World Series of Poker Europe

2011 EPT Barcelona Day 1a: Akkari, Selbst & Wahlbeck Build Stacks

Andre Akkari

Day 1a of the 2011 European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event wrapped up on Saturday after nine levels of play. A starting field of 346 players came out, and at the end of the day, the field was whittled down to around 200 with Martin Schleich on top holding 182,100 in chips.

There were plenty of notable players in the field including a number Team PokerStars Pros Lex Veldhuis, Johnny Lodden, Martin Hruby, Juan Maceiras and Sandra Naujoks. Unfortunately, they all failed to make it through the day, as was Ana Marquez, the newest member to Team PokerStars Pro.

In Marquez's bust-out hand, a player who ended up not factoring into the showdown opened with a raise, and Erik van den Berg flatted in the cutoff. In the small blind, Marquez came along, and it was three-handed to the flop.

The dealer spread out the {J-Hearts}{10-Clubs}{9-Hearts} flop and the action checked to van den Berg. He put out a bet of 1,500, and the initial raiser folded without incident. Marquez check-raised to 5,000, and van den Berg promptly reraised to put her to the decision for her full stack. She eventually made the call with {K-Hearts}{10-Hearts}, looking to fill in the combo draw to stay alive. Van den Berg, holding {J-}{J-}, flopped top set to put him in front.

The turn {9-Spades} was a very bad card for Marquez, giving van den Berg the full house and leaving Marquez dead to the one-out {Q-Hearts}. The river was a blank, though, and Marquez was sent packing.

On the other side of the coin, a few of the Team PokerStars Pros to thrive were Vanessa Selbst, Andre Akkari and Ville Wahlbeck.

Selbst gained a lot of her chips when she clashed with Domantas Klimciauskas. Selbst five-bet shipped with {A-}{Q-} and got there against Klimciauskas’ pocket kings after an ace flopped. From there, she won another big pot with her own pocket kings against Martial Blangenwitsch’s {10-}{9-}. All of the money went in on a flop of {10-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{3-Clubs}. The turn and river both blanked and moved Selbst into the early chip lead. She went on to finish the day with 81,500.

A few other notable players able to advance to Day 2 are Mickey Petersen, Chris Moorman, Bryn Kenney, Ivan Freitez and Leo Margets. They’ll have the day off on Sunday while Day 1b is going on before returning back to action on Monday.

Day 1b will begin Sunday at noon CEST (0300 PDT) in beautiful Barcelona, Spain. Another nine levels are on the slate and the field is expected to be much larger than Saturday’s, hopefully growing the full field size to over 800 entrants.

Some of the players who will be in action Sunday include Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Allen Bari, Phil Collins and Eugene Katchalov. You won’t want to miss any action from those poker superstars so be sure to stay tuned to the PokerNews Live Reporting pages for all the coverage.

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