The second annual World Series of Poker Europe is already upon its third of four events, the £5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament. Some of the best poker players in the world descended upon London this month for the prestigious series, and for most of them, the PLO was one not to miss.
In many poker circles, PLO is the new hold’em, as it presents an entirely new set of challenges to players looking for a new game after focusing on hold’em for so many years. Omaha is that game, and PLO is the preferred version of it. For those PLO enthusiasts, the Empire at the Casino in Leicester Square was the place to be on Wednesday, September 24th. A total of 165 players plunked down the hefty buy-in to play for a coveted WSOP bracelet of the European variety, making for a prize pool of £825,000.
Numerous notables took their seats at the beginning of Day 1, including Doyle Brunson, David Williams, Phil Laak, Allen Cunningham, Erik Seidel, Dario Alioto, Daniel Negreanu, Mike Matusow, Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, Eli Elezra, Annette Obrestad, and Andy Bloch. And while many of them made early exits in the event, many well-known names stayed in the running. Williams was one who had a roller coaster day, going from chipleader to short stack and back up to the top ten by the end of the day.
The final Day 1 chip counts showed Jason Mercier at the top of the chart with 209,800 chips, Shaun Deeb in second, and the rest of the top ten being Roy Brindley, Neil Channing, Erik Dalby, Bruno Fitoussi, David Williams, Phil Laak, Andy Bloch, and Sorel Mizzi.
That all-star group returned for Day 2, as the total of 45 survivors was prepared to play down to the final table of nine. It proved to be a long road to get there, but several players started the day with amazing efforts. Jason Mercier increased his chip stack to a more substantial lead over the others, and Erik Friberg eliminated Doyle Brunson to get off to a healthy start.
Those taking a turn for the door, however, included Phil Laak, David Williams, Roy Brindley, Erik Seidel, and Bruno Fitoussi. Shaun Deeb had an up-and-down day but left the tournament before the money hit, and Alex Kravchenko was the actual bubble boy when he was ousted in 18th place.
The final 18 players, all of whom made the money, were reseated at two tables, and it wasn’t long before one of them vacated her seat…permanently. Jolyne Thompson went out in 18th place, followed by Stephen Kjaerstad in 17th and poker pro Allen Cunningham in 16th place. All three players received £14,438 for their deep runs in the tournament.
Next on the payout list were Chris Bjorin, who left in 15th place at the hands of Joe Beevers, Justin Smith in the 14th spot courtesy of Tomi Nyback, and Padraig Parkinson in 13th place by Jason Mercier. The trio of bustouts received £16,500 for their efforts.
As the final table approached, tensions ran higher. Eventually, Joe Beevers had become short-stacked and pushed all-in preflop with and was called by Jason Mercier with . The board brought , which gave Mercier the straight and showed Beevers the door in 12th place with £18,562.
Next, it was Neil Channing who went into battle with Tomi Nyback. After the flop of , Channing’s final chips went into the pot with , but Nyback was holding . The turn and river came and , and Nyback’s two pair were good for the pot. Nyback was eliminated in 11th place with £18,562.
Once the remaining players were seated at the same table, only one needed to go to wrap play for Day 2 and allow the final nine some rest before the final table. That final elimination of the day was Ilkka Koskinen, when his last chips went in with against the of Theo Jorgensen. With the board reading , Jorgensen sealed the deal with his full house, and Koskinen left the tournament in 10th place with £18,562 for the finish.
With that elimination, the final table of the WSOPE Event #3 was set to resume on Friday, September 26th with the following players seated with their respective chip stacks:
Seat 1: Erik Friberg 189,000
Seat 2: David Penly 162,000
Seat 3: Jason Mercier 650,000
Seat 4: Sorel Mizzi 290,000
Seat 5: Tomi Nyback 434,000
Seat 6: Theo Jorgensen 897,000
Seat 7: Max Pescatori 126,000
Seat 8: Eric Dalby 277,000
Seat 9: Chris Ferguson 282,000
(Thanks to PokerNews for its detailed hand recounts and tournament action updates.)