WPT World Online Championships: Almedin Imsirovic Bags Chip Lead in Day 1a of the $3.2K 8-Max Championship

By Lisa Yiasemides Last night was one of the rare nights in the festival calendar that saw no new title won. The upside of that is that we got to focus on the first Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup event, which incidentally was also the first No Limit Holdem Championship event of the series so…

Lisa Yiasemides
Aug 2, 2020

By Lisa Yiasemides

Last night was one of the rare nights in the festival calendar that saw no new title won. The upside of that is that we got to focus on the first Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup event, which incidentally was also the first No Limit Holdem Championship event of the series so far!

Running alongside it were the Warm Up events that had their second Day 1 starting flights. Both events were chock-full of big names and big guarantees and tonight we expect no different, as the $5,200 Big Game and $2,100 Turbo PKO events also enter the arena.

$1,050 8-Max Warm Up ($500K GTD)

Rodrigo Marques Carmo is currently the runaway chip leader after a dominating performance in Day 1b of the Warm Up. He bagged 2,536,055, around 850,000 over his closest rival – Day 1a’s Victor Begara (1,686,724) – when Day 2 resumes this evening. Parker Talbot (1,549,993), Manuel Soares Ruivo (1,504,789), Marc Macdonnell (1,356,723) and Michel Dattani (1,209,208) all did enough to secure themselves a spot in the top five.

Parker Talbot

Parker Talbot

The tournament drew a field of 207 runners and there were plenty of recognisable names among the entries. Online grinder Luke Reeves (10th – 748,271), partypoker Millions South America Winner Pablo Brito Silva (13th – 675,723), Sam Grafton (14th – 668,061), Manig Loeser (20th – ) and Jeff Gross (271,870) had productive evenings, all surviving to the end of Level 18.

They managed to do what most didn’t, with some big names exiting before the end. They included Niklas Åstedt (34th), Renato Nomura (36th), Dan Smith (27th), Mike Watson (55th), Dominik Nitsche (57th) and Rui Ferreira (59th), who all ran deep but couldn’t survive until the end.

When play resumes at 6pm (BST) tonight, August 2, the blinds will be at 7,000-14,000 (1,750 ante). The 27 survivors from Day 1b will join the 21 from the first flight, to make 48. They, along with those who progress from the turbo flight at 3pm, will play down to a winner this evening.

$109 Mini 8-Max Warm Up ($200K GTD)

Once again, Day 1b saw the biggest chip stacks emerge with Canada’s Tyler Adams leading the pack so far after finishing up with 1,993,472. It was a closely fought battle at the top and just 30,000 chips separated Adams from his closest rival, Leocir José Carneiro from Brazil.

Victor Marinheiro (1,590,976), Stefan Lehner (1,550,085) and Ryan Morrell (1,333,156) all finished in the top five. WPT Champion Ema Zajmovic (21st – 797,643), Joao Simao (52nd – 551,425) and Chance Kornuth (62nd – 494,771) are also in the mix with 140 players progressing from the 745-strong field.

Once again there will be a turbo flight today at 3pm, before the second and final Day 1 begins at 6pm. It will be the final opportunity for players including the likes of Tom Hall and Matt and Jamie Staples to qualify for Day 2, all of which failed to find a bag yesterday.

$11 Micro 8-Max Warm Up ($50K GTD)

Over in the Micro event, the $11 buy-in attracted 1,318 entries, adding another $13,180 to the prize pool. As in the Mini event, blinds were 15 minutes long, so it took just over five hours until the clock was paused at the end of Level 18.

David Stephenson (3,215,893) went through with the biggest stack of the night, multiplying the 100,000 starting chips by 32! No one else came close to accumulating that much but Francois Sauve (1,880,519) did well to finish in second, while Mikael Koistinen (1,608,930), Sebastian Edmonds (1,586,877) and Jakob Ahačič (1,547,613) took third to fifth spots.

Event #03: $3,200 8-Max Championship ($3M GTD)

The second starting flight in the first Sexton Cup event ($3,200 8-Max – $3M GTD) gets underway tonight and the bar has been set after Almedin ‘Ali’ Imsirovic finished atop of the 465 entries in Day 1a yesterday. We now know 2 million chips will be good enough for the overall chip lead and that $1,395,000 has been collected for the prizepool so far in the Main event. Today is a Sunday though – grind day in the poker world – so we can expect numbers even bigger than we saw last night and the potential for at least one player to exceed that.

Ali Imsirovic

Ali Imsirovic

Roderik Kovacsics (1,751,231), Dimitar Danchev (1,665,678), Ognyan Dimov (1,638,130) and Edison Roberto Silva De Oliveira (1,523,340) also fared well and bagged themselves a top-five stack by the end of 18 25-minute levels. The slow structure meant eight and a half hours passed before play paused. Still standing at the end of it were partypoker Millions South America HR winner Guillaume Nolet (9th – 1,254,131), Robin Ylitalo (10th – 1,219,041), online pro Alex Difelice (11th – 1,102,407) and Anatoly Filatov (20th – 973,720) who all banked a spot in the top twenty.

With a buy-in of this size and an enormous guarantee on offer too, this event was always going to attract major talent, with the likes of Thomas Mühlöcker (22nd), Andrey Pateychuk (25th), Jerry Ödeen (28th), Niklas Åstedt (30th), Philipp Gruissem (35th) and Dominik Nitsche (36th) just a few of the quality players among the 64 who progress to the next stage. That takes place tomorrow, August 3 at 7pm.

Event #03: $320 Mini 8-Max Championship ($1M GTD)

Pedro Madeira climbed through the ranks in the ‘Mini’ event to finish with 2,504,356 in front, a long way ahead of second-chip leader Matheus Grazziotin (1,893,502). Joao Vieira (1,856,751) built the third largest stack with Boy Verberkt (1,845,275) close behind them and Lucas Paz (1,593,713) taking the last of the top-five places.

A $320 tournament with a $1,000,000 guarantee is always going to garner a lot of attention and this one had no shortage of notable names in the 1,417-strong player list. Yiannis Liperis (13th – 1,347,362) and Joao Simao (18th – 1,275,632) made the top 20, while Mike Watson (31st) and Fabio Sperling (54th) also had good runs, finishing in the top 25 percent of the 218 survivors.

With $425,000 collected for the prize pool so far, there is still lots of value to be had when the second flight kicks off at 7pm this evening.

Event #03: $320 Mini 8-Max Championship ($300K GTD)

Once again there were 18 levels on the cards, and it took almost seven hours for them to play out. By the time the whistle blew, Boris Angelov had had a crushing performance that saw him pick up 5,103,999 chips. Vitalii Malynovskyi (3,340,527) and Henning André (3,052,459) did well but finished miles behind, despite being the second and third chip leaders of the night.

It was a huge 3,369 entry field, which contributed $101,070 towards the prize pool. The 20-minute blind structure is slow and it means that there were still 480 players in contention, all of whom will return tomorrow to continue their campaign.

Tonight’s schedule


The first NLH Sexton Cup events continue with Day 1b on the menu for tonight! The Championship event has a huge $3 million guarantee and there are plenty of opportunities to qualify for it with Mega Sats running throughout the day too.

The $5,200 Big Game ($1M GTD), $530 Mini ($300K GTD) and $55 Micro ($100K GTD) all get off the mark tonight at 5pm.

The final (turbo) flights in all three Warm Up events begin at 3pm, with Day 2 commencing at 6pm.

For those who enjoy progressive Knock-Out comps, there is a Turbo $2,100 Main ($200K GTD), $215 Mini ($100K GTD) and $22 Micro ($30K GTD) all to look forward to from 9pm.