By Lisa Yiasemides
As the festival enters its final week, the action has been hotting up. Last night three High Roller events took place, two of which played down to a winner. The Weekender finale also played out, while three more starting flights in the WPT500 Knockout events got underway. And that means that today survivors will prepare themselves for Day 2.
As if all that wasn’t enough, the jewel in the crown of the entire festival – the $3,000,000 guaranteed Main Event – got out of the starting blocks as Day 1a took place last night!
Super High Roller ($1M GTD)
This one-day event was added to the schedule and with a $25,500 buy-in, the field was naturally full of world-class poker players. The guarantee was exceeded after 43 players sat down to play, putting $1,075,000 into the prizepool.
Online poker legend Benjamin “bencb789” Rolle ($381,400) was the one to take it down, and the German (though playing from Austria) only needed one bullet to do so. He took the title, after besting Russian heavyweight Artur Martirosian ($234,244) to the top spot, bringing to an end seven hours and seven minutes of play in the process.
All seven players at the final table made the money. Portuguese pro Joao Vieira ($152,768), who logged in from the Netherlands, took the last podium position. Bujtás László ($105,919) and Christoph Vogelsang ($78,421) took fourth and fifth places, while Daniel Dvoress ($65,700) and Almedin “Ali” Imsirovic ($56,545) took the last of the final table seats.
Linus Loeliger bubbled the event in eight place, and Team partypoker Kristen Bicknell and Mikita Badziakouski also came close to making some profit, but ultimately exited in 11th and 12th places.
Weekender ($500K GTD)
A huge 313 entries in Day 1c of the $1,050 event was almost enough to get the Weekender to reach its guarantee, but in the end, it fell 11 players and $11,000 short. Arnaud Enselme was the biggest beneficiary of the added value when the UK-based Frenchman came out on top of the 489-strong field to collect $72,189, half of which were garnered via bounties.
The Frenchman’s entry into the final day was somewhat quiet, turning a 100,000-starting stack into just 332,831 during Day 1a. Yet, he managed to rise through the ranks, outlasting players such as Joshua Mccully, who started the day with the chip lead, after accumulating a massive 2,618,962 in Day 1c. The New Zealander used his stack well but fell in 25th place for $6,818 ($4,781 bounties).
The bubble burst when Paraskevas Tsokaridis busted in 8th place ($10,286, $5,609 bounties), leaving Adil Morkos (7th, $10,647, $4,359 bounties) and Jessica Teusl (6th, $18,993) to inch their way into the final. Markus Prinz, Michiel Brummelhuis and Michail Thanasoglou all put up a good fight, but it was Germany’s Nicola Karl who was the last to stand in Enselme’s way. Karl collected a very healthy $58,403 ($22,480 bounties) for placing runner up.
High Roller Turbo ($250K GTD)
These $5,200 often prove popular and last night was no exception with 51 entries (including re-entries generating a $255,000 prizepool. Ten-minute blinds meant the tournament was all wrapped up in just under five and a quarter hours.
The top spot was claimed by none other than partypoker Ambassador Isaac Haxton, who won $77,784 for first place, after eliminating David Peters ($55,547) in second place. The rest of the final table made a return on their investments too, with all nine places paid.
Daniel Rezaei ($33,085), partypoker Millions and WPTDeepStacks Champion Ioannis Angelou Konstas ($22,939) and Justin Anthony Saliba ($16,983) all made it to the top five, while Dario Sammartino ($14,229), Mikita Badziakouski ($12,246), Samuel Vousden ($11,092) and Artur Martirosian ($11,092) made it to the money too. Joao Vieira was the unfortunate bubble boy, busting in 10th place.
WPT500 Knockout ($1M GTD)
Yesterday three of the final four Day 1 flights took place in the $1,050 event. That leaves just one more Turbo flight at 17:05 (BST) this evening. Yes, you heard that right – this is the last chance to be a part of this $1,000,000 guaranteed event.
Day 1g: 459 entries
Day 1h : 319 entries
Day 1 Turbo: 84 entries
Those numbers have added to all the previous flights and the prizepool generated from entries currently stands at $914,500. Day 2 will then kick-off at 20:05 this evening, with the final table scheduled for the same time tomorrow, Tuesday 25 May. The current chip leaders to beat are listed below, and they will return to play blinds of 25,000/50,000 (6.25K ante) with 16 minutes on the clock. 274 players are still in the running at this stage.
Markus Altkirch is the player to beat, with 13,849,700 chips, but he is trailed by three other players who also have eight-figure stacks: Manfred Hermann (11,172,645); Nicholas Maimone (10,899,817); and Robin Andreas Berggren (10,097,026), with the latter of progressing with the chip lead from Day 1g. Josip Simunic (9,775,351) and Igor Dursel (9,627,367) were also new entries in the Top 10 that progressed from Day 1g, while the only other new name in the list was Chris Turnbull (8,782,957) who came via Day 1h.
