Both starting flights have been completed at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort as the 2019 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event heads into Wednesday’s Day 2. Sylvain Mazza is the chip leader, bagging 288,700 chips at the end of the night.

Turnout for the EPT Monte Carlo Main Event has been excellent. There have been 903 entries for the €5,300 tournament, 342 on Day 1A and 561 on Day 1B. Late registration is open until the start of Day 2, so expect a few more players to plunk down some cash. This is the third-largest EPT Monte Carlo after 2016 (1,098) and 2009 (935) and easily beat last year’s figure of 777. The entry count is within striking distance of that 2009 number, but in a situation like this one where registration closes at the start of Day 2, there is usually only a handful of players who make that last-ditch effort, so I would guess this week’s tournament stays in third place. Players are permitted a single re-entry, so those who busted out in one of the starting flights and have not tried again still have that chance on Wednesday.

The chip leader, Sylvain Mazza, has never won a major live tournament title, though he did win a preliminary event at WPT Marrakech in 2009 for $126,142. That score makes up about a third of his total live earnings. He is on a roll right now, though, as in addition to how he is doing in the EPT Monte Carlo Main Event, he finished seventh in the €1,100 No Limit Hold’em – French National Championship event in Monte Carlo, as well, entering the final table with the chip lead. The finish after having the chip lead was probably disappointing, but Mazza is nonetheless playing some good poker right now.

It is a pretty close race at the top of the leaderboard, as Sam Grafton is only about 30,000 chips behind Mazza. There are four other players with more than 200,000 chips and another five with more than 180,000. All told, there are 367 players remaining in the Main Event field.

The EPT Monte Carlo Main Event used to be the “Grand Final” of the European Poker Tour season, but this year, it is leading off the year’s schedule. There are just four events on the EPT calendar this season (Season 15), though that is more than the three from Season 13 and the same as in Season 14. After Season 13, PokerStars rebranded the EPT as the PokerStars Championship, but realizing that was a bad idea, the European Poker Tour name was revived last year. Thus, there is actually a year gap between Season 13 and 14.

2019 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino European Poker Tour Main Event – Day 1A Chip Leaders

  1. Ludovic Geilich – 271,400
  2. Julien Martini – 218,000
  3. Conor Beresford – 195,500
  4. Ibrahim Ghassan – 182,000
  5. Dominykas Karmazinas – 178,600
  6. Afshin Taheri – 176,000
  7. Benjamin Pollak – 161,900
  8. Boris Kolev – 160,000
  9. Aladin Reskallah – 160,000
  10. Paul Michaelis – 159,000

2019 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino European Poker Tour Main Event – Day 1B Chip Leaders

  1. Sylvain Mazza – 288,700
  2. Sam Grafton – 259,800
  3. James Romero – 235,000
  4. Rustam Hajiyev – 217,400
  5. Yazan Mdanat – 200,400
  6. Emrah Cakmak – 200,300
  7. Tomas Jozonis – 193,300
  8. Erwann Pecheux – 190,200
  9. Alan Lau – 186,200
  10. Jes Bondo – 180,600

2019 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino European Poker Tour Main Event – Combined Day 1 Chip Leaders

  1. Sylvain Mazza – 288,700
  2. Ludovic Geilich – 271,400
  3. Sam Grafton – 259,800
  4. James Romero – 235,000
  5. Julien Martini – 218,000
  6. Rustam Hajiyev – 217,400
  7. Yazan Mdanat – 200,400
  8. Emrah Cakmak – 200,300
  9. Conor Beresford – 195,500
  10. Tomas Jozonis – 193,300

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