The first day of the 2016 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller went off on the opulent grounds of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort on Thursday.
Play started slowly just after 12:30 p.m. local time, with just six players on two three-handed tables, but filled up quickly with 56 total entries, including 12 reentries, by the time eight levels of play were through and 38 survivors bagged up.
Registration will remain open until 15 minutes before Friday's 12:30 p.m. restart, leaving the record of 71 entries for this event set last year as still a possibility, although a relatively unlikely one.
Argentinian high roller regular Ivan Luca got off to a hot start, almost doubling through Canadian Mike McDonald with a full house to take the early lead. He busted Daniel Dvoress with aces over queens soon after and kept things rolling throughout the day, holding the lead most of the way towards bagging 660,000.
However, a solid day from Belarusian Mikita Badziakouski saw him bag the chip lead on 921,000.
As previously mentioned, just 38 players survived the day, with Max Silver, Igor Kurganov, Mustapha Kanit, John Juanda, and Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier among those building big stacks.
Of course, 2015 EPT Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller champion Erik Seidel turned up in defense his title, and managed to push through to Day 2 as well.
In the meantime, Monaco resident Patrik Antonius turned up today, and appeared to be only one of a handful of players who busted, but did not immediately buy back in.
Vladimir Troyanovskiy left in a huff when hedge fund manager and recreational player Dan Shak hit a gutshot to bust him in one of the day's more entertaining hands. But even Troyanovskiy scraped together another €100,000 to take a second kick at this Super High Roller can.
Revenge would not come yet, however, as Troyanovskiy busted that second bullet nearing the end of the night and Shak bagged for Day 2, leaving Troyanovskiy with a decision on Friday morning regarding a third bullet.
Things should heat when play resumes at 12:30 p.m. local time in the battle for seats at the final table with some serious money up top and PokerNews will be there from start to finish.
Tune in then to see how it all shakes down in the 2016 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller.