World Series of Poker Europe

PokerNews Cup Main Event, Day 1a: Heath, Dale Top Opening Session

PokerNews Cup Main Event, Day 1a: Heath, Dale Top Opening Session 0001

The Main Event of the 2008 PokerNews Cup Australia Championships kicked off at the Crown Casino in Melbourne with 171 players on Day 1a. Among the big names in the field were Julian Powell, Tony Hachem, Tony G and Joe Hachem. Several preliminary PNC event winners also took the field on Day 1a, including Abel Cabrera (Event #4), Harry Ligos (Event #1), Kenneth Damm (Event #5) and Jamie Pickering (Event #3).

Pickering became one of the early casualties on Day 1a when he ran afoul of Michael Comer. Pickering made a big bet on the turn with a board of {q-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}, and Comer raised enough to put him all in. Pickering called with {7-Hearts}{6-Clubs} for the open-ended straight draw, and Comer tabled pocket fives for a flopped set. The river brought the {9-Spades} and washed Pickering's Main Event down the drain. Other early eliminations included Kent Hunter, Filipe Pacheco and Tony G.

The brothers Hachem both took to the felt on Day 1a, with similar unpleasant results. Tony Hachem busted first on a brutal river against Barry Beyers. Hachem fired at the {q-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{2-Clubs} flop, and Beyers called. The {7-Hearts} came on the turn, and Hachem check-raised Beyers. Beyers moved all in and Hachem called for all his chips with Q-8 for top two pair. Beyers needed help as he revealed pocket kings, and the {k-Hearts} on the river made his set and sent Tony Hachem packing.

His brother Joe Hachem made it past the dinner break on Day 1a, but could get nothing going and busted in the early evening at the hands of Mitchell Carle. Carle led out on a flop of {a-Hearts}{k-Hearts}{k-Diamonds}, and Hachem called. Hachem check-called the {6-Clubs} turn as well, and Carle moved in on the {7-Spades} river. Hachem made the call, and Carle turned over the nut full house with {a-Clubs}{a-Spades} to send Hachem to the rail.

Billy "The Croc" Argyros chipped up nicely through Day 1a to finish among the chip leaders. He got off to a rocking start by cracking Con Cotsomitis' aces after all the chips went in preflop. The board ran out {6-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{q-Spades}, and the queen on the river gave Argyros the double up. Later on in the day he sent Allistair Desplace to the rail in a big, if somewhat confusing, pot. Desplace led out at the {q-Diamonds}{4-Spades}{9-Clubs} flop, and Argyros min-raised. Desplace moved all in with {j-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}, and Argyros quickly called with {q-Spades}{9-Spades} for top two pair. The {2-Spades} on the turn was no help, but the {j-Spades} on the river gave Desplace a set of jacks, and both players initially reacted as though Desplace held the winner. Eventually the dealer pointed out that running spades had given Argyros the flush, and along with it, all of Desplace's chips.

Argyros finished Day 1a among the chip leaders, as the top ten chip stacks looked like this:

Tim Heath - 180,000

Jarrad Dale - 150,000

Lisa Walsh - 140,000

Andre Villandberg - 125,000

Harry Ligos - 120,000

Billy 'The Croc' Argyros - 115,000

Tim Balaban - 105,000

Bill Jordanou - 95,000

Barry Long - 90,000

Danny Mountt - 90,000

Join PokerNews at 12:10 PM Melbourne time on Friday as the Day 1b competitors take the field.

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