Kid Poker Kicks Up Dust

The second of two starting days for the Main Event of the 2008 World Series of Poker-Europe featured a familiar face doing what he does best. Daniel Negreanu took his starting stack of 20,000 chips and built it up throughout the day to finish with 154,050.

Unlike Justin Smith, Day 1a’s chipleader, though, Negreanu has company at the top. Jamie Rosen isn’t that far behind Negreanu with 139,225 and David Benefield sits in third with 126,775. Smith finished Day 1a with 158,925 but his nearest competitor was 60,175 chips behind.

The second starting day produced a field of 203 players putting the total field at 362 – the exact same number as 2007. The total purse of £3,620,000 ($6,925,442 US) means the winner will walk away with £868,800 ($1,662,101 US).

Negreanu and Smith are position to take home that first place money and the last available WSOP bracelet for 2008 but there were a number of players sent to the rail on Day 1b. Included in that group of players is the reigning champion, Annette Obrestad. With the eyes of the poker world upon her the 20-year-old phenom was unable to match her performance from last year.

She was joined on the outside looking in by Gus Hansen, Sorel MizziJosh “JJProdigy” Field and Gavin Smith. A total of 93 players made it through the day and those players will be combined with the 86 players from Day 1a Monday.

The 179 players left in the field will resume play at 1 pm London time and play eight levels.

Top 10 Chip Stacks of combined Day 1a and 1b fields:

1. Justin Smith - 158,925
2. Daniel Negreanu - 154,050
3. Jamie Rosen - 139,225
4. David Benefield - 126,775
5. Sargon Ruya - 114,100
6. Eric Sagstrom - 98,750
7. Jean Thorel - 98,675
8. Andy Bloch - 97,100
9. Marco Traniello - 96,750
10. Mikael Norinder - 91,650