26th of September 2010 Author: Ava Jackuard
346 top international players battle for supremacy
Catching the attention of poker fans around the world, the last two days has seen the 2010 World Series of Poker Europe main event unfolding in London, with a good turnout from international poker aces.
346 players, among them the best in the business, entered for the GBP 10 000 buy-in epic. Entering like a lion, but busting out on the first day like a lamb was US player Phil Hellmuth, who as usual created something of a stir, making an entrance on a red double decker bus, accompanied by a 16 member band, 11 models dressed like Lady Gaga singing Poker face.
Other top players who did not make it past Day 1a, from which French player Nicholas Levi emerged as chip leader, included Howard Lederer, Michael Mizrachi, Allen Kessler, Vanessa Selbst, Andy Bloch, Chad Brown, Scott Seiver, James Dempsey. November Niners Jonathan Duhamel and Joseph Cheong, and the first ever WSOP Europe Main Event champion Annette Obrestad.
By the end of Day 1a there were only 78 survivors from an original 137, led by Levi on 153 850 and including Huck Seed, Allen Cunningham, Jason Mercier, Faraz Jaka, Nick Schulman, Eugene Katchalov and Arnaud Mattern.
Day 1b saw another 209 entrants, bringing the total to 346 - a slight increase over last year's total entry field. Among those taking their seats were Phil Laak, Phil Ivey, Neil Channing, Patrik Antonius, Mike Matusow, Daniel Negreanu, Freddy Deeb, David Benyamine, Men Nguyen,Tom Dwan and Antonio Esfandiari, who later eliminated Dwan, again denying him that elusive WSOP bracelet.
Also headed for the rail as the day progressed were Jeff Madsen, 'Devilfish' Ulliot, Richard Ashby, Andrew Robl, Frank Kassela and Noel Furlong, whilst the media focused on Sweden's Viktor Blom, reputed to be Isildur1, who lit up the high stakes Full Tilt tables earlier this year who was doing well and survived to Day 2.
Day 1b ended with Irish Open champ James Mitchell holding the chip lead at 178 850...comfortably ahead of Day 1a leader Levi's 153 850. John Dolan was in second place on 173,700, also well ahead of third placed Levi. Among those making it through to Day 2 were Viktor Blom, Phil Ivey and Phil Laak with just under 100k, JP Kelly, Roland de Wolfe and last year's champion Barry Shulman.
Day 2 will see 195 survivors from the two starting days going at it, starting 12 noon London time Saturday.
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