Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Maria Ho on Verge of History, Leads Main Event Final Table

 2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Maria Ho on Verge of History, Leads Main Event Final Table

After battling through 529 players, the final six competitors have been determined for the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event final table. Looking to make history (as she has already done in this event), Maria Ho will look to carry on the lead she’s held for the past two days and turn it into a championship.

12 players started the day at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, with several stories looking to unfold. While all eyes would have normally been on the historic run of Ho, there was another bit of history evident in the appearance of defending WSOP-E champion Kevin MacPhee. MacPhee was looking to do something that hadn’t been done since Johnny Chan in 1987/88 – win back-to-back WSOP Main Event titles – but he had his work cut out for him on the short stack (1.06 million). Add in two strong Brits – Jack Salter and Niall Farrell – among the last dozen and it was setting up to be a stirring run to the final six.

MacPhee was active in the early going, getting his chips moving in the first three hands to add about 100K in chips to his stack, while Ho was maintaining her place atop the mountain. Farrell would eke out a slight lead about an hour in as Andrei Boghean and Marc MacDonnell would depart the festivities, but that lead would be short-lived. On a 10 6 3 J A board, Ho was able to get Farrell to lay his hand down after she fired a 500K bet on the river, chips she would use to continue to batter her opposition.

Only a couple of hands after clashing with Farrell, Ho would remove one of her biggest threats from the tourney. From under the gun, MacPhee put out an opener as Ho simply called in the cutoff. Farrell and Marti Roca De Torres defended their blinds and the Q 7 4 flop hit the felt. The blinds checked and dutifully folded after MacPhee fired another bet of 210K and Ho made the call. A 9 came on the turn and MacPhee powered out another bet, this time of 430K. Ho, after some quick calculations and an examination of MacPhee’s stack, moved all in and MacPhee made the call. Ho’s J 10 (open ended straight and flush draw) was actually in pretty good position against MacPhee’s pocket Kings. That “pretty good” position turned into a “winning” one when another King came on the river to give Ho the straight and the knockout of the defending champion in tenth place.

The unofficial final table redrew at this point with Ho (6.635 million) holding a 2.5 million chip lead over Mathijs Jonkers (4.015 million). Farrell, for all his activity, was still in third (3.075 million) after the redraw while the rest of the field was under three million chips each. With only one more elimination to the “official” final table, the players settled in for what would become a drawn-out fight.

Over the next seven hours, the players jousted to get in position for the penultimate day of the WSOP-E Main Event. Above it all was Ho, who attracted chips like a magnet in maintaining her lead. After De Torres was able to quash the dreams of Stepan Osinovski in eliminating him in ninth place, the official table was set with Ho still reigning supreme.

With more time to spare, WSOP officials decided that action would continue and two more players would meet their demise. On Hand 52, Luis Rodriguez would push all in from under the gun only to run into Farrell’s pocket Aces. Rodriguez’s K-6 off suit would find no help as he exited in eighth place. About 10 hands later, Salter would suffer a back-to-back beating. First, Speranza’s Big Slick beat Salter’s Jacks to bring the British champion into the danger zone. Then, on the very next hand, Salter would depart the tournament in seventh place when his K-J failed to catch up to De Torres’ A-7.

Here is how the final six will line up for tomorrow’s action:

1. Maria Ho, 7.83 million
2. Marti Roca De Torres, 7.26 million
3. Gianluca Speranza, 4.4 million
4. Niall Farrell, 3.025 million
5. Mathijs Jonkers, 2.785 million
6. Robert Bickley, 1.085 million

Ho has been in control of this event for the last two days and it wouldn’t be surprising to see her take it down, considering her experience in the game. If she were able to win the championship, she would become the first woman to win the WSOP Main Event of any of the three competitions (Las Vegas, Europe, or Asia/Pacific, which will be contested next year). It is conceivable that she will eclipse the previous best for a female at a WSOP Main Event, which is the fifth-place finish by Barbara Enright in the 1995 WSOP Main Event.

There are some very talented players in pursuit of Ho, however. Speranza is a veteran of the European poker wars and Farrell has a wealth of big match experience. De Torres, Jonkers and Bickley are wild cards in the mix, but Bickley and Jonkers might not have enough chips to make a difference.

The final table will continue at noon Friday (6AM East Coast Time) in the King’s Casino. The proceedings will be live streamed at on a half-hour delay. At stake is the €1,115,207 first place money, the WSOP-Europe Championship Event bracelet and, for Maria Ho, the chance to etch her name into history.

