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World Series Of Poker Europe Update: Day 9

Day 1B of the Main Event Produces Interesting Results at the WSOPE 2008

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In a curious state of affairs, the World Series of Poker Europe's main event, presented by Betfair, drew a grand total of 362 players — the exact same that contested the inaugural duel in 2007. An inflated Day 1B of 203 players saw some huge names accrue stacks to match their reputations.

Daniel NegreanuDaniel Negreanu was one such player who was on fire all day. Calling a 1,000 raise from Jason Somerville, he was then faced with a reraise from the big blind up to 3,000. As Somerville passed, Negreanu made the call and the two saw a flop of 8-5-3. The blind bet 4,500 into 'Kid Poker' and he smooth called. Seeing the J on the turn, his opponent shoved for 20,000 only for Negreanu and his turned set of jacks to make the easy call — up against the big blind's hapless 10-3 offsuit.

Negreanu collected the 60,000 or so in the middle, and will enter Day 2 with over 154,050. Just as he did in the Series' opening £1,500 event, Negreanu has soared to the top of the leader board.

Another contender for performer of the day has to be online cash maestro, David 'Raptor' Benefield. He gave his table fits of three-betting on the button, plus a variety of small-ball style bets on the flop which seemed to confuse his opponents. Early on, he doubled-up when his pocket nines flopped a set that evolved into a full house on the river.

Though he played superbly, he also admittedly ran very, very well. One of England's finest, Julian Thew, was on the receiving end of such luck. Thew lead into Benefield on a 6-5-2 flop, a raising war ensued and all the chips were soon in the middle. Thew had Benefield's kings dominated with a set of fives but a very lucky king on the turn KO'd the Englishman and helped propel Benefield to the heady heights of 126,775 chips that he now occupies.

When you put great friends Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak together on the same table, a cacophany of noise, laughs, and weird prop bets is all but guaranteed. The main victim of their friendly humour was the Norwegian high-stakes cash specialist Johnny Lodden. It was Lodden with the last laugh though, as he enters day 2 with 67,250 after sending Esfandiari to the the exit.

Another unfortunate casualty from that table was last year's champion Annette Obrestad. After a see-saw day she got her chips in the middle in great shape; K K against Marco Traniello's A Q, only for a dastardly ace to appear on the board. There will be a new champion taking home the £868,800 first prize this year.

She was not the only notable to head home early. Allen Cunningham arrived late, played two hands, and then bluffed off his whole stack to John Tabatabai, while Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, and Jeff Madsen never seemed to get above their 20,000 starting stacks before hitting the rail. Tom Dwan

Action always seems to follow Tom 'durrr' Dwan around and today was no exception. A huge hand erupted early on as Dwan, Roberto Romanello, and another player saw a 2 6 10 flop. Dwan bet at the pot, the third player called, and Romanello then pushed all in for 13,000 chips in total. Dwan quickly made the call as the other player folded, and found that his set of sixes were in great shape against the Welshman's K 8. A full house came with the 2 on the turn, and the pot was shipped durrr's way. After tangling with the huge-stacked Jamie Rosen (139,225), Dwan finished the day with an above average 41,025.

Poker legends Doyle Brunson and Barry Greenstein will both be back in action on day 2 after making steady progress. And local fans will be glad to hear that the English trio of Dave 'Devilfish' Ulliott, Neil Channing, and Roland de Wolfe were all in fine form and survived the day.

Stick with CardPlayer.com for coverage of day 2 where the remaining field of 179 will return as the action gets serious here at the Empire Casino, London.