EPT: Luca Pagano Thriving at New EPT Stop in Tallinn, Estonia

Photo courtesy of PokerStars/Neil Stoddart
Photo courtesy of PokerStars/Neil Stoddart

Season Seven of the PokerStars.net European Poker Tour (EPT) is finally here. It has been a few months since we’ve seen any action on the EPT tables, but the seventh season of one of the biggest tours in the world is now underway with a new stop in Tallinn, Estonia.

Day 1A of the event got underway on Wednesday with 181 players putting up the €4,000 + €250 buy-in (roughly equivalent to $5,475) and taking their seats inside Swissotel Tallinn. There were a number of notables amongst the Day 1A field, including Vanessa Selbst, Annette Obrestad, Carter Phillips, Arnaud Mattern, Luca Pagano, Ivan Demidov, Praz Bansi, and BLUFF Player of the Year frontrunner Sorel Mizzi.

Mizzi won’t be picking up any POY points for this event though, as he was one of the 92 players to hit the rail over the course of the day. Obrestad also failed to survive the first day of play, despite getting a quick start and more than doubling her starting stack of 30,000 chips. Things went sour for Obrestad as the afternoon wore on though and she exited shortly before play ended for the night.

A total of 89 players survived to return for Day 2 of play on Friday with Ali Tekintamgac of Germany leading the way with 203,200 chips. His closest competition is Matvey Linov of Russia, who ended the day with 193,400 chips. Those two are a ways ahead of the rest of the pack, which includes Tomer Berda, Jeff Sarwer, Steven Van Zadelhoff, and Team PokerStars Pros Mattern and Pagano. Pagano is one of the most successful players in EPT history and ended Day 1A fifth in chips with 124,900.

There is one more starting day for the new EPT stop and there will likely be even more players taking to the felt on Friday. Last year’s opening stop in Kiev drew 296 runners—a number that the Tallinn stop should be able to surpass with relative ease.

Here are the top ten chip counts from the end of Day 1A of the PokerStars.net EPT Tallinn Main Event:

1. Ali Tekintamgac – Germany – 203,200
2. Matvey Linov – Russia – 193,400
3. Artem Litinov – Russia – 134,500
4. Mauro Palazzo – Italy – 134,300
5. Luca Pagano – Italy – 124,900
6. Kaveh Payman – Canada – 119,200
7. Steven Van Zadelhoff – Netherlands – 111,170
8. Mikhail Alexandrov – Russia – 106,000
9. Jussi Jaatinen – Finland – 105,200
10. Arnaud Mattern – France – 103,600

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