John Juanda and Daniel Negreanu have been friends since both broke onto the poker scene nearly 10 years ago. As the Main Event at the 2008 World Series of Poker-Europe continues though, they may find themselves as enemies, at least until the bracelet is awarded.
Juanda took over the chip lead on Day 3 finishing play for the day with 657,500 chips, but his lead is anything but safe. Right behind him is Negreanu with 653,000. Combined the two have seven WSOP bracelets and nearly $13 million career earnings but they’re not the only quality contenders left among the final 24 players.
The remaining field consists of 12 Europeans, 11 Americans and 1 Canadian but the top European is Norway’s Johnny Lodden. The man with six European Poker Tour cashes sits in fifth with 478,000. Spots seven thru ten are all held by Europeans. Ben Sonnert (346,500) sits in seventh, Toni Hiltunen (321,500) is in eighth and Soren Kongsgaard (316,500) is in ninth. But it’s the name of the player in tenth that is generating a lot of buzz.
Ivan Demidov, the longest lasting member of the November Nine, could become the first player in WSOP history to make the Main Event final table on both sides of the Atlantic. The Russian poker pro has 316,000 just good enough to be above the average of 305,201.
The man who started the day with the chip lead, Andy Bloch, survived the day and finished the day with 301,000 – good enough for 11th but still 20,600 less than he started with. Bloch holds the record for most WSOP final tables made without winning a bracelet and if he’s able to navigate through Wednesday he could add to that record or erase it altogether for a win.
Play will resume at 1 pm London time at the Casino at the Empire and the 24 players will play down until a final table of nine players is reached. Live updates and chip counts will be available throughout the day at WorldSeriesofPoker.com.