Andrey Lukyanov Leads EPT National Sochi After Day 1A and 1B
25 March 2019
PokerBrave (863 articles)
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The PokerStars EPT National in Sochi got underway with a bang, Day 1A and Day 1B on the same day. Here’s a look at who did well, and who might need to give it another try on today’s Day 1C. As always, live updates can be found in the EPT Sochi live reporting section of PokerNews.

Day 1A Attracts 249 Players, Lukyanov Leads

Day 1a of the EPT Sochi National attracted a total of 249 players, all entering for RUB 77,000 ($1,204). With the goal of playing down to fifteen percent of the field, that mark was reached shortly after 1 a.m. local time leaving 37 players to advance to Day 2.

Leading the way is Andrey Lukyanov (lead photo) with well over 500,000 in chips. He was responsible for the elimination of Indian Aditya Sushant earlier in the day and kicked on late to move up the chip counts where he remained until the end of play.

Other big stacks include Valery Yantsevich (401,000), Komil Ruzaev (391,000), and Tomas Macnamara (386,000), the latter responsible for the final elimination of the day.

Artur Martirosyan (308,000) and Bohdan Cherba (306,000) are the only two other players who eclipsed the 300,000-mark after just over seventeen levels of play.

As to be expected for the start of the festival, plenty of familiar faces were present in the field including Vadzim Lipauka, Anatoliy Zyrin, Kyril Radzivonau, and defending champion Matous Houzvicek.

Houzvicek would chip up early, but was eliminated after dinner and was seen shortly after that in the Day 1b field.

The chip lead had jumped from player to player, with Gor Kazaryan, Zyrin, and Evgenii Tsoi all holding it for brief periods before it settled on Lukyanov.

The final elimination of the day was a quiet one, and it came in the first hand of hand-for-hand play. Anton Mazurin was forced all in from the big blind, and all Tomas Macnamara had to do was outkick the Russian to send Mazurin to the rail.

The 37 players surviving Day 1A all earned themselves a day off – should they wish – and will return at noon on Saturday for Day 2 of the EPT National.

Top 5 Chip Counts Day 1A

Position Player Country Chip Count
1 Andrey Lukyanov Russia 544,000
2 Valery Yantsevich Belarus 401,000
3 Komil Ruzaev Russia 391,000
4 Tomas Macnamara United Kingdom 386,000
5 Artur Martirosyan Russia 308,000

Day 1B Sees 89 Register, Chernokoz and Peretz Finish Up Top

It all changed at the top in a thrilling end to Day 1B of the National at Casino Sochi. Yaniv Peretz busted Giorgiy Skhulukhiya in the final hand of the night with king-ten of diamonds versus ace-queen of hearts to earn a spot at the top of the counts, alongside Andrey Chernokoz. Chernokoz was leading in chips until he lost a hand with pocket-jacks against Vladislav Naumov’s pocket-kings just a few hands from the end. Both players will return for Day 2 on Saturday with 311,500 chips in play.

The second of three flights in the RUB 77,000 EPT Sochi National attracted 84 players total. Day 1B had 30-minute levels, unlike the other two starting days, which have 40 minutes on the clock. Over almost eighteen levels, the field was whittled down to the top fifteen percent, meaning thirteen survived to Day 2. They are all guaranteed a min-cash for doing so.

Joining them on Saturday are Marat Achilov (309,500), who finished less than a whisker behind Chernokoz and Peretz. Aleksandr Denisov (287,000) finished in fourth, making his stack late in the day. He won some chips from Dmitry Yurasov shortly before the whistle blew. Yurasov had been one of the top stacks for most of the day but finished with 175,500. With so much experience under his belt, it would be foolish not to consider him a contender all the same.

There were also several big names that failed to bag chips. Reigning National Champion Matous Houzvicek, reigning Main Event Champion Arsenii Karmatckii, Vitaliy Avanesyan, Anton Yakuba, Ezequiel Waigel, Mikhail Kovalyuk, Anastasiya Denisova, and Viktor Shegay were just some of the familiar faces who fell before the last.

It isn’t all over for any of them unless they wish, as there is still unlimited re-entries in Day 1C that will begin at noon today.

The 13 surviving players will return at 12 p.m. on Saturday for Day 2 of the EPT National, where blinds levels will increase to 60 minutes.4

Top 5 Chip Counts Day 1B

Position Player Country Chip Count
1 Andrey Chernokoz Russia 311,500
2 Yaniv Peretz Latvia 311,500
3 Marat Achilov Russia 309,500
4 Aleksandr Denisov Russia 287,000
5 Mikhail Khabarov Russia 201,500