If the people of Paris were not aware the World Series of Poker Europe was here for the past week, they certainly know now. Not only did today mark the start of the €10,450 buy-in WSOPE Main Event, it also was the day the WSOP put on a spectacular fireworks show over the lake at the heart of Paris suburb Enghiens-les-Bains.
While the pizazz and pomp of the fireworks garnered the most attention, the Day 1A action had it's fair share of explosions too. Around 170 players turned up for the first of two starting days in the gold bracelet event, including superstar cricketer Shane Warne, who did the Shuffle Up and Deal honors. Unfortunately for Warne, he failed to survive to the end of play, as did November Niner Marc-Etienne McLaughlin, Dan Shak, Marvin Rettenmaier, and Jason Mercier, who busted shortly before play wrapped up for the evening.
While these players and several others failed to make it through the day, around 90 players did survive, including the two big stacks, Paul Kuzmich and Martin Hanowksi. It took Hanowski just a little over a level to run his 30,000 chip starting stack over 100,000, but it was Kuzmich who edged him out for chip leader honors at the end of the day, bagging up 145,825 to Hanowski's 142,150.
Other notables to advance to Day 2 included Shannon Shorr and Scott Clements, both of whom finished with above average stacks. Bracelet winners James Dempsey, Dan Kelly, Daniel Alaei, and Dominik Nitsche also made it through the day.
On the WSOP Player of the Year front, outside contenders Chris Klodnicki and Mike Watson's longshot hopes at the title are still alive, while the current frontrunner Matthew Ashton and his closest competition, Daniel Negreanu and Loni Harwood, will take to the felt on Sunday for Day 1B.
There may not be more fireworks over the lake on Sunday, but with an even crowd expected for the second starting day of this Main Event, there will certainly be fireworks at the tables come Day 1B.Full chip counts will be available on WSOP.com later this evening.