadian also busted in the final two levels of Day 1a.
All three PokerStars ambassadors that joined the action were sent to the rail throughout the day including Kalidou Sow, Celina Lin and Fatima Moreira De Melo. Defending champion Guillaume Diaz entered the field in the last level of registration and quickly tripled his stack, however, Diaz ran out of steam and vanished towards the end of the night.
Another two starting days remain for all those that wish to take another shot. Saturday will feature Day 1b (with 40-minute levels) as of 12 p.m. and Day 1c (30-minute levels) at 6 p.m. local time. One entry per flight is allowed and all those that bust can enter the following starting day, providing a maximum of three entries in this event.
All survivors then combine for Day 2 on Sunday, April 28th, 2019, as of 12 p.m. local time and the prize pool information will be released when the cards go back in the air. The PokerNews live reporting team will be on the floor to provide all the action until a champion is crowned.
Be sure to follow the PokerNews live reporting team for all of the updates throughout all of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT events.
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