WSOPE Event #3 got under way on Friday at the 2010 World Series of Poker Europe as 202 runners signed up for the first of three Day 1 flights. The plan was to play ten levels of poker, but the pace was far too quick to go for that long. By the end of Level 9, 85 percent of the field had been eliminated, and the clock was paused and the chip bags brought out. From about the midway point of the day onward, it was pretty clear that Martin Hansen would become the overnight chip leader. When the final horn sounded, however, Jeppe Bisgaard had the room-leading 49,000 chips in his bag.
Hansen appeared on the radar before the dinner break when he and Ramsey Ajram played a 150-big-blind pot on a board. Ajram moved all-in on the river with a raggy , and Hansen called off all his own chips with a similarly light , chopping it up and putting an anticlimactic end to an eye-opening pot. The two men tangled in another big one a few orbits later, and this time Hansen managed to take the entire pot for himself. Ajram had just surpassed Hansen in chips at that point, and he was leading the betting on a board. He finally checked on the river, only to call a pot-sized Hansen shove worth about 55 big blinds. The latter showed him for the nuts, and that pot moved Hansen up around 50,000 in chips and into a commanding lead at that point. He managed to amass close to 70,000 chips at one point, but a bit of a tumble late in the day left him in third place with 41,000 straight.
That count puts him just behind Anton Wigg who had himself a nice day on the felt, as well. Wigg, the 2009 champion of EPT Copenhagen, had a quick start to set the early pace for the pack. We didn't really see him play any particularly noteworthy pots all day long, but he managed to pick his way through the field and up toward the top of the score sheet rather smoothly. If not for a big flip going the wrong way toward the end of the night, Wigg would have been the massive overnight chip leader. Instead, he'll have to settle for a second-place count of 45,600. Other notables who've passed the Day 1a test include Roland Isra, Keith “The Camel” Hawkins, and November Niner Matthew Jarvis.
Jarvis, we say. Matthew Parvis, PokerNews' own beloved Editor-in-Chief was not so lucky as to survive this opening day. After being stuck at a tough table with Antonio Esfandiari and Praz Bansi, Parvis displayed an uncanny amount of skill to survive past the first break. Level 3 was his downfall, though, as a completely unavoidable cooler left him nearly all-in with just a flush draw against his opponent's higher flush draw. Parvis must feel good, though, as neither Esfandiari nor Bansi made it through the day with any chips either. Apart from those two, a whole swarm of other bracelet winners have already fallen by the wayside including Marty Smyth, John Juanda, Chris Ferguson, Jason Mercier, and James “Flushy” Dempsey. The defending champion of this event, double-bracelet winner JP Kelly, fared a bit better and survived to return for Day 2 with 23,800 chips.
Before we can get to Day 2, though, we've still got two more Day 1 flights to take care of. Saturday is by all accounts the weekend, and that should bolster the Day 1b turnout by a significant margin. When the Day 1c players add their names to the registration list as well, it's likely Event #3 will break the record for the largest poker tournament ever held in the UK.
The second flight kicks off at noon tomorrow from the Casino at the Empire in Leicester Square, London. You can bet your last quid that our intrepid Live Reporting team will be right back inside the ropes to keep you updated on all the goings-on.