The World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) Main Event is in full swing at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, as Day 2 came to a close last night. With just 534 entries, it is not nearly the spectacle of the traditional Main Event in Las Vegas, but it is still a great European celebration of poker. Italy’s Dario Sammartino is the chip leader going into Tuesday’s action with 1.480 million chips.

The WSOPE Main Event had two starting flights over the weekend and naturally, Day 1B, with 201 entries, was larger than Day 1A, which had 140 entries. If the first starting flight of a major tournament ever has more players than the final starting flight, I will be shocked. Nearly 200 more players late registered or re-entered on Day 2 before the end of Level 11.

The prize pool of the Main Event broke the €5 million barrier, coming in at €5,073,000. The top 81 players are getting paid, with a minimum cash of €15,074 and a first prize of €1,122,239.

It was a hell of a day for Sammartino, who started Monday with just 94,000 chips. One of his most important hands came when he doubled through Vladimir Geshkenbein after increasing his stack enough where a double-up was much more significant. He described it to afterward:

“I opened the button with ten-six of hearts and he three-bet me out of the big blind, I called. The flop was ten-six-two. He bet, I raised, he re-raised and I called. We got it in after an eight on the turn and I held up against kings. Lucky day and not a tough table.”

I can just imagine if this was an online tournament and that happened. Boy oh boy would the player with Kings throw a fit then start a thread on an internet message board claiming online poker was rigged.

Sammartino has been very successful in live tournaments, amassing more than $7.5 million in earnings, but he is still seeking his first World Series of Poker bracelet. Interestingly, even with such a gaudy money record, Sammartino only has three live tournament victories to his credit. And none of them are more than five-figure wins, perhaps surprising considering how much he has earned.

Sammartino is eager to win a WSOP bracelet, but his thoughts on the potential accomplishment have evolved over time.

“It is important for me,” he said. “Two, three years ago it was the dream [to win a bracelet], you know. Now it is important, but not like when I was 24 years old.”

That seems to be the trend nowadays in poker. Players tend to be more concerned with the money and consistent performance over the hardware.

2018 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1. Dario Sammartino – 1,480,000
2. Marco Slacanac – 1,128,500
3. Jack Salter – 1,051,000
4. Rainer Kempe – 818,000
5. Joel Ettedgi – 747,000
6. Bulcsu Lukacs – 729,000
7. Michael Sklenicka – 722,000
8. Laszlo Bujtas – 713,500
9. Slobodan Ruzicic – 704,000
10. Stoyan Obreshkov – 674,000

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