The bracelet chase is underway once again as play has started in London for the 2010 edition of the World Series of Poker Europe. Five events are scheduled from Sept. 14 through Sept. 28 and the first event -- a 2,500-pound, six-handed no-limit hold 'em event -- began Tuesday with a capacity field of 244 players.
The three-day event witnessed a ton of eliminations early on with more than half the field heading home less than six hours into play. Some early victims included Tom Dwan (who is still looking for that coveted bracelet in order to win his prop bets), Mike Matusow, Sorel Mizzi, Barry Greenstein and Annette Obrestad. Frank Kassela, the leaders for 2010 World Series of Poker Player of the Year honors, made the trip overseas, but also failed to make it through the first six levels.
Michael Mizrachi, Filippo Candio and John Racener, members of the 2010 WSOP main event final table, entered the event with hopes of adding some additional jewelry to their wrists before November. Things looked promising for each until after the dinner break, when all of them failed to hold on to their stack. Racener went out first after getting all his chips in with A-9 and running into Manig Loeser's A-Q on an A-10-5 flop. Following suit, Mizrachi donated some chips to Chris Moorman and then would be shown the door when his 10-10 couldn't hold against his opponent's A-7. Candio suffered a similar fate and hit the rail as well. Besides the aforementioned trio, the final few hours of the day weren't ideal for Phil Ivey, Allen Cunningham, Phil Hellmuth, Erik Seidel, Chad Brown, Peter Jetten and James Akenhead, who all were eliminated short of the money.
Only 31 remain after Day 1. Among the chip leaders are Chris Bjorin and Chris Moorman, but both are chasing Andrew Pantling who holds the top spot. Other survivors include 2009 WSOP Player of the Year Jeffrey Lisandro, EPT San Remo champion Liv Boeree, Phil Laak and 2009 WSOP Europe main event third-place finisher Praz Bansi. The prize pool of 610,000 pounds will be distributed to the top 24 spots with first place earning 170,802 pounds and those just barely making the money bringing home 5,624 pounds.
Action will continue on Wednesday until a final table is reached and the six that survive will play for the bracelet on Thursday. The second event, the 5,250-pound pot-limit Omaha. will begin on Thursday. WSOP organizers are expecting the biggest field to come from the third event, 1,075-pound no-limit hold 'em, which will begin on Friday.
The 2010 World Championship of Online Poker has crowned 24 champions with 38 more events still to come. The biggest winner to date is David "CrabMaki" Shallow, who emerged victorious over the field of 313 players to win the $10,300 event for $605,655. Shallow defeated 2009 WSOP Player of the Year contender Ville Wahlbeck for the title and one of the biggest top prizes of the year, live or online.
Although he won only $269,284.60 for his victory in Event 9, the two-day $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold 'em event, Alexander "joiso" Kostritsyn's victory in the WCOOP event marks his fourth consecutive six-figure score since May. Kostritsyn also made history by becoming the first Russian to win a WCOOP event. His tenure as the only Russian to have that honor didn't last long as "Kroko-dill" won Event 13, the $215 pot-limit Omaha high-low, with one rebuy and one add-on. "Kroko-dill" currently sits second in the WCOOP leaderboard behind "cal42688," who continues to dominate all online tournament series on PokerStars.
Earlier this year, "cal42688" won Event 17-L in the Spring Championship of Online Poker and Event 17 was equally lucky during WCOOP as he won another major online event. In addition to his win, "cal42688" has cashed eight other times including making a second final table in Event 15, $215 razz. He's had a great start to the series, but there's still a long way to go and he'll have to keep up his good run in order to stay on top of the WCOOP POY standings and win the amazing prize of a champions trophy, an EPT Season 7 Monte Carlo prize package, an entry into the 2011 SCOOP main event, a 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure package and a special edition chip set.
WCOOP will continue throughout the month and conclude on Sept. 26 with a $5,200 buy-in main event.
Small blinds: Scotty Nguyen has opted not to travel to the World Series of Poker Europe and instead will travel around the country and play in smaller events with his fans. His first stop is the Choctaw Casino in Durant, Okla., where he will be playing a $1,650 event on Sept. 25. ... Fabian Quoss defeated Sebastian Crul to win the English Poker Open. He earned 220,000 pounds for the victory. Liv Boeree finished 12th. ... According to NewsCore, research came out this week showing that there has been a 40 percent rise in Internet gambling over the past year in England. ... Steve O'Dwyer earned $93,750 for his victory in the Full Tilt $1K on Monday. ... Players are heading down to the Borgata for their $3,500 WPT main event that begins on Saturday, Sept. 18. ... The Poker Players Alliance put out its "Congressional Ratings Guide" in which poker fans can see how their representative views online poker. ... According to PokerScout.com, online poker traffic increased last week by 5.2 percent. ...