We’re coming into the home stretch of the 2019 World Series of Poker Europe and the action is beginning to heat up. Not only was the championship of the €100,000 Diamond High Roller determined, many of the denizens at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov took their first shots at glory in the €10,000 Main Event. In both cases, familiar names would be on top of the action at the end of the day.
Chin Wei Lim Takes Diamond High Roller
After coming up one spot short in the €250,000 Super High Roller earlier in the WSOP Europe, it would have been quite alright if Chin Wei Lim would have coasted after the seven-figure score. But that wasn’t good enough for Lim as he took that final step on Friday night in Rozvadov to claim his first WSOP bracelet.
Lim came to the final table in fourth place, but he was looking way up the leaderboard at the leader, Anatoly Filatov. Filatov was stacked with 42.3 million chips, almost 16 million more than second place Matthias Eibinger had in his stack (27.445 million) and more than 16 million more than Jean-Noel Thorel (26.085 million). Lim’s 20.46 million only led Christoph Vogelsang (15.385 million), Ole Schemion (5.9 million), Danny Tang (3.9 million) and Phil Ivey (2.375 million) as the action kicked off on Friday afternoon.
And it kicked off with a bang. On the very first hand, Ivey tried to make a move by pushing all in with A-5, but Vogelsang woke up with pocket sixes and dispatched the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner without any further assistance. Only half an hour later, Tang would fall at the hands of Eibinger when his pocket Jacks stood up to Tang’s Big Slick. Mere hands later, Schemion would face the end of his tournament mortality when he tried to steal with an A-9 and ran smack into Filatov’s pocket Kings. Within an hour of the start of the action, the final eight have become the final five and the battle only got hotter.
Lim began to make his move at this point, joined by Thorel in ascending the leaderboard. Lim would take firm control of second place behind Thorel when he knocked out Eibinger in fifth place (Eibinger, who was in for five buy-ins, actually took a loss on the tournament) and took down Vogelsang in fourth. After Thorel ended Filatov’s day in third place when he flopped a King against Filatov’s trey and no further help arrived for the Russian, heads up action was set.
With roughly the same stacks (Thorel eked out a slim lead, 73.4 million to Lim’s 70.6 million, at the start), it was either going to end quick or be a drawn-out affair. It turned out to be a quick finale as only four hands of heads up were played. On the first hand of heads up, Lim took down a 22 million chip pot to seize the lead and, three hands later, Lim’s flopped eights up (eights and fours) faded the possible four flush in clubs of Thorel to end the tournament and give Lim the WSOP Europe bracelet, the second WSOP bracelet in the history of Malaysian poker (Junzhung Loo was the country’s first WSOP champion).
1. Chin Wei Lim, €2,172,104
2. Jean-Noel Thorel, €1,342,459
3. Anatoly Filatov, €907,301
4. Christoph Vogelsang, €633,336
5. Matthias Eibinger, €457,107
6. Ole Schemion, €341,510
7. Danny Tang, €264,440
8. Phil Ivey, €212,504
Alex Foxen Starts Strong, Leads Day 1A of Main Event
While there was plenty of buzz with the big money of the €100,000 Diamond High Roller playing out in the King’s Casino, there were many who really didn’t care about that event. That’s because they were staking their own claim to poker immortality in becoming the latest to take down the WSOP Europe Main Event. From the start, the players flooded the King’s Casino tournament floor until 194 entries were in the books, giving the appearance that there could be a chance of breaking the record for total entries in the event (593 players came out in 2011 when Elio Fox won the tournament; with a single reentry for each player, it is entirely possible that figure may be broken).
By the end of the night, it was 2018 Poker Player of the Year Alex Foxen who emerged as the Day 1A chip leader, amassing a stack of 537,200 by the time the dust settled. Even if you start with 100,000 in chips, as each player does in the WSOP Europe Main Event, that’s a staggering number for one day of action. There were several familiar names that joined Foxen on the leaderboard, including a player in the hunt for poker history, Shaun Deeb (13th place, 345,300 chips), who is attempting to win the WSOP Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.
1. Alex Foxen, 537,200
2. Anton Morgenstern, 460,000
3. Oleh Okhotskyi, 433,900
4. Ahmad Achegsei, 438,500
5. Vlada Stojanovic, 422,200
6. Aleksandr Chernikov, 416,800
7. Paulius Vaitiekunas, 397,100
8. Kasparas Klezys, 395,800
9. Michael Hasenberg, 381,200
10. Thomas Hammerl, 360,300
Why so little info as to the action on Day 1A? Because there’s too much action still to come. Saturday’s Day 1B should see a tidal wave of players with €10,000 (or more) burning a hole in their pocket to play. The action resumes at noon on Saturday in the King’s Casino (roughly 6AM Eastern Time) and will play for seven levels, just like Day 1A. Will Foxen still be in the lead come tomorrow evening or will there be a “new sheriff in town?” Those answers will be issued as the final Day One of the 2019 World Series of Poker Europe wraps up on Saturday.