Time flies when you're having fun and playing poker. The preliminary events of the 2012 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe are almost wrapped up and now there is just one tournament left on the schedule.
It is the event that matters most of all though. The Main Event. The €10,000 buy-in event is one of the biggest tournaments on the European schedule and it is always packed with some of the top poker talent from all over the world. During the preliminary events, we have already seen big names like Michael Mizrachi, Jason Mercier, Joe Hachem, and John Monnette make final tables and we even saw Antonio Esfandiari collect his third gold bracelet.
These big names have been logging hours at the tables all week and they will be joined by several other notables who came in just for the Main Event. Several of the October Nine are in attendance here. Greg Merson, Russell Thomas, Steve Gee, Jesse Sylvia, and Jake Balsiger are all playing in the WSOPE Main Event to get some crucial poker practice in before returning to Vegas for next month's final table. Since the inception of the WSOPE in 2007, one of the Main Event final tablists has made a final table here in Europe. The only way to keep that streak alive is for one of those five players to have a big performance in the WSOPE Main Event.
Last year's Main Event drew record numbers with 593 players and a €1.4 million payday for winner Elio Fox. He defeated a memorable final table line-up that included Shawn Buchanan, Patrik Antonius, and Chris Moorman.
The tournament began at noon on Saturday with the first of two starting days. While the first group of players takes to the felt today, we will also see the final two preliminary events play down to gold bracelet winners. The €1,650 Six-Handed Pot Limit Omaha tournament is already down to five players, including Andrew Lichtenberger. The €10,000 Mix Max begins play today with four runners, Brandon Cantu, Jon Aguiar, recent bracelet winner Roger Hairabedian, and Faraz Jaka.
Hairabedian returns to the semi-finals for a second consecutive year and is in a familiar situation. Last year, thanks to the random draw, Hairabedian played the other big stack in the event, Michael Mizrachi, in the semis while the two shorter stacks played in the other match. This year, he is once again one of the two big stacks and, once again, he will be playing the chip leader for a spot in the finals.
Live updates of all of the events are available on WSOP.com. The final tables of the PLO event and the Mix Max will also be streamed live with commentary. The Six-Handed PLO event goes on air at 2pm local time. Once it wraps up, there will be around an hour break, then the stream will resume with the final round of the Mix Max at around 8pm.