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2017 WSOP Europe Main Event Day 3 – Robert Bickley Vaults to Chip Lead on Final Hand of Day

 2017 WSOP Europe Main Event Day 3 – Robert Bickley Vaults to Chip Lead on Final Hand of Day

Just 46 players remain of the original 529 entries in the 2017 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe Main Event after Day 3 of action at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. Sitting atop the standings is the UK’s Robert Bickley with 1.431 million chips

It can be interesting to see how the standings change day to day in a large tournament. Going into Day 3, Vishal Maini was in first place with 651,000 chips and nobody was close to him, on a relative scale, as he had nearly 200,000 more chips than the second place player. Maini is still among the leaders, but he was unable to amass many chips on Tuesday, finishing the day with only 790,000, about half of what Bickley has.

Whereas Maini had a substantial lead at the end of Monday, the top of the leader board is much more congested (again, looking at the chip stacks in a relative sense) after Day 3. Following Bickley is Jack Salter with 1.396 million chips, then two players – Rainer Kempe and Michal Mrakes – have 1.254 million and 1.245 million chips, respectively. Two more players have over a million: Kristen Bicknell (1.085 million) and Vlad Darie (1.045 million).

Bickley rose to the chip lead through strong play throughout the day, obviously, but the very last hand of the night was what allowed him to leapfrog into the pole position. According to the live report, Philipp Gruissem bet 23,000 pre-flop and Bickley re-raised to 63,000. Gruissem then moved all-in for 256,000 more and Bickley quickly called.

Gruissem was being bold with just K-T, perhaps feeling he needed to make his stand or perhaps thinking Bickley was just bullying him. Either way, he was in trouble against Bickley’s A-K suited. It was largely academic when an Ace flopped and officially locked up when another hit on the turn, eliminated Gruissem and elevating Bickley into the chip lead.

According to, Robert Bickley has $ 75,871 in live tournament earnings, most of which came in a single cash this summer, when he finished second in a $ 1,100 No-Limit Hold’em event at the Deepstack Extravaganza III for $ 56,037. He is guaranteed about one-third of his lifetime total already, even if he is the first to bust out on Wednesday, so not a bad week for Robert!

Normally, we could tell you exactly what the schedule would be for Day 4, but it is a little up in the air. Either six or seven 90-minute levels will be played with 20 minute breaks in between each. After the fourth level played, there will be a dinner break which will last an hour or an hour and a half. It all probably just depends on how things are going. Either way, Day 4 should end with the final table nearly determined.

2017 World Series of Poker Main Event – Day 3 Chip Leaders

1. Robert Bickley – 1,431,000
2. Jack Salter – 1,396,000
3. Rainer Kempe – 1,254,000
4. Michal Mrakes – 1,245,000
5. Kristen Bicknell – 1,085,000
6. Vlad Darie – 1,045,000
7. Marc MacDonnell – 895,000
8. Vishal Maini – 790,000
9. Niall Farrell – 745,000
10. Chi Zhang – 699,000

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2017 WSOP Europe Main Event Day 2 – Vishal Maini Puts Gap Between Himself and Field

 2017 WSOP Europe Main Event Day 2 – Vishal Maini Puts Gap Between Himself and Field

With the two Day 1 starting flights wrapped up, Monday was the time for the survivors of each – plus anyone who wanted to fire one final bullet or register for the first time – to come together in a single, unified field for Day 2 at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe Main Event at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. Vishal Maini emerged from yesterday’s action as the overwhelming chip leader with 651,500 chips.

After Maini, the next largest chip stack belongs to Milad Oghabian. His 463,500 is significant, but it is also nearly 200,000 fewer chips than the total belonging to Maini. After Oghabian, the top of the leader board is pretty packed, with the next five chip stacks ranging from 408,500 to 424,000 chips.

Maini has just $ 73,532 in lifetime live tournament earnings (I would LOVE to have that success!), but he isn’t quite in uncharted waters. Maini did finish sixth in the 2017 C$ 10,000 + 300 No Limit Hold’em High Roller event at the Playground Poker Spring Classic and tenth in the partypoker WPT Caribbean Main Event, so he has gone deep in some non-trivial tournaments. But neither of those is the World Series of Poker Europe.

Registration for the WSOP Europe Main Event was open until the beginning of Day 2; as a re-entry event, players who were eliminated on Day 1 could still take one more shot on Monday. When the final registration tallies were made, there were 529 entries, allowing the prize pool to just barely eclipse the guarantee of €5,000,500. Of the €5,025,500, €1,115,207 will go to the winner. 80 players will make the money with a minimum cash of €15,131.

