The 2016 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final drew a crowd of 778, and Albert Daher bagged the overnight chip lead on Day 1b, taking 266,600 chips forward to Day 2. More than 223 PokerStars online qualifiers participated on Day 1b alone, and with registration open until the start of Day 2 this event will get very close to 1,100 total entries.
Daher started his day out in the perfect possible way, turning a jack-high flush in a five-bet pot. Daher had four-bet jack-ten suited and his opponent five-bet with pocket fives. Moments later, he had all of the player's chips. A little while later, Daher busted two more players, and he didn't look back after that bagging up a massive chip lead.
A ton of Team PokerStars players entered the event today, headlined by team pro Vanessa Selbst with 155,200 and followed by Fatima Moreira de Melo with 149,200. Moreira de Melo had a very entertaining table for most of the day, and we managed to capture one of the big pots she won.
Players that didn't see things go their way included [Removed:17], Andrey Zaichenko, Lee Markholt, and Andrew Chen, who were knocked out in the early goings. PokerStars team pro Daniel Negreanu entered the tournament after the dinner break, but he lasted for no more than 35 minutes.
Negreanu made top pair top kicker with ace-king, but that was not enough against Markku Koplimaa, who had hit his gut shot straight on the turn. The Estonian player ended up taking 199,900 to Day 2, and that makes him one of the biggest stacks in the room.
The chip leader aside, Kuljinder Sidhu (231,000) and Sebastian Lebaron (234,400) are the only two players over 200,000. The other Team PokerStars players that survived the day included Randy Lew (143,000), Naoya Kihara (123,100), Celina Lin (27,300), and Lex Veldhuis (14,300).
Play will continue on Monday at 12 p.m. local time.