Although it has been going on since October 9, it could be honestly said that the 2018 World Series of Poker Europe got off to its FULL start on Sunday. Action was fervid in the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, as the COLOSSUS worked its way down to the final table and Event #2, the €1500 Pot Limit Omaha tournament, kicked off its Day 1 action.
Event #1 – €500 No Limit Hold’em COLOSSUS – Day 2
For the first time, the eight flights of the European COLOSSUS came together for play on Sunday. Officially known as Day 2, the 296 survivors from the 2992 entries cracked open their bags with every player assured of a €1285 payday. The real goal of all the survivors, however, was on Monday’s final table and the championship of the COLOSSUS, which would give out the first bracelet of the 2018 WSOP Europe and a first-place prize of €203,820.
To be honest, you would have to have a near encyclopedic knowledge of the European poker scene to be able to pick the players out of the crowd, but there were a few familiar names among the runners. Allen Kessler, Jan Bendik and defending WSOP Player of the Year Chris Ferguson were a few of the familiar names on the roster, but they were all long gone by the time the final table was determined. Once Klaus Schiefer was eliminated in eleventh place by Wojciech Wyrebski, Schiefer’s Q♠ 9♠ failing to find any magic against Wyrebski’s A-Q off suit, Wyrebski seized the chip lead heading to Monday’s final table.
1. Wojciech Wyrebski (Poland), 11.875 million
2. Hannes Neurauter (Germany), 11.825 million
3. Darius Glinski (Poland), 9.35 million
4. Krasimir Yankov (Bulgaria), 8.625 million
5. Tamir Segal (Israel), 8.5 million
6. Bjorn Bouwmans (Netherlands), 5.85 million
7. Nelio Gatta (Italy), 5.0 million
8. Francesco Delfoco (Italy), 4.85 million
9. Aksei Ayguen (Belgium), 4.725 million
10. Flavio Decataldo (Italy), 4.625 million
Event #2 – €1500 Six Handed Pot Limit Omaha – Day 1
There were a few more familiar faces on the floor for the opening day of the Six Handed Pot Limit Omaha event. With a €200,000 guarantee on the tournament, slightly more than 133 entries had to be received for that guarantee to be met. The resulting 221 entries more than crushed that number, building a prize pool of €318,074. 34 players will take home a piece of that pie, with the eventual champion picking up a shiny WSOP bracelet and a €82,280 payday.
The nature of Pot Limit Omaha – even if it is a full table and not the six-handed variety played in this event – is for the chips to be in action. That was nowhere more evident than on one particular table that had only two players (two players had to be seated for them to be dealt). With a J-10-8-4 flop and turn, James Bullimore moved his stack all in against Andreas Hildebrand, who called the bet. Bullimore was pushing with his A-Q against Hildebrand’s pocket Queens and, once the river blanked, he was out of the tournament after only 15 minutes of play – technically. That’s because there was a single reentry available for players, which Bullimore exercised and went back to work – just not at Hildebrand’s table (for the record, Bullimore was able to make it through Day 1 with a stack just off the Top Ten; Hildebrand was not so fortunate).
Such gamble was seen all around the King’s Casino as the players looked to build their 30K stacks into a veritable fortress for moving on to Day 2. By the time the carnage was done for the day, such notable names as Anthony Zinno, Dutch Boyd, Jeff Madsen and Bertrand Grospellier were on the rail. But there were some that survived and will be looking to increase their stacks on Monday, including Cord Garcia (44K), Roland Israelashvili (68K) and 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champion Maria Lampropulos (115K). They will be a part of the 29 players who are looking up at the Top Ten:
1. Milad Oghabian (Netherlands), 457,500
2. Shaun Deeb (USA), 373,000
3. Van Tiep Nguyen (Czech Republic), 364,500
4. Chin Wei Lim (Malaysia), 324,000
5. Giuliano Bendinelli (Italy), 311,000
6. Gianluca Speranza (Italy), 259,000
7. Michael Soyza (Malaysia), 240,500
8. Darko Stojanovic (France), 228,500
9. Hao Tian (China), 226,000
10. Antti Marttinen (Finland), 223,000
You may have noted Deeb’s name in the Day 2 roster and this is significant. If the four-time WSOP bracelet winner is able to cash in this tournament – and especially if he goes deep, as his current second place status implies – he can put a virtual lock on the 2018 WSOP Player of the Year award. With only eight more tournaments following this event, it is unlikely that any player would be able to emerge from the pack to catch Deeb and deny him the title.
Day 2 of Event #2 will pick back up at 2PM local time (8AM Eastern Time U. S.), where the players will play down to the final table for the event.