Super50 Knockout ($400K GTD)
Yesterday a further three Day 1s took place in the $55 Super50 Knockout:
Day 1h: 1,513 entries
Day 1i: 981 entries
Day 1 Turbo: 285 entries
By far the biggest field witnessed to date was Day 1h, with Day 1i the second most popular, and incidentally some of the strongest contenders in the event overall built their stacks in one of these two flights: David Fernando Tavares Fialho (11,685,592), Victor Ilyukhin (11,000,262), and Bradley Ackers (10,250,775).
As with the WPT500 Knockout, the last Turbo flight runs at 17:05 this evening, where the last players to progress will be added to the 1,132 that are still in contention. Day 2 of the three-day event starts at 20:05 with blind levels of 35,000/70,000 (8.75K ante) and a 16-minute clock.
Super5 Knockout ($50K GTD)
The smallest of the trio of Knockout events is the $5.50, which follows the same structure as the Super50 Knockout, and it also had three starting flights take place yesterday, leaving just one to go – the Day 1 Turbo at 17:05 today. 1,290 survivors have so far made it through to Day 2, which gets underway at 20:05 tonight. Blinds will resume at 30,000/60,000 (7.5K ante), with 16-minutes on the clock for the duration.
Day 1h: 1,240 entries
Day 1i: 912 entries
Day 1 Turbo: 261 entries
High Roller ($1M GTD)
The $10,300 two-day event began last evening too, with the final table all set to play to a winner tonight. Online star Simon Mattsson (1,546,323) will return in pole position after he finished top of the counts when the clock was paused with 17 remaining.
The 95 entries combined meant that the guarantee was five players short, so they all return to fight it out for a share of the $1,000,000 prizepool, with $249,791 the top prize. Second and third places will also secure a six-figure score, with $166,429 and $116,183 the payouts for the silver and bronze positions. All the finalists are guaranteed a return, with at least min payout of $21,277 locked up.
Wiktor Malinowski, another player with a huge online reputation, is Mattsson’s closest rival, after he virtually bagged 1,393,128 chips. Sven Joakim Andersson (1,388,537) is right behind them, with a significant gap between the top three and the rest of the field.
Daniel Dvoress (763,232) and David Peters (597,095) round out the top five stacks, but there are plenty of other big names still in the mix too, with Adrian Mateos (11th, 296,982), partypoker’s Jason Koon (12th, 292,376) and Dario Sammartino (17th, 130,127) all short, the latter of which is pulling up the rear after finishing just 30,000 chips above the starting stack, which will be worth just 8 big blinds for Day 2. Still, that is infinitely better than Steve O’Dwyer who exited on the bubble in 18th place.
Play will resume at Level 20 (8,000/16,000 2K ante) when they sit down to continue at 20:05 this evening.
Main Event ($3M GTD)
The main attraction of the entire festival also kicked off last night, with the first of two Day 1 flights now in the books. The $3,200 event attracted 521 entries in total, putting $1,563,000 in the pot, a little over halfway towards that enormous $3,000,000 guarantee.
Connor Drinan has set the bar with 3,847,386 the amount to beat for Day 1b challengers. The American pro, who logged in to play from Canada, narrowly beat Tom Kunze (3,830,846) to the top spot, with less than a big blind separating the two players. Andras Nemeth (4th, 3,025,203) and Thomas Boivin (9th, 2,695,794) are two other big names who did enough to bank themselves a top-ten spot.
Though the payouts won’t be confirmed until Day 1b has played out (next Sunday, 30 May), the prizes are guaranteed to be huge and, naturally, that meant a host of other notable players sat down to give it their best shot. Daniel Dvoress (14th, 2,416,388) had a very productive day, multiplying his starting stack of 200,000 chips by 12 times. WPT Champion Alex Foxen (27th, 1,513,844), Sam Greenwood (35th, 1,392,940) and Steve O’Dwyer (37th, 1,184,247) are also a few notables still in the running.
Play paused at the end of Level 10, with 78 advancing to the second stage of the four-day event. All survivors will return to play blind levels of 15,000/30,000 (3.75K ante).
Satellites for Day 1b are running each day, and with six of the 78 players to advance to Day 2 winning their way into the Main via a Mega Sat, these tournaments offer an incredible opportunity to spin up into life-changing money. Viacheslav Zaslavskii (15th, 2,284,875), Martin Stausholm (34th, 1,393,471) and Benjamin McMenemy (48th, 823,945) all return with a decent stack in front.