[Removed:16] from France ended the day as chip leader with 199,100 but wasn’t even an ante ahead of second placed man Naoufel Bennani-Smires who bagged 199,000.
Bennani-Smires is looking to follow in his father’s footsteps. Karim Bennani Smires finished in 8th place in EPT6 London 2009 for £50,100 which was his best ever cash.
It was an early 11am start for the poker players who arrived at the Hippodrome Casino bleary eyed but in force to play Day 1b of the brand new PokerStars Festival London Main Event.
There were 45 eager players sat at the tables for the “Shuffle up and deal!” but that number steadily increased by the close of registration to 164 which was just 5 short of yesterday’s turnout.
At the close of 12 levels of play there were be 51 survivors happy to bring chips through to Day 2 and they will be joining the 45 from Day 1a.
Notables in the field who will be returning for Day 2 include Daniel Harwood (166,800), Yehoram Houri (130,000), PokerStars Team Pro Luca Pagano (125,700) and Benjamin Philipps (71,000)
There was also 12 PokerStars Online qualifiers who made it through to Day 2 including the first ever Spin & Go Qualifier John McGlynn who has 72,800.
Some of the big names who failed to bag chips however include Natalia Breviglieri who was knocked out by the same player who shoved against her with a flush draw in the High Roller. It happened again, the flush got there again, and Breviglieri had a bad dose of Déjà vu. Joe Grech, Steven Watts, Albert Sapiani and David Urban also failed to make the cut.
Day 1c starts tomorrow at 11am and follows the same structure, and for those who have played a Day 1 and failed to make it through there is one final chance in a 10pm Turbo. For the rest there is the Players Party in Lola’s Underground Casino.
Two players who are playing tomorrow are snooker legend Stephen Hendry and a poker player you may have heard of recently, Will Kassouf.
Stay tuned to PokerNews for all the action from the felt.