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WSOP Update: European News Roundup

Expletives and Explosive Poker as European's Mix It up


On the face of it, day 14 at the 38th World Series of Poker looked relatively quiet, with just three events scheduled and no final tables. The reality couldn't have been more different as a field of 576 entered the $1,500 pot-limit Omaha tournament (event 23).

Players began the game, described by Padraig Parkinson as "the world short-stacked Omaha championship" and by Ben Battle as "working man's Omaha", and with $3,000 in chips, there was always going to be an explosive start. And so it came to pass.

Lining up for the game were Marcel Luske, John Gale, Thomas Wahlroos, Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott, Ben Grundy, Jeff Lisandro, Noah Boeken, Fabrice Soulier, Carlo Citrone, Julian Gardner, Andy Black, Andreas Fritz, Padraig Parkinson, Rob Hollink, and Ben Battle.

Donnacha O'Dea and Dave "El Blondie" Colclough made their first appearances at this year's Series and ended up going reasonably deep. At the same table for much of the tournament, they struggled defiantly to get comfortable with chips but, as time wore on, it got more difficult.

German Andreas Fritz stormed to an early chip lead and was up to around $30,000 after the first two levels.

By the second break, Parkinson had been brutally dogged by an aggressive Antipodean, leaving the talkative Irishman literally cursing his luck. "It's a f***ing joke," he muttered ruefully. "F*** sake. He came all the way from Australia to get his chips in like that."

Battle took a huge hit when a monster favorite in the hand and never recovered. Gardner was gone, as were Gale and Luske.

Andy Black ended the day well positioned in the middle of the field of 23 and has the moves to make the right plays upon his return and will be hopeful of a significant finish here.

At the other end of the room, the $1,500 no-limit hold'em tournament was reaching dénouement with a number of European hawks circling in the field of 85.

Max Pescatori, Michael Gracz, Ross Boatman, Stuart Fox, Jan Sorensen, Alex Kravchenko, Ian Woodley, Rory Matthews, David Benyamine, Ben Roberts, and Jan Von Halle were in the bracelet hunt.

In the shakeup, Roberts ($14,762) came 45th, Matthews ($12,653) was eliminated in 47th, and Jan Von Halle ($20,034) and Max Pescatori ($20,034) went out 26th and 27th, respectively.

Sorensen made the final table as the second short stack. So, too, did Michael Gracz, who, having been chip leader for so long, is nestled on an average stack. England's hopes rest with Stuart Fox, who is comfortably above average.
The other English hope, Ross Boatman, faltered at the very last hurdle, going out in 10th for $29,073. spoke to the Hendon Mobster as they were breaking tables with 18 players left. He was relatively short-stacked on $130,000 in chips.

"I'm happy to be here considering over the whole thing I've had one set, one flush, I've seen K-K but not Q-Q, and I've had jacks but had to fold them preflop. That's it really; I've hardly seen a hand."

That other Boatman - Barny - showed up for the $3,000 world championship seven-card stud eight-or-better tournament, which also held interest for Omaha bustout Marcel Luske. It was a fascinating mix of old-timers, household name pros, and a handful of fresh-faced youngsters.

Friday, June 15, sees the final table of the $5,000 no-limit hold'em tournament, the final table of the $1,500 pot-limit Omaha event, and day two of the $3,000 world championship seven-card stud eight or better. Events 25 and 26, the $2,000 no limit hold'em tournament and the $5,000 H.O.R.S.E event, will begin.

It's going to be a busy day as more and more Europeans begin to surface, so stay locked to for all your European poker news.