Eliot Hudon
Eliot Hudon leads the field after Day 2 of the EPT Paris Main Event. Can the WPT World Champion make it two Triple Crown wins out of three?

The European Poker Tour Main Event in Paris has set a new record, with a total of 1,747 entries in the French capital confirmed as the sixth-largest EPT Main Event field in poker history.  Just 222 players made it through from Day 2 and after the money bubble burst with just 255 players in the money, it was a former World Championship winner who had the chip lead.

Hudon the Hero as WPT Winner Leads the Field

It is just 14 months since Eliot Hudon won the inaugural WPT World Championship in Las Vegas for $4.1 million, the biggest ever victory on the WPT and a landmark victory in his own career. Since then, Hudon has more than justified that major title, progressing in the profession of poker to the extent that across 11 more cashes, he has won over $175,000 in live ranking tournaments alone according to The Hendon Mob.

Here in Paris, Hudon is the hero of the hour once more, ending Day 2 of the record-breaking PokerStars EPT Paris Main Event with the chip lead on Day 2 with 955,000 chips, some way clear of Greek player Alexios Zervos (788,000) in second place. With Matthias Lipp from Austria on 714,000 chips, David Kaufmann from Germany on 700,000 and Finnish player Eero Rantala (685,000) also in the Top 5, there is every potential for change in the days to come.

Hudon, however, will be hard to stop. Now having the experience to go with his chip lead and a major title in his back catalogue of results, Hudon laid waste to many on a day of domination and elimination. As the largest EPT Main Event field outside Barcelona got down to the bubble Hudon was in heroic form not just for himself but everyone else too, taking out Ignacio Molina on the bubble when Molina’s jacks were no match for Hudon’s queens.  That gave him the Day 3 as Le Palais des Congres closed for the evening with 22 still in with a chance of victory and the almost $1.4 million top prize.

Other Big Names in Great Positions

While Hudon is holding the lead, plenty of other big names are doing very well indeed. Farrid Jattin will be a huge threat with 660,000 chips, while the German high roller who has been so successful earlier in the festival, Sirzat Hissou, will be confident of doing damage with 512,000 chips.

The British double WSOP bracelet winner Barny Boatman (510,000), and Spanish high roller regular Sergi Reixach (469,000) are both comfortably inside the top 20, while German bracelet winner in 2023 Leon Sturm (434,000) will be on nobody’s list for who they hope to meet at their Day 3 table. Former EPT champion Dimitar Danchev (415,000), Latvian bracelet winner Aleksejs Ponakovs (404,000), high stakes cash God Alex Keating (391,000) and the Day 1 chip leader Gregory Fournier (386,000) are all still in the hunt, with Canadians Sam Greenwood (379,000), and Timothy Adams (279,000) well placed too.

A little further down the list of players to survive the day, previous EPT winners Anton Wigg (343,000), Robin Ylitalo (329,000), Tom Middleton (151,000), and Aliaksei Boika (73,000) all survived with various sized stacks. The reigning EPT Prague champion Padraig O’Neill, who has been nominated for a Global Poker Award for best tournament performance for his achievement in the Czech capital city, made it through to Day 3 with 290,000 in a bid to become the first back-to-back EPT Main Event winner.

Another former champion – and the of the biggest EPT yet – is EPT Barcelona winner Simon Wiciak. The Frenchman, who also cashed twice at EPT Cyprus last year, ended Day 2 as the latest Team PokerStars Pro, having been unveiled on X, formerly known as Twitter earlier in the week, and with 119,000 chips.

Another Team PokerStars Pro, Benjamin ‘Spraggy’ Spragg made it through, but with a short stack too, just 138,000 chips between him and the exit door. He’ll need to improve soon as Day 3 kicks off in Paris at ‘midi’, also known as high noon.

2024 European Poker Tour Paris Main Event End of Day 2 Top 10 Chipcounts:
Place Player Country Chips Big Blinds
1st Eliot Hudon Canada 955,000 191
2nd Alexios Zervos Greece 788,000 158
3rd Matthias Lipp Austria 714,000 143
4th David Kaufmann Germany 700,000 140
5th Eero Rantala Finland 685,000 137
6th Farid Jattin Colombia 660,000 132
7th Clement Michaud France 606,000 121
8th Daniel Custodio Portugal 587,000 117
9th Alessandro Minasi Italy 574,000 115
10th Eric Sfez France 551,000 110