The field for Event #1 of the 2008 World Series of Poker Europe swelled considerably on Day 1b, with a final tally of players sitting at 410. 2007 WSOP-Europe Main Event Champion Annette Obrestad joined the field on Day 1b, along with poker superstars such as Mike "The Mouth" Matusow, Jennifer Tilly, Phil Laak, David Williams, Howard Lederer and Allen Cunningham. Well-known internet players Sorel Mizzi, Shaun Deeb, Isaac Haxton and Adam Junglen played on Day 1b, as did 11-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, making his typical late entrance to the field.
While many players on Day 1b made their entrances late, several players made their unfortunate exits early. Among them were poker author Michael Craig and two-time WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Madsen. Madsen and Craig both exited the tournament in similar fashion early on. Separately, Madsen and Craig got all their chips in holding pocket queens, only to run into the same overpair – aces – for their respective eliminations. Other early victims on Day 1b included Jennifer Tilly, 2008 WSOP Main Event final table player Scott Montgomery and Erica Schoenberg.
All eyes were on Annette Obrestad as she returned to the World Series felt for the first time since winning the 2007 WSOP-Europe Main Event. Event #1 ended early for her when she got the last of her chips into the middle on the turn of a four-way pot. All four players limped into the pot, and checked around to the turn when the board read . Action checked around to Obrestad, who moved all in. Both Remy Biechel and Huseyin "Sonofmyr" Yilmaz both called to see the come on the river. Biechel and Yilmaz checked, and Obrestad opened for a pair of sevens. Biechel showed for a pair of tens, but it was Yilmaz who scooped the pot with for two pair.
Phil Hellmuth also made an early exit from Event #1 when his pocket aces were no good against his opponent's pocket queens on a final board of . Other notable eliminations on Day 1b included David "Devilfish" Ulliott, Mike Matusow, Allen Cunningham, David Williams and Jean-Robert Bellande. John "The Razor" Phan put on a clinic on how to build a big stack for most of the day, but the wheels fell off late in the evening and he was eliminated as time expired on Day 1b.
Shaun Deeb, fresh off an event victory in the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker, took Day 1b by storm, building a big stack early and finishing just outside the top ten. 2007 Main Event runner-up John Tabatabai was one of his favorite victims, accounting for two big pots as the day went on. In one early confrontation, Tabatabai fired out a minimum bet on a flop of , and Deeb made a stiff raise. Tabatabai made the same bet on the turn, and Deeb raised big again. Tabatabai moved all in over the top, and Deeb snap-called with for the nut flush. Tabatabai showed for two pair, and the on the river gave the young American a double-up.
Tabatabai came up short in another confrontation with Deeb late in the day that led to his exit, along with that of another player. Deeb raised from early position with , and Tabatabai moved all in over the top. The player in the big blind thought for a moment before calling Deeb's bet, forgetting about Tabatabai! After the error was explained, he moved the last of his chips in to call Tabatabai's bet, and showed . Tabatabai had both opponents dominated with , but the board ran out to give Deeb the pot and send Tabatabai and his confused opponent to the rail.
Adam Junglen finished the day with the chip lead after a strong showing throughout the day. In an early pot, he caught a miracle river card after his pocket aces were cracked by pocket nines on a board of . The on the river gave Junglen a bigger set and a needed double-up. Then, late in the day, he took most of Jean-Robert Bellande's stack when Bellande raised under the gun with K-J and was re-raised by Junglen. Bellande four-bet and found himself pot committed when Junglen moved all in over the top with A-K. Bellande didn't improve and busted shortly afterwards, as Junglen's stack continued to move northwards.
When all was settled on Day 1b, 48 players remained, with the top ten chip stacks looking like this:
Adam Junglen - 84,200
Daniel Nutt - 74,500
Remy Biechel - 65,500
James Akenhead - 58,800
Costas Artemi - 57,300
Salim Ghozali - 52,700
Phil Laak - 50,000
F. Serhan - 40,700
Jesper Hougaard - 38,800
Thomas Marchese - 36,200
The 90 survivors from two flights of Day 1 will converge at 1PM local time on Sunday to play all the way down to the final table, with the latest live reports, as always, here at PokerNews.
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