Level 18: 3,000-6,000, 1,000 ante
Pasi Heinanen, Konstantin Danilov, Season XI, Corinthia Casino
Konstantin Danilov has just open jammed holding A Q and was called by Pasi Heinanen in the small blind, holding pocket jacks. Your classic flip, and Danilov took the lead on a flop of Q 5 4, the turn 8 leaving Heinanen with just one out, and it was not the Q on the river. Our Day 1A chip leader is out and Danilov moves up to 340,000 chips.
Level 9: 400-800, 100 ante
Featured Blog, Shannon Shorr, Pasi Heinanen, Season XI, Corinthia Casino
Prague is fast becoming one of the most sought after poker destinations of the season. The Prague Poker Festival is the only place to be, and the glitterati were here en-force for the first of three starting days at the PartyPoker WPT Prague Main Event. WPT Champions Club members Sean Jazayeri, Ben Hamnett, Rinat Bogdanov, Mike Watson, Juha Helppi and Matthew Waxman, were joined by the likes of Jonathan Duhamel, Faraz Jaka, Paul Volpe, Bodo Sbrzesny and Shannon Shorr making this an exciting first day of action.
There was a lot going on in the card room of the Kings Casino. There were satellites here there and everywhere and yet we still managed to squeeze 115-players through the door for the Day 1A Main Event. After nine-levels of play, 55 of those souls remained, and the chip leader was Pasi Heinanen. Heinanen has one previous WPT cash on his resume: A 20th place finish in the 2007 Spanish Championships in Barcelona. But a lot of credit must go to Shannon Shorr who led the field from Level Five through to the final level of the day, when Heinanen surpassed him by a mere 2,000 chips.
Here is the Day 1A recap.
The first few levels started with a bang, or a blip if you were either Manos Foudoulakis or Nicolas Levi. Both players eliminated in the very first level. Foudoulakis went broke holding pocket aces on 8 7 5 against the bottom set of Trevor Whiteway, Levi joining the Grecian on the rail after running ace-king into the pocket kings of Roman Kolenev.
The clocks were set correctly for 103-players, and at the end of the first two levels we had 98 left. Whiteway was the early chip leader.
(Photo: Trevor Whiteway)
Levels three and four saw Bulat Bikmetov rise to prominence. The Russian has numerous five-figure scores on his resume - and one WPT Cash - when he finished in 40th place at the 2010 WPT Championships at The Bellagio. Bikmentov finishing the level with over 80,000 chips. Shannon Shorr also had a great level finishing in second place with a few chips shy of 80,000. By this time the field had increased to 107 players and 98 still remained.
(Photo: Bulat Bikmentov)
The fifth and sixth levels just leaked top quality players. Bryn Kenney and Ana Marquez like to enter these events quite late in the day, and Prague was no exception. Marquez made it to dinner but Kenney did not. He played pocket nines about as aggressively as you can, pre flop, only to run into a red-hot Shannon Shorr who was sat holding pocket aces. There were no nines on the flop and Shorr continued his mouth-watering run, while Kenney was out.
(Photo: Shannon Shorr)
Then we lost Jonathan Duhamel in a hand against Jan Kropacek. The French Canadian betting all-three streets, including a river shove, on a Tx 9x 9x Kx Qx board holding Kx Qx. Kropacek held Ax 9x and Duhamel was no more.
(Photo: Jonathan Duhamel)
Following closely behind was another WSOP bracelet winner in the shape of Keven Stammen. When you flop a set on an uncoordinated rainbow board you have to pretty happy. Well Stammen did just that, only to go broke to the 6 5 after Martin Gaudig hit runner-runner flush. Stammen getting the money in good on the turn.
(Photo: Keven Stammen)
The other notable eliminations included Thibaud Guenegou, Rocco Palumbo, Ryan Franklin and Kristijonas Andrulis. The chip leader was Shannon Shorr with 155,500 chips and 85 players remained.
The sixth and seventh levels started with Shannon Shorr in the chip leaders spot and it ended the same way. But Shorr was getting company with the likes of Pawel Brzeski, Oleksii Khoroshenin, Konstantin Maslak and Pasi Heinanan creeping closer.
(Photo: Pawel Brzeski)
Brzeski was the man in second spot and he got there after eliminating the WPT Champions Club member Matt Waxman. It was a three-way pre flop all-in that also saw the crippling of Bulat Bikmetov. Brzeski hitting a set of tens to beat the K Q of Waxman and A K of Bikmetov (who was eliminated just a few hands later).
Waxman wasn't the only WPT Champions Club member having to play second fiddle today. Sean Jazayeri losing out 99 v TT, against Dmitry Buchin, and he will have to buy back in either tomorrow or Wednesday. 15-players hit the rail during those two levels and they included Faraz Jaka (losing a QQ<AK flip) and the Season X WPT Vienna runner-up Konstantin Tolokno.
(Photo: Faraz Jaka)
As we moved into the final level of the day there were 70-players remaining. We would lose 15-players in total and Shannon Shorr was finally caught at the top of the chip counts…just. The Finnish player Pasi Heinanen managing to eek Shorr off the top spot by 2,000 chips in the final level of play.
So that's a wrap for Day 1A. We are going to have to do this another two-times before we can get down to the far more serious business of Day Two. Make sure you join us at 13:00 (CET) later today where we will resume the PartyPoker WPT Prague on Day 1B.
Check out the amazing photo gallery of Day 1A right here. Photos courtesy of Alin Ivanov.