It was moving day at the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe on Sunday as the kickoff tournament for the schedule, the €1000 No Limit Hold’em, tried to reach its final table. While it didn’t reach that audacious goal, the final 13 players were determined with Italy’s Carlo Savinelli holding down the lead.
115 players came back on Sunday afternoon to the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, for Day 2 with dreams of a WSOP championship dancing in their heads. Leading the way after a dominant Day 1C was Sander van Wesemael, who held a monstrous stack of 323,500 chips to start action. Following him up were nine-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Valentin Vornicu, Day 1A chip leader Ismael Bojang and Day 1B chip leader Sergio Fernandez. Although these men held big stacks to start the day, they still had to make sure they made it to the money.
With only 85 players receiving a piece of the prize pool (a min-cash earned a player €1952), there would be 30 players who would leave the King’s Casino with nothing but a story to tell. The field went about knocking the numbers down almost immediately as, within two hours, there were only 90 players left. When the time came for the bubble to pop, there was a trio of eliminations rather than the usual one or two.
While hand-for-hand play was going on, Viktor Katzenberger was the first one eliminated. Katzenberger wasn’t alone, however, as Mario Mosbock would be dispatched from the tournament and, moments later, Konstantinos Tsirakidis came to the end of his tournament life. With all three eliminations occurring on the same hand of hand-for-hand play and the 85th and 84th positions in question, the three players chopped up the €3904 amongst each other as the rest of the field celebrated just before the end of the first level of play of the day.
Once the bubble popped, the cash out cage became the place to be. As players like Ivo Donev, defending champion of the event Ryan Hefter, Mike Leah, James Akenhead, Allen Kessler, and Ryan Hughes (earning valuable WSOP POY points) met their tournament demise, several players hit the accelerator to drive to the final table. Both Bojang and Vornicu earned their chips during the run up to and after the money bubble popped, but it was another player who would eclipse them for the overall chip lead by the time the tournament was stopped early Monday morning in Rozvadov.
Savinelli wasn’t doing badly on the day, sitting with about 750,000 in chips, when he entered a four-player hand with Viliyan Petleshkov, Pierre Neuville and Pawel Csichowski. All four would check a very dangerous J-10-9 flop, but a deuce on the turn brought some action. Savinelli bet out 150,000 that saw only Csichowski come along and, after a Queen on the turn brought more intrigue, the fireworks were lit.
Csichowski pushed out the remainder of his stack – roughly 300K in chips – and Savinelli immediately made the call. A disconsolate Csichowski asked if Savinelli had a King and Savinelli indeed did…in fact, he had two with his pocket pair of Cowboys. Csichowski could only turn up his 8-6 for the bottom end of the straight and head to the cage to pick up his 15th place payday.
Using that elimination, Savinelli would cruise through the remaining half hour of the evening. When officials with the WSOP, noting that there was little chance of getting to the nine-handed official final table, called the end of the day at 2AM local time, Savinelli claimed the top slot on the leaderboard for Day 2 of Event #1.
1. Carlo Savinelli, 1.34 million
2. Serge Danis, 1.19 million
3. Ismael Bojang, 1.12 million
4. Viliyan Petleshkov, 1.035 million
5. Sergio Fernandez, 980,000
6. Pierre Neuville, 823,000
7. Oleksandr Shcherbak, 780,000
8. Georgios Zisimopoulos, 775,000
9. Peter Bstieler, 765,000
10. Ali Sameeian, 760,000
11. Rene Crha, 685,000
12. Alexandre Viard, 640,000
13. Walter Treccarichi, 310,000
The remaining 13 men will return to the felt at 2PM on Monday, with the first bracelet of the 2017 WSOP-E set to be awarded sometime tomorrow night in the King’s Casino. At the same time, Event #2 on the schedule, the €500 Pot Limit Omaha tournament, will kick off its Day 1 action. It will be a busy day in Rozvadov on Monday as the 2017 World Series of Poker kicks into full throat.