Some notables of the 134 who moved on to Day 3 of the WSOP Europe Main Event were Mike Leah, David Peters, Philipp Gruissem, Anatoly Filatov, Pierre Neuville, Anthony Zinno, Mustapha Kanit, Antoine Saout, Kevin MacPhee, Davidi Kitai, Eugene Katchalov, Maria Ho, and Dominik Nitsche.

Ryan Riess, John Racener, Phil Hellmuth, Chris Ferguson, and Chris Moorman who among those who were eliminated on Day 2. Unfortunately, Racener’s ouster on Monday at the WSOP Europe also means that Chris Ferguson has won the 2017 World Series of Poker Player of the Year. Yes, that’s right. A man who was partly responsible for the theft of millions of dollars from Full Tilt Poker customers will now be celebrated as the Player of the Year. What’s next? Are we going to elect a grifter who doesn’t pay contractors President of the United States?

2017 World Series of Poker Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1. Vishal Maini – 651,500
2. Milad Oghabian – 463,500
3. Alexander Lakhov – 424,000
4. Jens Lübbe – 419,000
5. Roman Herold – 412,000
6. Gianluca Speranza – 408,500
7. Michael Mrakes – 408,500
8. Stoyan Obreshkov – 386,000
9. Goran Mandic – 377,500
10. Anatoliy Zyrin – 376,000

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2017 WSOP Europe Day 1: Markus Dürnegger Leads After Starting Flights

 2017 WSOP Europe Day 1: Markus Dürnegger Leads After Starting Flights

Both starting flights of the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe are in the books. While the later starting flights generally dwarf the earlier ones, the two flights of this tourney were fairly even; Day 1B was still larger, but it was not an overwhelming difference. A total of 490 players have signed up for the event, but the official prize pool will not be determined until Monday, as registration remains open until the start of Day 2. Unlike the traditional WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas, this event is also a re-entry tournament, so players who busted on Day 1A or Day 1B can register again before Day 2 begins.

Austria’s Markus Dürnegger emerged as the overall chip leader, amassing 246,200 chips during Day 1A. According to, he has about $ 1.2 million in live tournament earnings. The vast majority of that figure came this summer, when he finished second in the €10,300 No Limit Hold’em PokerStars Championship High Roller event, good for $ 860,570.

Also of note near the top of the leader board is Henry Tran, who was the chip leader of Day 1B with 224,700 chips, 2015 WSOP Main Event seventh place finisher Pierre Neuville (239,000 chips), Mustapha Kanit (177,100), 2009 WSOP Main Event third place finisher AND 2017 fifth place finisher Antoine Saout (144,400), and 2013 WSOP Main Event champ Ryan Riess (150,400).

This is the tenth WSOP Europe Main Event. Annette Obrestad famously won the first WSOP Europe Main Event back in 2007, becoming the youngest player in history to win a WSOP bracelet, just a day shy of her 19th birthday. She would not even be able to play the traditional World Series of Poker for another few years, as the legal gambling age in Nevada is 21.

There was no WSOP Europe last year and there will not be one next year, as in November 2013, it was decided that the WSOP Europe and WSOP Asia Pacific (APAC) would be held in alternating years, likely because having major World Series of Poker festivals in Las Vegas, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region (read: Australia) risked spreading players and their bankrolls too thin.

This year’s WSOP Europe is being held for the first time at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. Somehow, this village of fewer than 1,000 people in the extreme western part of the country on the German border has the casino with the largest poker room in Europe, with 160 tables.

2017 World Series of Poker Europe – Day 1A Chip Leaders

1. Markus Dürnegger – 246,200
2. Pierre Neuville – 239,000
3. Laszlo Bujtas – 216,500
4. Asi Moshe – 203,600
5. Gilbert Diaz – 188,900
6. Razvan-Andrei Dumea – 170,700
7. Piotr Franczak – 169,800
8. Dejan Pustoslemšek – 162,100
9. Markus Ross – 157,400
10. Jan-Peter Jachtmann – 154,100

2017 World Series of Poker Europe – Day 1B Chip Leaders

1. Henry Tran – 224,700
2. Josip Simunic – 189,100
3. Marc MacDonnell – 182,500
4. Parker Talbot – 179,500
5. Mustapha Kanit – 177,100
6. Norbert Madaras – 155,800
7. Hans Thumann – 150,500
8. Dominik Panka – 149,600
9. Farid Yachou – 146,700
10. Diego Ventura – 145,200

