Main Event
Main Event
Day 1a completed

Kabrhel's "Silly" Play Lands Him the Day 1a Chip Lead at the EPT Grand Final

• Level 8: 300-600, 75 ante
Martin Kabrhel tops the lot
Martin Kabrhel tops the lot

The prodigal son has come back to his rightful home. That’s how it feels for all of us involved on the EPT. Madrid was great as a venue for last season’s Grand Final but the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino European Poker Tour is back in the grandest of homes, and we don’t want to move out again.

There are certain tournaments on the global poker calendar that can’t be missed and this is one of them. Everybody who is everybody will be here over the course of the week. Day 1b tomorrow will be big in terms of numbers, but today’s 271-strong field was big in talent.

Out of the 165 players who made it through Martin Kabrhel showed the most talent today, along with a little luck, to bag up 167,800 chips. He got off to a great start when he busted a player whilst holding nine-deuce. The flop had a low board containing two little ducks and his opponent couldn't release his pocket tens. From there he reached the dizzy heights of 200k after playing "silly" as he described it, before he dropped back to where he sits until day 2.

Kabrhel played the latter stages of the day along side Freddy Deeb and John Eames, who were also two of the bigger stacks. They finished on 114,600 and 157,200 respectively. Just one table along from them sat David "Doc" Sands who treated himself to a long massage that helped him to finish on 163,300.

Other notables who made it through included the last winner here Nicolas Chouity (38,700), Phil Ivey (72,000), Ondrej Vinklarek (83,200) and Steve O'Dwyer (101,600).

The full force of Team PokerStars Pro will be on show tomorrow but 14 were in attendance today. Mickey Petersen from Team Online performed the best with 98,800. Those who failed to make it through included Arnaud Mattern and Jan Heitman.

We'll post the full end of day chip counts here when we get them through shortly. Day 1b kicks off at 12pm (CET) tomorrow and it's going to be big, very big. Join the PokerNews team back here then as we slowly work towards another great champion.

End-of-Day Chip Counts (full)

Martin Kabrhel cz 167,800 -32,200
David Sands us 160,300 70,300
John Eames gb 157,200 -22,800
Malte Moennig 136,900
Tristan Clemencon fr 121,100 78,100
Freddy Deeb us 114,600 -400
Frank Koopmann de 113,900
Jason Wheeler us 112,900 66,900
Alex Mostafavi 110,900
Ben Warrington gb 104,800
Andrey Demidov ru 104,400
Steve O'Dwyer ie 101,600 58,600
Marc-Andre Ladouceur ca 101,300
Scott Seiver us 99,800 13,800
[Removed:119] 99,000
Mickey Petersen dk 98,800 53,800
Georges Dib 96,300
Jonathan Karamalikis au 89,600 13,600
Walid Bou-Habib 85,700 44,700
Santiago Nadal Sordo 85,600
Andrew Badecker us 83,800 -6,200
JP Kelly gb 83,700 -1,300
Ondrej Vinklarek cz 83,200 16,200
Sergio Castelluccio it 83,100
Paul Berende nl 82,100 33,100

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Xuan Liu Leaves The Grand Final

Xuan Liu and Jonathan Karamalikis just had an all-in, pre flop, raising game. Karamalikis was seated on the button with Liu in the small blind. When the cards were turned over it was a flip with Liu at risk of elimination.

Karamalikis{8-Hearts} {8-Clubs}
Liu{A-Clubs} {J-Diamonds}

Board: {10-Clubs} {9-Hearts} {3-Spades} {5-Diamonds} {Q-Spades}

Karamalikis wins the flip and the booby prize for Liu is a Day 1 exit.

Jonathan Karamalikis au 76,000 46,000
Xuan Liu ca Busted

Chip Daddy Table

Freddy Deeb has a big stack, but he's sandwiched between the two biggest stacks in the room in Martin Kabrhel (200k) and John Eames (180k).

Kabrhel asked if he was the biggest stack in the room and I confirmed that I thought he was. JC Alvarado piped in to say, "You should ask him about the hand that got him there!"

Kabrhel refused to give me the details but did say. "I just play funny, you know my style."

Martin Kabrhel cz 200,000 99,000
John Eames gb 180,000 7,000

Tags: Martin KabrhelJohn Eames