You know you have a stacked poker tournament when Daniel Negrenau, Phil Ivey, and John Juanda end up at a table together. There is really no better word to describe Day 1B of the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event than stacked. Today’s field saw big names, bracelet winners, and the best in the game at every single table in the room here in Paris, France. Mixed among them were several November Niners like Ryan Riess, JC Tran, and David Benefield, who are just two weeks away from the big showdown in Vegas.After Day 1A drew around 170 players, another 200 or so showed up for Day 1B on Sunday, bringing the total field size to approximately 375 total players. With registration open until the start of play on Monday, there is still room for that number to grow by a couple of spots.Some of the players who failed to make it through the second starting day of action were Jesse Sylvia, November Niners Sylvain Loosli and Michiel Brummelhuis, Jason Koon, Steve O’Dwyer, Scott Seiver, Jeff Madsen, Chino Rheem, and Michael Mizrachi.The current Player of the Year frontrunner Matthew Ashton took advantage of late registration and started halfway through the day. He failed to make it through to the end of the day, which means he can only sit back and watch as both Daniel Negreanu and Loni Harwood, who sit second and third in the standings, return for Day 2 on Monday.
Harwood catapulted into six-figure territory early in the action today thanks to an unusual hand where a player who meant to put in a small raise accidentally raised to 10,000. Harwood and another player got the best of the situation as the player, who held 2-6, was compelled to get involved in a three way all-in against a player with A-Q and Harwood, who held pocket kings. The cowboys held and Harwood rode that big stack to end the day with 112,950 from the 30,000 chip starting stack. Negreanu had a much rougher day on the felt, ending with just over 15,000, but his hopes of picking up valuable POY points in this event are still alive.
While Harwood was well above average with her six-figure stack, the chip lead went to Ludovic Lacay, who, days removed from his runner-up finish to Noah Schwartz in the PLO Mixed Max Event, steamrolled the Day 1B competition to end with 163,075. Ravi Raghavan is not too far behind with 155,225 and both players lead the Day 1A chip leader Paul Kuzmich and his 145,825 chips. Another player who advanced to Day 2 is Nick Rosen, the WSOP.com online qualifier who turned a $5 super satellite into a €10,450 buy-in seat in this event. The table games dealer and father of three had never even left the country prior to winning the WSOPE package on WSOP.com’s new online poker site in Nevada, but managed to rush through the process of obtaining a passport to make it here for the big event. He spent the day at a table with the likes of Russell Thomas, Will Failla, and one of the Day 1B big stacks Ravi Raghavan, but survived with 24,600 chips, which gives him around 40 big blinds to work with heading into tomorrow’s action.
Other notables to make it through the day included bracelet winners Jason Duval and Max Steinberg, reigning WSOPE Main Event Champion Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Jonathan Duhamel, Eugene Katcahlov, and November Niners Benfield, Riess, and Tran.