2017 World Series of Poker Europe – Combined Day 1 Chip Leaders

1. Markus Dürnegger – 246,200
2. Pierre Neuville – 239,000
3. Henry Tran – 224,700
4. Laszlo Bujtas – 216,500
5. Asi Moshe – 203,600
6. Josip Simunic – 189,100
7. Gilbert Diaz – 188,900
8. Marc MacDonnell – 182,500
9. Parker Talbot – 179,500
10. Mustapha Kanit – 177,100

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2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Theodore McQuilkin Tops Six Handed Event, European “Colossus” and PLO Underway

 2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Theodore McQuilkin Tops Six Handed Event, European “Colossus” and PLO Underway

The King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, has been a hotbed of activity over the past week with the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe in action on its grounds. It’s about to kick up another notch as the European version of “The Colossus” hits full stride, while it is also time to celebrate as the fourth bracelet of the schedule has been awarded.

Event #4 – €1500 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em

After being advised not to play in the tournament because it would be a “tough field,” France’s Theodore McQuilkin decided to go ahead and win his first WSOP bracelet and a first-place payday of €88,043.

McQuilkin came into the final table on Saturday in the bottom half of the standings with his 754,000 in chips, better than only Maksym Shulga and Petr Setka. Leading the way was hometown favorite Jan Bednar, whose 1.761 million in chips was closely followed by Andrej Desset and Jerry Odeen. Sitting smack in the middle of the pack in fourth place was the dangerous Ognjen Sekularac, the Serbian pro who only has $ 1.45 million or so in career earnings in his pocket.

The seven men were not quite at the “official” final table, needing to knock off one more player, and they took their time determining that unfortunate soul. Surprisingly it was Sekularac, who had trouble gaining any traction in the first 90 minutes of action. After he saw Odeen open for a bet and McQuilkin call, Sekularac went for the squeeze by moving all in. Odeen was undaunted, moving his stack all in “over the top” and McQuilkin quickly got out of the way. Odeen was sitting on Big Slick, completely dominating Sekularac’s A-2, and the King-high board changed nothing as Sekularac surprisingly was out in seventh place.

That was the last time that McQuilkin would seemingly be on the losing end of a hand. Only five hands into the official final table, McQuilkin knocked off Shulga in sixth to thrust the Frenchman into the championship mix. He slowly built that stack up until, on Hand 77, he knocked off Odeen in fourth to take a dominant lead three handed. Even after Bednar eliminated Desset in third place, he was still a 2.5:1 underdog against the massive stack of McQuilkin.

Heads up would last all of two hands. On Hand 110, McQuilkin raised the action to 165K with pocket Kings and he got exactly what he had hoped for. Bednar woke up with a big hand himself, Big Chick (A-Q), and pushed all in, which was happily called by McQuilkin. The 10-8-5-9-A four-club board improved McQuilkin to the unnecessary nut flush as he sent Bednar home in second as McQuilkin seized the championship.

1. Theodore McQuilkin, €88,043
2. Jan Bednar, €54,410
3. Andrej Desset, €35,714
4. Jerry Odeen, €24,046
5. Petr Setka, €16,618
6. Maksym Shulga, €11,797

Event #5 – €500 “The Colossus” No Limit Hold’em

There’s already a huge buzz building around “The Colossus” and it hasn’t even reached the midpoint of its series of Day Ones.  Four flights have racked up 760 players to this point, with 44 of those surviving to be eligible to move on to Day 2 on Wednesday. With six more flights to build the field, it is completely illogical to even look at the leaderboard, but so far Konstantinos Misailidis (419,000) has come out of the carnage with the chip lead. Others so far in the mix for Wednesday’s play include John Racener (334,000), former “November Niner” Kenny Hallaert (206,000) and Racener’s fellow POY contender Alex Foxen (189,000).

Event #6 – €2000 Pot Limit Omaha

Day One of the highest Euro buy in event for Omaha saw 191 entries come to the tables, including many of the contenders for the POY race. When the tournament restarts on Sunday, 31 players will be in action, with current POY leader Chris Ferguson, Mike Leah and Racener in the mix. They will be chasing Liran Twito (802,000), whose stack thoroughly outpaces second place Pim van Holsteyn (627,000) atop the leaderboard.

Player of the Year Race

Although he came into the WSOP-E with a slim lead, Ferguson has been able to expand it during the first week of the schedule. With 1005.71 points, he is the only player over that threshold. Ryan Hughes (961.23) has passed John Racener (914.32) for second place on the rankings, while (an absent from the WSOP-E) John Monnette (865.21) and Alex Foxen (786.76) round out the Top Five (Foxen’s chances at the POY may be slim and none and slim is leaving the building).

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