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World Series Of Poker Euro Update: Day 24

Belgium Joins Euro Champions And Four Events Unfold On Day 24 Of The World Series


Day 24 of the Series produced yet another European bracelet-winner in the shape of David Kitai from Belgium, when he became champion of the $2,000 pot-limit hold’em event. Euro action also continued with day 2 of the $1,500 mixed hold’em tournament, however it was sparse in the $1,500 no-limit hold’em event. The $2,500 limit two-seven triple-draw low-ball and the $1,500 mixed hold’em events kicked off, and should be seeing some interesting developments over the next few days.

Almost half of the final table in the $2,000 pot-limit hold’em event was European, as Englishmen Michael Greco and Ben Roberts, Davidi Kitai from Belgium, and Jan Von Halle from Germany each stood their ground in the race for the $244,583 top prize.

Greco was the first to go when his pocket kings ran into Chris Bell’s pocket aces. The board made no difference to either player and Greco was sent to the rail $22,573 richer.

He was closely followed by fellow Englishman Roberts when he moved all in in response to a raise from Canadian Robert Cheung. Cheung called with KJ and needed to hit against Roberts’ pocket sevens. The board came 855J2 and Roberts was sent home in eighth place with $30,831.

Jan Von Halle faired a bit better than most of his Euro counterparts, making it to the final four. He was, however, eliminated by the only other European left at the table, Davidi Kitai. Von Halle took home $77,077 for fourth place. After Keith Greer was sent out in third place, it was up to Kitai to take down the last American standing, Chris Bell.

Davidi KitaiWithout playing a single big pot or an all-in confrontation, Kitai took the lead as the majority of nearly 90 small ball hands went his way. As a result, the players swapped their chip counts putting Kitai in a better position. It took four hours of heads up play before a champion could be crowned, but finally, on the 287th hand of play, Chris Bell committed his last four big blinds with AJ against David Kitai's AQ. The board came ten-high, and Kitai became the third European in two days to take home gold.

Chris Bell finished in second place, earning $155,806 for his runner-up effort.

A couple of Englishmen who did well on day 2 of the $1,500 no-limit hold’em event were Kevin O’Leary and Mickey Wernick. Italian Giovanni Nervo did not make it to day 3 when his pocket eights failed to stand up against Mike Glasser’s jacks. There were no improvements for Nervo as the dealer tossed out Q4266, and he took his leave in 17th place to massive applause from the rail.

14 players out of a total 2,720 are currently making some last minute attempts at reserving a seat on the final table, which will play out tomorrow.

Europeans who had a short rollercoaster ride in the $2,500 limit two-seven triple-draw low-ball event were Italian Marco Traniello, and Russian Alex Kravchenko. Despite being among the chip leaders at level 2, they were standing on the other side of the rail by level 3.

Italians, Max Pescatori and Dario Minieri arrived late and joined a sea of other Europeans also taking part in the event, such as Russian Alexander Kostritsyn, Thor Hansen from Norway, Austrian Sigi Stockinger, David Benyamine from France, Brit Roland de Wolfe, and German George Danzer.

The scarf-wearing, and now also bracelet-sporting, Minieri was soon up to his usual tricks. After he raised an opponent's bet after the second draw and then bet and got a call on the third draw, Minieri told his opponent "8-7" and heard "me too". He said, "8-7-5" and the reply was "me too" again. Then Minieri said "nuts" and flipped over 8-7-5-3-2 and his opponent mucked.

He didn't last long however as he was eliminated at level 5, alongside Dutchman Marcel Luske.

Steve Wong from the Netherlands and Frenchman Bruno Fitoussi were also sent to the rail in the next level. While another French player, Anthony Lellouche fought the Euro corner well, carving out a space for himself on the leaderboard by mid-session.

The day began with 238 players, including some notables such as Scotty Nguyen, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Shawn Sheikhan, and Annie Duke. These well-known players did not last very long however, as the day progressed. The money will be reached after six more players are eliminated, and those who survive will earn at least $5,474.

Last year's $1,500 mixed hold’em event attracted 619 players, with Fred Goldberg winning $204,935 as the champion. This year there were 731 entries, therefore first place will receive a slightly larger prize of $219,508.

There were not very many well-known faces at the outset of the tournament, but it appears some professionals chose to wait for the no-limit portion of level 1 to make their appearance. Late arrivals included Italian Marco Traniello, Spain's Carlos Mortensen, and Brit Dave Ulliott. Most of the late-comers had been eliminated from the two-seven low-ball draw tournament earlier in the day, or the second day of the $1,500 no-limit hold’em event. It was not long however, before they were each gathering their coats for the second time. Fabrice Soulier

Frenchman Fabrice Soulier was having quite a good run, and sat behind one of the largest stacks by level 6. In the same level, Liv Boeree from England increased her chip stack also after re-raising an opponent on a board of Q746. Her opponent made the call and the river brought the 2. Her opponent checked and Boeree fired out another bet. Her opponent called but mucked when Boeree turned over 108 for a flush. After the hand, Boeree was not too far from the leaderboard herself.

Italy’s Pescatori was not having a good day, when he busted out for the second time on day 24 of the Series. He unfortunately met quads at level 7, and was sent packing. Dutchman Noah Boeken narrowly missed the same fate when he ran up against quads in the same level, but mucked his cards.

Recent champion David Benyamine from France, and German Jan Von Halle were doing well early to mid-session. A fast-paced hand at level 8, just before end of play, left Benyamine crippled. He busted out shortly after when his K-10 ran into an opponent's K-Q all-in.

The remaining 98 players will return tomorrow to play down to the final table. Only one will get the $219,508 first-place prize and gold bracelet.

One tournament will produce a winner tomorrow, the $1,500 no-limit hold’em event, while the $2,500 limit two-seven triple-draw low-ball and the $1,500 mixed hold’em events will see their fields wittle down on their second day. An event to look forward to also is the $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em World Championship, which is set to produce some interesting results.

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Tags: europe