Level 9: 400-800, 100 ante
Featured Blog, Yannick Bonnet, Season XI, Corinthia Casino
(Photo: Yannick Bonnet)
Day 1C of the PartyPoker World Poker Tour (WPT) Prague had everything. We had drama, excitement, idiocy, anger and laughter. We had some of the top pros, the biggest fish and the presence of one very special guy in particular: Thor Hansen.
273-players entered Day 1C to give us a combined total of 567-players strewn over the three-days. At the end of the day the board showed 141-players remaining - although we expect a few more to have been lost during the end of day madness - meaning as it stands, 287-players will return for Day Two where the chip leader is still Mikhail Mazunin with 203,600 chips.
The argument over who would hold the chip lead, at the end of Day 1C, was not resolved until the very last few hands of the day. When the dust settled it was Yannick Bonnet who took the accolade with 197,200, just 7,000 chips more than Kevin MacPhee.
Here is the Day 1C Recap.
What better way to start the day than to see the multiple WSOP bracelet holder, Thor Hansen, walk through the door. Hansen - who has terminal cancer - is a legend of the game. He has recently returned to his native Norway so he can undergo chemotherapy, making it possible for him to attend a WPT event; his first in a very long time, and we were certainly glad to have him. Hansen making it through the nine levels of play to finish the day with 52,500 chips. An amazing feat of endurance when you consider what he is going through.
(Photo: Thor Hansen)
Hansen was punctual, but there were plenty who weren't. For those that couldn't set their alarm clocks at the right time there was a rude awakening. One by one the giants of the game ending up side by side. Dan Smith, Mike McDonald and Martin Jacobson sitting together on one table; Vadzim Kursevich, Olivier Busquet, James Carroll and Michael Graydon sharing another.
(Photo: Timex and Dan Smith)
The first two levels ended with 228-players through the door and seven eliminations.
Giovanni Rizzo has had a barnstorming few months in the online realm, but he just can't catch the rub of the green when it comes to a live event. The Rizzo doesn't just get eliminated; he really gets eliminated. Check this out for a run. Rizzo told us that he was holding Q J on a Tx 8x 3x 9x (2 x hearts and 2 x club board) when his opponent shoved on the turn. He called and his opponent showed Q 9 and hit the 4 on the river. He then lost set over set: pocket threes versus pocket nines on a 9x 6x 3x board, then he lost ace-king on a Ax 9x 6 Ax Tx to 8x 7x. Ouch!
(Photo: Giovanni Rizzo)
If Rizzo is catching the coldest live poker draught you can imagine, Jeremy Nock is at the other end of the spectrum. Nock is a hotel owner by trade but is currently enjoying a little hot spell of poker that has culminated in a third place finish at WPT Mazagan just last week. Nock arrived late and eliminated the very dangerous Nick Abou Risk after just eight hands. The short-stacked Risk moved all-in with A J, Nock called with Kx Qx and a king and queen rose from the deck to send Risk packing.
(Photo: Jeremy Nock)
Mike McDonald was the early chip leader. Not bad when you have Dan Smith sat to your direct left. But by the time we found the table Smith was in no position to cause McDonald much grief. McDonald sitting with around 95,000 and Smith down to just 3,000 after running his last 15,000 - and ace-king - into the pocket kings of Milan Joksic. McDonald is absolute quality. The man has it all. He has the moves, the stare and he even has the 'depth charge' chip drop. Each move timed as perfectly as the next. Check it out.
(Photo: Timex delivering the Depth Charge)
By the end of the fourth level the entrants had risen to 260, and 244 remained.
Kevin MacPhee temporarily joined Timex at the top of the charts after the double elimination of Petr Konas and Yasmine Hanane. The flop was 8x 6x 5x (two spades) when MacPhee got it in with Q 9. Konas and Hanane holding a set of fives and top pair with a straight draw. The 2 on the turn handing McPhee the flush and 90,000 chips.
At the bottom end of the charts we saw WPT Champions Club member Matthew Waxman, and the talented Bryn Kenney, go 3-0 in WPT Prague starting day buy-ins. Waxman losing a flip against Christian De Leon (AK<QQ), and Bryn Kenney finding a hero in the shape of WPT Champions Club member, Morten Christensen, after Kenney had bluff shoved the river.
(Photo: Oh Sh*t! I think he's gonna call. What am I gonna tell Ana?)
The level ended with 273-entrants and 211 remaining. At the top of the charts there was a new name on the media's hit list and it was Maxim Panyak.
The next three levels went past in a blur as players went to town on each other. Panyak managed to lose the chip lead to finish with an average stack and Saever Saevarsson eliminated WSOP bracelet holder Rocco Palumbo when his pocket jacks were cracked against the queen-ten of the Icelandic player. Daniel Ospina moved into the chip lead after rivering a set of tens to eliminate Jacek Ladny, an elimination that didn't go down too well with the locals also playing on the same table. Ospina branded a luckbox by the player seated to his right.
(Photo: Daniel Ospina)
WPT Champions Club members Davidi Kitai, Guillaume Darcourt and Roberto Romanello were all eliminated in the final two levels of play. Kitai ran pocket queens into the quad nines of Philippe Narboni; a hand, which also saw Aleksandr Konstantin eliminated holding pocket nines. Then Leo Margets found pocket aces to eliminate Guillaume Darcourt - and his queen-jack - whilst also doubling through Mikhail Korotkikh who was holding pocket kings. Finally, Romanello called a four-bet jam by Prezemyslaw Piotrowski for his net worth in this tournament. The Welshman turned over ace-queen, Piotrowski turned over king-ten, and a king on the turn sent him spinning from the competition.
(Photo: Leo Margets)
Then as we trawled the floor to see who would be the chip leader we had a flurry of activity. Kevin MacPhee was in cruise control. He was sipping a beer and just watching the action as Mike McDonald and Daniel Ospina were running the show. Then MacPhee found himself embroiled in a hand against Timex, and Emin Aghayev, that took him from cruise control and into overdrive. We caught the action on the turn with the board showing J T 9 2, Aghayev moved all-in, MacPhee moved all-in and Timex went into the tank before also calling. Aghayev held Q 9 for the pair and draw, Timex held J 9 for two-pair and MacPhee held 8 7 for the straight. The river bricked for everyone except MacPhee and he moved into the chip lead.
(Photo: Kevin MacPhee)
Meanwhile, across the room, Yannick Bonnet went set mining with pocket sevens and Martin Kabrhel was blown to pieces. Kabrhel hitting top pair on a queen high board and almost his entire stack was shifted towards Bonnet who had the set of sevens. Kabrhel had imploded, and after Bonnet had collected his bounty we could confirm that he was the new chip leader pipping MacPhee by 7,000 chips.
What a day!
If Day Two is half as good as today, we are in for one hell of a treat. Join us at 13:00 (CET) for all of the action.
Take a look at our fantastic gallery courtesy of the incredibly talented Alin Ivanov
Level 4: 100-200, 25 ante
We reported earlier that Jason Duval was reduced to just 9,000 after a hand with Jean Philippe Rohr. We can now report that he has been eliminated at the hands of Yannick Bonnet.
We believe the board ran out Jx 5x 6x 6x 8x when Bonnet and Duval got it in on the river. Duval had rivered eights full of sixes, but Bonnet had already turned jacks full.
Bonnet ~ 60,000