The field at the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event got quite a bit tougher on Day 1b, as 203 additional players joined the 159 that took part on Day 1, building a total field of 362 players and a prize pool of £3,620,000. Among the top names that joined the field on Day 1b were 2007 WSOPE Main Event Champion Annette Obrestad, 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Doyle Brunson, 2008 WSOP HORSE winner Scotty Nguyen and 2008 WSOPE PLO Champion Theo Jorgensen. Also in the field were Phil Laak, Chris Ferguson, David Ulliott, Antonio Esfandiari, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Marco Traniello, Nenad Medic, Jennifer Tilly, Gus Hansen, David "Chino" Rheem, Roland de Wolfe, Juha Helppi, Allen Cunningham and eventual chip leader Daniel Negreanu, who finished Day 1b with the overall chip lead in the tournament.
Table 16 became the "Internet Table of Death" as three of the world's toughest online players batttled. Brian "sbrugby" Townsend, Mike "timex" McDonald and Jordan "iMsoLucky0" Morgan found themselves seated together during the early going on Day 1b, guaranteeing plenty of action.
Even with deep stacks, the bustouts came quickly. Shaun Deeb headed to the rail early when he ran into on an ace-high flop. John Tabatabai bounced Allen Cunningham after only an hour of play, and WSOP wunderkinder Jeff Madsen busted at the hands of living legend Doyle Brunson early in the day.
Other notable eliminations on Day 1b included Juan Carlos Mortensen, Theo Jorgensen, Gavin Smith, John Phan, Shane Schleger and Gus Hansen. Hansen moved all in over the top of Jonas Klausen's flop bet on a board of 3-4-7, and Klausen called with pocket aces. Hansen tabled 3-4 for the flopped two pair, but another seven on the turn counterfeited his two pair and sent the Dane home.
Neil "Bad Beat" Channing and Nicolas Levi tangled several times throughout the day, with Levi typically coming out the worse for wear. In one early confrontation, James Keys opened for a raise preflop and found four callers, including Channing and Levi. The flop came and Channing moved all in. Keys folded, Levi moved all in over the top to isolate, and got his wish as the other two opponents folded. Levi was ahead with his pocket jacks but Channing had the flush draw with his . The on the turn helped neither player, but the on the river more than doubled up Channing as Levi was left with just fumes. A bit later Channing limped in preflop and Levi moved all in with pocket threes, only to see Channing snap-call with pocket queens. No help came on the board for Levi, and he was eliminated.
Defending champion Annette Obrestad made her exit late on Day 1b when Marco Traniello's A-Q caught up to her pocket kings and sent her to the rail. Just a few hands later, Antonio Esfandiari ran K-J into pocket aces and didn't find enough help on the board to keep him alive, as the body count on the feature table grew rapidly.
Daniel Negreanu took the chip lead early in the day on a hand with Lars Hougaard. Hougaard raised Negreanu on a flop of , and Negreanu re-raised enough to put him all in. After a long moment, Hougaard mumbled something at the table, and Negreanu responded, "You have a pair and a straight draw? Okay, so you hit your miracle flop and have to fold?"
"Seems like it," said Hougaard as he did just that. Negreanu showed pocket sixes for the set and took the chip lead.
Throughout the day, the chip counts varied, but Negreanu stayed at or near the top, saying "I've got more than anyone from yesterday! Yeeeeah!" as the last hand of the day was dealt.
The top ten chip stacks looked like this as the 97 survivors bagged their chips at night's end:
Daniel Negreanu - 154,050
Jamie Rosen - 139,225
David Benefield - 126,775
Sargon Ruya - 114,100
Jean Thorel - 98,675
Marco Traniello - 96,750
Mikael Norinder - 91,650
Yuval Bronshtein - 85,675
Roland de Wolfe - 84,000
Talal Shakerchi - 83,025
Join PokerNews at 1PM London time on Monday for all the live updates as the fields combine and the remaining players continue their quest for WSOP gold.