The 1,240 players who took to the felts for the 2010 European Poker Tour (EPT) San Remo Main Event comprised the largest EPT field ever assembled on the continent. Accordingly, the total prize pool swelled to over €6 million.
A total of 44 countries were represented and the top 184 finishers will make the money. To EPT San Remo’s victor will go a top prize of €1.25 million. The EPT is fresh off hosting the mammoth 1,529-player field that assembled for January’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas. That tournament saw young gun Harrison Gimbel defeat Tyler “puffinmypurp” Reiman heads-up to collect a mammoth $2.2 million payday. Based on current exchange rates, the champion of EPT San Remo will pocket $1.68 million.
As you might expect, Italians accounted for one-third of the field in the EPT San Remo event, whose attendance may have been even larger had it not been for a massive volcano eruption that has disrupted air traffic throughout Europe. The next largest contingent of players, making up 9% of the field, came from nearby France. A total of 8% of the field hailed from the United States, while Germany, Russia, and Sweden each sent between 6% and 7% of the entrants. Other countries represented included the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Canada, Portugal, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Ireland, Switzerland, Norway, Poland, and Belgium.
A field of 627 players survived one of two starting days at EPT San Remo to move on to Day 2 on Saturday. When the smoke cleared on the second day, the field had been slashed all the way to 194. Perched atop the leaderboard entering Sunday’s action are several familiar names, including DoylesRoom Brunson 10 member Steve “gboro780” Gross, who holds 530,000 chips. Also sitting pretty is Team PokerStars Pro front man Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier, who has amassed 454,000 chips, good for one of the top tallies in the room. The entire field trails Dmitry Stelmak’s mountain of 670,000 entering Day 3.
Other players who survived to see Sunday’s action in the Italian hot spot included North American Poker Tour (NAPT) Mohegan Sun High Roller Bounty Shootout winner Jason Mercier, Gimbel, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Thomas Bichon, and EPT Snowfest winner Allan Baekke. The money bubble will burst when 184 players remain, with a minimum payout of €7,500 up for grabs. The top 104 players will earn a five-figure payday, while seven combatants will be in store for a six-figure bankroll boost.
The tournament was supposed to be capped at 1,100 players, but extra tables were set up in order to accommodate the final field of 1,240. Busting on Friday night at San Remo was Barry Greenstein, who profiled his exit via Twitter: “Second to last hand of the night. All-in with K-Q on a Q high board against A-9. Busted by an Ace on the river.” Greenstein drove to the tournament after being unable to fly due to the volcano and arrived to find that 5,000 of his 30,000 in starting chips had been blinded off. His total travel time from the United States was a colossal 43 hours.
According to an article published on Saturday on Yahoo, airspace restrictions across Europe have varied widely, which should make it equally difficult for players to return home. Swiss air space was open above 36,000 feet, while Polish skies were closed above 20,000 feet. Contrast that with Germany, where air carrier Lufthansa sent ten empty planes from Frankfort to Munich at 10,000 feet. Moreover, some European airlines are contemplating layoffs because of the looming ash cloud.
Last year, Netherlands native Constant Rijkenberg bested a field of 1,178 players in the EPT San Remo Main Event.