The third of five gold bracelet poker game events is underway at Casino at the Empire.  All five tournaments are part of the fourth annual World Series of Poker Europe competition, which is currently being played in London.
The Day 1-C chip leader is Leonard Truche from France.  He currently has 42,400 in chips, which is about twice the average stack size at this point.  Truche, who has recorded several min-cashes in tournaments played throughout Europe, is in his best position yet to make a deep run in a WSOP competition.  Truche accummulated most of his chips on a huge confrontation late in the day versus another big stack when his pocket jacks won a critical race versus ace-king.
However, the overall chip leader from all three combined starting days is Wes Pantling, from Canada.  He has three previous WSOP cashes, two of which took place earlier this year in Las Vegas.  His brother Andrew Pantling final tabled the first event and ended up finishing second.  Pantling has 56,200 in his stack.

Other notable names up on the leader board include Matthew Jarvis (Canada) who is one of this year’s famed “November Nine.”  Jarvis is hoping to become the second WSOP Main Event finalist to final table an event here in London.  The previous day, John Racener came in fifth in the Pot-Limit Omaha championship.  Former gold bracelet winners who remain alive include J.P. Kelly (UK) and Scott Fischman (USA). 

Things did not go nearly as well for some other notable names at this year’s London series.  Two-time gold bracelet winner Chris Bjorin’s unprecedented bid to make a fourth consecutive WSOP Europe final table came up far short as he was eliminated early on the first day of play.  Willie Tann was also shooting for the third final table this year, but was eliminated.  More than three dozen former gold bracelet winners also hit the rail during the first day of play.

Another player who did not survive was named Habib Paracha.  He participated in his first WSOP event ever in this tournament.  Paracha flew all the way to London from his home in Karachi, Pakistan in order to play in the world’s most prestigious poker series.  While he did not finish in-the-money, Paracha hopes to play in more events in the future.  He was thrilled to enter and collected several autographs from poker celebrities who were present as a nice consolation prize.  Indeed, Paracha illustrates the tremendous appeal of the WSOP in attracting players from many different nations and backgrounds.

Turnout for the £1,000 buy-in tournament was so large that three starting days were necessary to accommodate the field of 582 players.  Day 1-A was played on Friday.  Day 1-B was played on Saturday.  Day 1-C was completed on Sunday.  The 80 survivors from the three starting days return to Casino at the Empire on Monday afternoon for a 2 pm restart.  Players will continue until the final table of nine players has been determined.  The final table will be played on Tuesday afternoon, scheduled for a 2 pm start.

Through the first three events of WSOP Europe, overall attendance is up slightly over last year.  Two more gold bracelet events remain on this year’s schedule, including the £10,000 buy-in Heads-Up High Roller No-Limit Hold’em championship to be played on Tuesday, which starts at 5 pm.  The £10,000 buy-in Main Event championship will begin on Thursday, starting at noon.

The first event winner at this year’s London series was Phil Laak (Las Vegas, NV USA).  Jeffrey Lisandro (Salerno, Italy) was the winner of the second event.  However, neither player is still alive in this tournament.  The 2010 edition of WSOP Europe continues through September 28th.

For more information about WSOP Europe, please click HERE.