This time last year an online poker phenom made mincemeat of the field at the inaugural World Series of Poker-Europe Main Event. At just 18 years old Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad showed the entire world that her amazing results online would translate to the live game.
Fast forward one year and that same storyline is playing out. Justin Smith, known online as “BoostedJ”, ended the first day of play with an astonishing 150,000 in chips and has 51,250 more than the next closest player, Erik Sagstrom.
And while the youngster was climbing his way up the leaderboard some of the best players in the world were being dropped from it. Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, Patrik Antonius, David Benyamine and Freddy Deeb all failed to make it through the end of the day. Of the 165 players who ponied up the £10,000 ($19,131 US) entry fee, only 94 players survived.
Chasing down Smith will not be easy though. Sagstrom’s 98,750 is the closest, but Andy Bloch (90,175), Jani Vilmumen (90,000), Scott Montgomery (80,000) and Andy Black (78,000) all had brilliant starts to the Main Event and may benefit from being in the shadows of Smith.
Day 1b is expected to the busier of the two starting days and will include the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Dennis Phillips, David Williams and Erick Lindgren. Play gets underway at 1pm London time and live updates will be available throughout the day at WorldSeriesofPoker.com.