Pot-limit Omaha is certainly a game that took root in Europe before it began taking America by storm, so it was only natural that some of Europe's biggest names would turn out for Event #3 of the World Series of Poker Europe - £5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha. Among the famous European players taking the field on Day 1 were Joe Beevers, Max Pescatori, Padraig Parkinson and 2007 WSOPE PLO champion Dario Alioto. The lure of WSOP gold drew a fair number of American stars across the pond as well, as Doyle Brunson, Phil Laak, David Williams and Shaun Deeb all made their way to Leicester Square for the event. All told, 165 players joined the field for Event #3, building a prize pool of £825,000.
Omaha is an action game, and the pot-limit format led to big pots early and some notable eliminations in the first few levels. Daniel Negreanu was one of those early victims when he ran afoul of Anssi Tuulivirda in one of the first levels. Other early eliminations included Alioto, Jens Voertmann and Yuval Bronshtein, who cashed in Event #2, £2,500 H.O.R.S.E.
EPT champion Jason Mercier got off to a fast start, busting Gus Hansen early in the day. Hansen's end came on a board of -8--Q-J with Mercier holding 8--6- for two pair. Hansen's -7--3 was no good, and the Great Dane was eliminated. Other notable eliminations on Day 1 included Mike Matusow, Phil Ivey, Eli Elezra, Brandon Adams and Annette Obrestad. Obrestad doubled up early courtesy of Piergiorgio D'Ancona, but then ran her full house into David Williams' bigger full house a few hands later to send her packing.
As the hour grew late and the end of Day 1 drew near, several of the short stacks shoved all in hoping to double up or bust out, saving themselves the trouble of returning for Day 2 short-stacked. Josh Gould got the last of his chips in the middle never to see them again, but David Williams made his way from chip leader to chip basement, to near the top of the leader board again before the day ended. Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott pushed all in on the very last hand of the night, hoping to double up or take the day off, but he got no callers and finished Day 1 with slightly more than his starting stack.
American online star Shaun Deeb finished Day 1 in second spot behind Jason Mercier, sending several opponents to the rail along the way. Late in the day, Deeb busted GUKPT champion Jerome Bradpiece, taking over the chip lead as he assimilated Bradpiece's chips. With all the money in the middle, Deeb tabled to Bradpiece's . The board of was no help to Bradpiece, as Deeb's kings held up to bust Bradpiece.
The top ten chip stacks looked like this as the players bagged their chips on Day 1:
Jason Mercier - 209,800
Shaun Deeb - 190,700
Roy Brindley - 140,600
Neil Channing - 128,000
Erik Dalby - 125,900
Bruno Fitoussi - 123,700
David Williams - 122,400
Phil Laak - 111,400
Andy Bloch - 109,200
Sorel Mizzi - 105,000
Join PokerNews at 3PM local time on Friday as the remaining 45 players fight down to the final table at the World Series of Poker Europe in Event #3.
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