The second day of the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe is in the books with the close of Day 1B of Event #1, the €1000 No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack. Although Sergio Fernandez would end the day with the Day 1B edge over the 35 players left, it is still Ismael Bojang who can claim the overall lead.
The early afternoon starting time at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic (2PM local time, 8AM Eastern Time), saw several new faces come to the fore. Chris Ferguson, looking to lengthen his lead in the WSOP Player of the Year race, was a late entry on the day, but he could do nothing in the short time he was on the felt after dinner. A player known for his late arrivals, Phil Hellmuth, held true to form by coming into the King’s Casino after the dinner break.
It didn’t seem that the late arrival helped Hellmuth a bit. On an A-4-4 flop, Hellmuth fired a 2000 chip bet into a 4500 pot and only Maxim Lykov made the call. After checking the 9♥ on the turn, a 7♣ on the river seemed to wake up both men. Hellmuth felt confident as he fired off another 4000-chip bet but, after Lykov three bet the action to 11K (to build a pot around 23K), Hellmuth pondered just what Lykov could be holding. In the end, Hellmuth decided he needed to know and made the call, with Lykov showing him he had rivered Hellmuth with his pocket sevens catching the boat to defeat Hellmuth’s A♠ J♠ for the flopped two pair.
The battle with Lykov chopped Hellmuth’s stack in half from its 20K starting level and the “Poker Brat” would never recover. With his withering stack, Hellmuth would push the action with pocket fives and ran them into an opponent holding pocket sixes and Chi Cuong Huynh’s J-10. After the board was kind to Huynh, coming down with not only a Jack and a ten but no sixes or fives, Hellmuth was relegated to the rail and sentenced to a final shot on Saturday if he is to stick around for Day 2 of the Monster Stack.
By the time the dinner break had rolled around, another 158 players had put an entry in, with many of those players in on their second bullet in the tournament (the Monster Stack allows players eliminated on Day 1A to reenter on Day 1B and, if eliminated again, to come back on Day 1C). Prior to the dinner break, two-time buyers including Kunal Patni, Kristen Bicknell, Thomas Pettersson, Marc MacDonnell, John Racener (trying to catch Ferguson in the POY), and Kenny Hallaert were all on the rail for a second time. After the dinner break, Roberto Romanello, Aleksandar Tomovic, Casey Kastle, and Felipe Ramos would join those ranks.
The Day 1B ride was pleasant for some who were in for a second bullet. Lykov finished the day as the fifth-place stack of the 35 players remaining, while Pierre Neuville was able to build a good stack in ending the day in eighth place. They will both be looking up to Fernandez, who is only about 1500 in chips behind overall leader Bojang:
1. Sergio Fernandez, 267,000
2. Rene Crha, 186,500
3. Fahredin Mustafov, 183,000
4. Viliyan Petleshkov, 178,500
5. Maxim Lykov, 153,500
6. Aneris Adomkevicius, 153,000
7. Robert Schulz, 143,000
8. Pierre Neuville, 122,500
9. Dario Marinelli, 117,000
10. Usman Siddique, 111,000
The two-Day Ones completed have a total of 50 players remaining with Day 1C yet to play:
1. Ismael Bojang, 268,500
2. Sergio Fernandez, 267,000
3. Jeff Cormier, 265,000
4. Micky Blasi, 213,000
5. Ryan Hefter, 208,000*
6. Rene Crha, 186,500
7. Fahredin Mustafov, 183,000
8. Viliyan Petleshkov, 178,500
9. Maxim Lykov, 153,500
10. Aneris Adomkevicius, 153,000
(* – defending champion)
To this mark, the tournament has booked 255 entries (90 for Day 1A, 165 for Day 1B), but Day 1C should see a rush to the tables. The players will learn what they are playing for once late registration closes at Level 8 of Day 1C and the battle will then truly be on for the first bracelet of the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe.