Two Starting Flights in the Books at WPT European Championship

Jan 11, 2018

Spielbank Berlin

The Season XVI WPT European Championship €3,300 Main Event has completed its two starting days and next up is Day 2 on Friday, January 12, 2018. So far, 295 entries have been tallied, but that number is sure to grow as registration will remain open until the start of the second level on Day 2.

Grabbing the chip lead after Day 1a was Gerald Karlic (pictured below) with a stack of 182,800, and Zikai Li bagged the lead on Day 1b with a stack of 133,300. That means overall it was Karlic heading the pack into Day 2.

Gerald Karlic

Of the two chip leaders to come out of each starting flight, Karlic has found the most success on the live tournament felt to date. His best cash was worth $175,723, according to his profile, and he’s cashed for more than $1.2 million total. For Li, his biggest cash comes in at $13,980 and he has a total of $31,873 in live tournament earnings.

The Season XVI WPT European Championship €3,300 Main Event comes with a €1 million guarantee on the prize pool and marks the return of a televised WPT Main Tour event to European soil after a bit of a hiatus. The event is also the World Poker Tour’s first-ever trip to Germany for the WPT Main Tour event, but the WPT European Championship €3,300 Main Event isn’t the only headlining act.

Kicking off the whole Season XVI WPT European Championship festival back on January 5 was the WPTDeepStacks Berlin €1,500 Main Event.  That event attracted a field of 561 entries and proved the largest WPTDeepStacks field to date in Europe. Winning that event was Dustin Mangold for a payday of €134,809, and he defeated pro Kunal Patni. Patni earned €96,140 for his runner-up finish.

Patni also found some early success on Day 1b of the WPT European Championship €3,300 Main Event, running his 30,000-chip starting stack up to 81,600 to finish the day.

“Things today were much better than yesterday,” said Patni. “Yesterday I got a bad beat to bust out for a big pot in the second-to-last level. Today I had an aggressive table in the beginning, with two Germans to my left so there was a lot of aggression. Luckily, I survived; players started seeing our hands at showdown and realizing that we were opening and three-betting a little light. I got aces three times today, and I got paid twice. I also got quads twice and got paid decently both times. Overall, a good day!”

Also advancing to Day 2 were a few WPT Champions Club members. Marvin Rettenmaier bagged 82,900, and Tony Dunst finished on 43,500. Julian Thomas, another WPT champion, finished with 16,600.

Thanks to DraftKings, nine lucky qualifiers were in the WPT European Championship Main Event field having won their seats online from the daily fantasy sports site. Unfortunately, some hit the rail, but Dickson Kesler (pictured above) was one of the lucky ones who bagged a healthy stack on Day 1b, finishing with 113,400.

Kesler qualified for just $20, winning a package to Berlin to play in the WPT European Championship Main Event. Earlier in the day he won with aces against queens and said that the day had been “fantastic.”

“At the beginning, I had bad cards, but played them even worse!” Kesler said. “After the first break, I slowed down a little bit and just built my stack throughout the day. I had one or two really big hands where people called me, perhaps because they knew I was a qualifier, but it worked out for me. I couldn’t be more pleased. Everything has gone great today. I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow.

Kesler is not new to the poker felt, but he admitted he has played in quite some time.

“I used to play poker when I was younger, but I’ve not played in probably 15 years,” Kesler told “I had children going to college and some health things got in the way, but it doesn’t take long for it to come back!” qualifier Mark Neinow, who won his seat online from ClubWPT, was in the field for Day 1b but unfortunately busted out before he could reach Day 2.

Day 2 kicks off on Friday, January 12, at 12 p.m. local time from Spielbank Berlin in Germany. Stay tuned right here to for continued coverage of WPT European Championship €3,300 Main Event.

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