PokerStars live events returned for their annual trip to Monaco, but the EPT Grand Final is in the history books and the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo kicked off with an opening €10,000 event that drew 81 entrants. 48 advanced to Day 2 and Gerald Karlic edged out Ole Scehmion for the overnight chip lead.

The top ten features 2017 Super High Roller Bowl players Koray Aldemir and David Peters, along with Charlie Carrell, Anthony Zinno and Russian standout Vladimir Troyanovskiy. The leader board looks like an invitational event with Paul Newey, Manig Loeser, Rainer Kempe, Ryan Riess, Issac Haxton and Philipp Gruissem in the top half of the counts.

Dan Smith, Govert Metaal, and Nick Petrangelo survived Day 1 but will have an upward climb on Day 2 as some of the shortest returning stacks.

Karlic has a long list of results bud doesn’t have a signature win to pin his results on. The majority of his play comes from Europe dating back to 2011, but he does have a handful of cashes from the World Series of Poker and events in Los Angeles.

Schemion has $11 million in career earnings after his incredible run from 2014 – 15 but he still had a respectable 2016, with a $1.8 million score in the €100,000 Super High Roller in the last EPT Grand Final, but not to his meteoric standards of previous years. Schemion has yet to register a cash in 2017 and is five months removed from a six-figure score.

The prize pool was juiced by 29 re-buys and topped out at €1,067,000, which the top 15 finishers will compete for. The min-cash comes in at €18,150, a trip to the final table locks up €37,880, while the winner earns €274,750.

Day 2 saw a handful of new entries to the event, which will be noted on Day 2’s recap.

Top Ten Chip Counts

1. Gerald Karlic – 233,500
2. Ole Schemion – 229,000
3. Jonathan Bensadoun – 197,100
4. Mortiz Dietrich – 184,800
5. Koray Aldemir – 171,100
6. Vladimir Troyanovskiy – 136,900
7. David Peters – 126,000
8. Marc Macdonnell – 120,000
9. Charlie Carrel – 119,800
10. Anthony Zinno – 105,300