€4,900 Main Event
€4,900 Main Event
Day 1a completed

Cristiano Guerra Leads Day 1a Field; Selbst & Joentausta Advance

[user153638] • Level 8: 300-600, 75 ante
Cristiano Guerra
Cristiano Guerra

The PokerStars.it European Poker Tour Sanremo stop has always been a popular destination for poker players from around the world. Ever since the first time in 2008, the year Jason Mercier first showed his face to the poker world, the tournament has made for a packed Casinò di Sanremo.

At first the tournament was held right before the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, making it the perfect destination for a three-week poker trip for lots of players who combined the back-to-back stops. The last two years the stop in Italy was moved to the first half of the EPT schedule, but this year it's back right before the big final in Monaco.

Day 1a of the tournament attracted 175 players, which was down from last year's 320 players. One of last year's participants was Ludovic Lacay, who wound up beating a total field of 797 player to win the trophy and the accompanying €744,910 first-place prize. Day 1b is expected to be quite a bit bigger, so we'll find out then if this year's Main Event can give last year's numbers a run for its money.

Despite the modest field, a lot of action was seen on the first of two starting days. There were plenty of familiar faces in the field including 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Pius Heinz; bracelet winners Michael Gathy and Vanessa Selbst; and a slew of Team PokerStars Pro, which made for a competitive day of poker.

EPT Vienna winner Oleksii Khoroshenin was in action as well trying to win back-to-back EPTs. Unfortunately his quest came to an end in the last level of the night. After an open raise to 1,400, Pawel Brzeski three-bet to 4,000 in the small blind and the Vienna champion moved all in for ~14,000 one seat over. Brzeski looked him up with the {K-Hearts}{Q-Clubs} and was behind against the {A-Clubs}{Q-Diamonds} of his opponent; however, the {J-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{K-Clubs} flop provided the necessary help. The turn and river both blanked and that was it for the Ukrainian.

Blazej Przygorzewski from Poland was the first player to bust on Day 1a. His queens couldn't beat the ace-king of his opponent in an all-in preflop race. He was soon joined on the rail by tons of players. Coincidentally, another EPT Vienna winner, Michael Eiler, was one of them. Eiler lost his stack in the first level of the day, not able to get anything going and eventually busting with jack-eight to a set of sixes.

Another familiar face who wouldn't play eight 75-minute levels today was Kitty Kuo. The frequently tweeting Chinese player was seated next to Selbst throughout Day 1a. Her face and twitter stream showed a cry for compassion, but she wouldn't get it from the Team PokerStars Pro on her left. Selbst and Kuo were involved in the same hand several times, and Selbst got the better of it in most encounters. That included the last one when Kuo's ace-king failed to beat Selbst' queens.

kuo hui chenVanessa bust me out qq vs my AK ,sad now,I want to fly to London tmr !

Friend of PokerStars Natalie Hof tried her luck as well, but it wasn't meant to be. Hof, who won the ladies event in Vienna just two weeks ago, was eliminated when her ace-queen didn't improve against Jordan Westmorland's jacks. Her boyfriend, the aforementioned Heinz, nearly joined her on the rail. He got short early on, but would soon find new life. He doubled up with a turned flush against pocket queens, and then gathered even more chips in back-to-back hands winning huge pots. He ended the day with 80,100.

Poland's Jose Carlos Garcia, like Hof, wasn't lucky with ace-queen against jacks. Aku Joentausta was his executioner flopping a full house. Garcia, who won the €2,000 6-max turbo side-event here in Sanremo two years ago, had zero chips left after that encounter, while Joentausta went on to bag up 125,500.

Joentausta wouldn't finish the day as the chip leader though. That honor went to Cristiano Guerra from Italy. He flopped a set of eights and one fine gentleman wasn't willing to fold his pocket aces. The eights held up and the monster pot was pushed Guerra's way. He finished the night with 148,700.

Day 1b will start at noon on Tuesday. Players are able to enter up until the start of Day 2, but we'll soon enough have an idea on whether or not the tournament gets anywhere near comparable numbers to Season 9's stop.

Lot's of familiar faces are expected for Day 1b including Team PokerStars Pro's Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Liv Boeree, Vicky Coren, and Victor Ramdin. Of course they will be joined by lots of other seasoned pros, qualifiers and local grinders giving it a go.

PokerNews.com will again cover the event with updates from the first flop till the last river, the best photos, and of course video interviews with all of the biggest names. Speaking of which, check out this video on why you should visit Sanremo:

Tags: Cristiano Guerra

Offical End-of-Day 1A Chip Counts (full)

[user153638] • Level 8: 300-600, 75 ante
Cristiano Guerra it 148,700 8,700
John Haigh gb 146,700 16,700
Aku Joentausta fi 125,500 5,500
Artem Romanov RU 103,300
Artem Metalidi ua 101,200 -5,800
Christian Caliumi 101,100 101,100
Yordan Georgiev 99,000 12,000
Bruno Stefanelli IT 97,300 97,300
Julian Track de 97,300 17,300
Douglas Souza BR 93,700 41,700
Dmitry Ponomarev RU 92,800 12,800
Antonio Lafosse pe 88,700
Shayam Srinivasan (Shyam Srinivasan) 87,100
Pawel Brzeski pl 84,800 -15,200
Vincenzo Scarcella IT 84,200 4,200
Fabio Sperling de 84,200 29,700
Stanley Blaby 83,700 83,700
Darie Vlad ro 82,900
Oleg Cazac MD 82,900
Pius Heinz de 80,100 30,100
Salvatore Manna 77,400 -10,600
Giovanni Salvatore it 76,700
Zoltan Purak 72,600 72,600
Dzmitry Urbanovich pl 71,400 400
Yuriy Kudrynskyy 70,300

