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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOPE

Day One WSOPE Main Event Brian Powell Chip Leader

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Coming from more than two dozen different nations, 156 players paid a £10,000 entry fee to compete in the first of two starting flights for the WSOP Europe Main Event.  The £10,000 (GBP) entry fee is equal to about $16,000 (USD).   Brian Powell from Louisville, Kentucky, USA came away from the day as the early chip leader after Day One’s 12 hours of play.

Poker Pro Jeffrey Lisandro was awarded his prize for winning the 2009 World Series of Poker “Player of the Year” by WSOP President and Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack during a break in the action.  Lisandro received a gigantic gift valued at more than $30,000 in the form of three buy-ins into future WSOP Main Events for his record-tying three gold bracelet wins in Las Vegas earlier this year.  Courtesy of Harrah’s entertainment, Lisandro will freeroll the 2010, 2011, and 2012 World Poker Championships.

Jani Vilmunen
, from Helsinki, Finland received his first gold bracelet in a special ceremony a short time after Lisandro was awarded his POY prize.  Only the second Finnish Player in history to win a WSOP title, Vilmunen took the honor when he won the Pot Limit Holdem championship the previous day and claimed $330,000 for first place.  Vilmunen’s ceremony was the final such observance of the year.  2009 was the beginning of gold bracelet winners being honored with a ceremony and is now expected to become a WSOP tradition.
Doyle Brunson performed the traditional “Shuffle Up and Deal” honors.  Jeffrey Pollack introduced Brunson with, “Doyle was there in Las Vegas at the very start of the WSOP forty years ago.  Doyle was also with us when we started WSOP Europe three years ago in London.  And, we are proud to have him with us today.”  Players and spectators gave Brunson a standing ovation.   

Phil Hellmuth arrived clad in the full regalia of a Roman gladiator, in a chariot drawn by a white horse, riding through Leicester Square in Central London.  He was surrounded by concubines in white dresses and muscled centurions.  The 11-time WSOP gold bracelet winner had this to say, “It’s great to be me.”  The thousands of people around London’s theatre district witnessing Hellmuth’s arrival were obviously quite impressed as some of them laughed, gasped, and stared in bewilderment.
As Hellmuth entered Empire Casino, trumpets blared, an army of faux Roman soldiers stood erect, and pretty girls stood at attention as he took his seat at the televised feature table.  Doyle Brunson, his back to Hellmuth’s entrance, was at the same feature table and managed a half smile as he shook his head.
Notable players who survived day one included – Chris Bjorin, Farzad Bonyadi, Nick Schulmann, Chad Brown, Doyle Brunson,  Scott Montgomery, Todd Brunson, Brandon Cantu, Liz Lieu, Tony Cousineau, Eric Friberg, Peter Gould, Phil Hellmuth, John Kabbaj, Alex Kravchenko, Erik Seidel, Mike Matusow, Jason Mercier, Men “the Master” Nguyen, Barry Shulman, Phil Tom, and Marco Traniello.
Notable players who did not survive day one included – Jeff Madsen, Hoyt Corkins, Robert Mizrachi, Dario Alioto, Max Pescatori, Roland de Wolfe, Huck Seed, Vanessa Rousso, David Pham, Phil Ivey, Barny Boatman, Dario Minieri, and Andy Bloch.
Players still wanting to play the main event may register as late as the end of Level 2, day two, Sunday the 27th.  

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