Doc Sands Among Leaders at EPT Grand Final Day 1A

David Sands
David "Doc" Sands finished second overall.

Day 1A of the PokerStars EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo is over and David “Doc” Sands is among the leaders.

In the number one spot after eight levels of poker is Martin Kabrhel from the Czech Republic who stacked 167,800 to Doc Sands’ 160,300.

All told 271 players made it to the first day of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino EPT Grand Final Main Event. That’s down from the 302 who played Day 1A of the Grand Final last year when it was in Madrid, and even further down from the 351 who played this same day two years ago.

165 players made it through the day, including a slew of big names like Freddy Deeb, Scott Seiver, JP Kelly, Nicolas Chouity, JC Alvarado, Adam Levy, Joe Cada and Sam Trickett.

Also through to Day 2 is the legendary Phil Ivey, who scored a much-needed double up towards the end of the day to finish with 72,000.

Here are the top ten chip counts after Day 1A:

  • Martin Kabrhel (Czech Republic) - 167,800
  • David Sands (Canada) - 160,300
  • John Eames (UK) - 157,200
  • Malte Moennig  (Germany) - 136,900
  • Tristan Clemencon (France) - 121,100
  • Freddy Deeb (USA) - 114,600
  • Frank Koopmann (Germany) - 113,900
  • Jason Wheeler (USA) - 112,900
  • Reza Mostafavi Tabatabaei (USA) - 110,900
  • Ben Warrington (UK) - 104,800

Doc Sands Crushes Day 1A

David “Doc” Sands has a long list of cashes but the vast majority of them were in North America. Sands has just two results on the EPT.

Day 1A
Day 1A at the Grand Final.

“It’s definitely one of the most prestigious tournaments and it’s a big field and a $13,500 buy-in so overall it’s just an awesome event,” Sands told

“I find in general the players in Europe are more aggressive than in the US so you have to come into it with a bit of a different style, at least as an American who usually plays on the World Poker Tour.

“I think it’s really important to have a gear where you’re playing tight and a gear where you’re playing just absurdly aggressive,” he said.

Sands’ day started off on the right foot, with a series of confrontations that ended in James Akenhead’s elimination.

Sands won a big pot from Akenhead early, over-betting the river with the nuts and getting called. That hand knocked Akenhead down to about 11k.

Shortly after, Akenhead executed what looked like a squeeze play, forcing Sands to fold after open-raising.

Sands then opened with A-Q and got a few callers before Akenhead three-bet once again.

“I felt pretty darn good about four-bet calling there,” said Sands.

Unfortunately Akenhead had A-K. Fortunately a queen hit the flop.

“From there it was pretty smooth sailing. I had a really good spot when I four-bet A-K and bet-bet-shoved on A-5-7-2-9 and got called with worse,” said Sands.

Day 1B of the EPT Grand Final begins tomorrow. Check out Poker News Section for the update.

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