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Bendinelli Finds A Fold

• Level 8: 300-600, 75 ante

All other tables already bagged up their chips but table 4 was still not done with their last hand. We saw the {J-Diamonds}{3-Spades}{4-Clubs}{4-Hearts} turn and Giuliano Bendinelli bet 2,000 to call the raise of his table neighbor Pratik Ghatge to 6,000. On the {2-Spades} river, the Italian check-folded after about 2 minutes the {J-Clubs}{K-Clubs} openly when Ghatge made it 10,000 to go.

Tags: Pratik Ghatge

Four More Hands

[user153638] • Level 8: 300-600, 75 ante

The tournament staff just announced that the remaining 13 tables will play four more hands at each before bagging and tagging for the night.

Oleksii Khoroshenin Eliminated

• Level 8: 300-600, 75 ante
Oleksii Khoroshenin
Oleksii Khoroshenin

There will be no back-to-back victory for Oleksii Khoroshenin from the Ukraine after he has just hit the rail. After an open raise to 1,400, Pawel Brzeski three-bet to 4,000 in the small blind and the Vienna champion moved all in for ~14,000 one seat over. Brzeski looked him up with the {K-Hearts}{Q-Clubs} and was behind against the {A-Clubs}{Q-Diamonds} of his opponent; however, the {J-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{K-Clubs} flop provided the necessary help. The turn and river both blanked and that was it for the Ukrainian.

Pawel Brzeski pl 100,000 100,000
Oleksii Khoroshenin ua Busted

Tags: Oleksii Khoroshenin

Peck Flushed Away

• Level 8: 300-600, 75 ante

All the chips were in preflop and the player at risk, Vladimir Peck, tabled {k-Diamonds}{k-Spades}. He was in pretty good shape against the {6-Clubs}{6-Diamonds} of German PokerStars player and recent Estrellas Valencia winner Fabio Sperling.

The board ran out {7-Clubs}{10-Clubs}{3-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{3-Clubs} and the flush of the PokerStars Pro did for Peck.

Vladimir Peck us Busted

Tags: Adam PeckFabio Sperling

Naya Three Outed

• Level 8: 300-600, 75 ante

After a raise and the three-bet by Adrian Naya from Spain, Julian Track in the big blind squeezed it up to 10,000. The initial raiser folded but Naya moved all-in for 22,000 - pot odds for the Prague champion with the {K-Hearts}{J-Spades} and he made the call versus the {J-Clubs}{J-Diamonds} of the Spaniard. The {9-Diamonds}{A-Hearts}{K-Clubs}{3-Hearts}{K-Spades} board however delivered two kings and Naya left the tournament area in a very frustrated mood.

Julian Track de 80,000 32,000
Adrian Naya Busted

Tags: Julian Track

Swingy for Goncalves

• Level 8: 300-600, 75 ante

The final board was {8-Spades}{4-Diamonds}{6-Spades}{4-Spades}{2-Diamonds} and Candido Goncalves had bet 5,100. Carlo Savinelli thought about it for a fair amount of time while having a massage. He had a decent stack after doubling through Vanessa Selbst and now he raised Goncalves to 15,300.

There wasn’t much of a pause however before Goncalves declared all in. Savinelli sighed deeply and checked his hand more than three times before making the fold and leaving a fair chunk of chips behind.

On the next hand Carl Henriksson opened for 1,250 and Savinelli three-bet him to 3,500. Sat to the left of Savinelli was Goncalves who four-bet. Henriksson had just over 15,000 left and moved all in.

Goncalves instantly called with {a-Clubs}{a-Hearts} and the at risk Henriksson showed {j-Clubs}{j-Hearts}. The final run out of the board, {q-Spades}{7-Spades}{7-Clubs}{2-Diamonds}{j-Diamonds}, gave Henriksson salvation on the end to double up and survive while Goncalves had to pass a slice of his winnings across the felt.

Carlo Savinelli it 40,000 -30,000
Carl Henriksson 36,000 12,000
Candido Goncalves 29,000 -2,000

Tags: Candido GoncalvesCarlo SavinelliVanessa SelbstCarl Henriksson

Steady Grind From Srinivasan

• Level 8: 300-600, 75 ante
Shyam Srinivasan
Shyam Srinivasan

PCA finalist Shyam Srinivasan raised the cutoff to 1,200 and one seat further an Italian called to see the {A-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}{K-Spades} flop. Srinivasan made the continuation bet of 1,500 and did so again on the {2-Spades} turn for 3,000, though his opponent quickly called twice. Both then checked the {10-Spades} river and the Italian raked in the chips with {A-Spades}{5-Clubs}. This was only a minor setback for Srinivasan however, as the Canadian got all the way up from 15,000 earlier today.

Shyam Srinivasan ca 83,000 13,000

Tags: Shyam Srinivasan