Thursday was another action-packed day on the felt at the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe. Event #4, the €3,200 Shootout played to its completion, and an American snagged European gold. It was six-max day in Event #5, the €10,300 "Mixed-Max" event, and the run to the final 16 was captivating. And over in the hotel, Event #6, €1,090 Pot-Limit Omaha, saw the starting 339 players reduced to just 36 by night's end.
Event #4: €3,200 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout — Tristan Wade Wins
Tristan Wade has become the fourth player to collect a coveted gold bracelet this week after taking down the €3,200 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout. He was one of the players who requested that the blinds be pushed back on Thursday, allowing him to sit back in the early stages, stay out of trouble and observe everyone around him.
Play began at 1500 CET (0600 PDT) and around 90 minutes later the ten-handed table lost its first player. That dubious honor went to American John Armbrust, who found himself short-stacked after unsuccessfully trying to bluff Max Silver off of a pot. He busted shortly afterward when his could not stay ahead of Taylor Paur's .
Another 90 minutes passed before the next player was eliminated. This time it was one half of the British contingent, James Dempsey. He was dispatched at the hands of Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier when he ran his into the Frenchman's . A half hour later, Emil Patel was heading to the cashier's cage to pick up seventh-place money and was soon joined by Steve O'Dwyer.
From that point, Wade truly excelled and gave his opponents a lesson in controlled aggression — was relentless in position and a joy to watch. Wade was first to pass the one-million-chip barrier. Michael Watson sent Grospellier (fifth place) and Max Silver (fourth place) packing, and Wade took care of Richard Toth (third place) to set up an exciting clash between the U.S. and Canada.
Wade entered the heads-up battle with a 1,378,000- to 985,000-chip deficit, but he never panicked. In fact, he acted quite the opposite, picking his spots well and constantly grinding away at Watson. There was one key heads-up hand where he managed to maneuver Watson off a big pot when the board read , which seemed to break his opponent's spirit. Watson managed to double-up when his king-ten overcame Wade's pocket jacks, but moments later, he was all-in again and facing pocket jacks for the second time.
Watson raised to 60,000, Wade three-bet to 144,000, Watson moved all-in, and Wade snapped him off with to discover he was up against . The final board ran out , and with that, Watson was sent to the rail in second place, and Wade became the fourth player to earn a bracelet so far during the series.
Final Table Results
Here's a more detailed recount of the the action from Event #4.
Event #5: €10,300 Split-Format No-Limit Hold'em — Powell Poker
From the 125-player starting field, 72 returned to the tables for Day 2 of Event #5 with the goal of playing down to the final 16. After the initial nine-handed stage of the "Mixed-Max" event, Dennis Bejedal held the biggest stack, but Thursday's six-max portion proved to be his undoing. He was eliminated in the middle levels of the day, and when play concluded, Brian Powell was in the lead with a whopping 484,000 chips.
Nearly everyone in this elite field qualifies as notable, but a few particularly well-known players were among the early casualties. 2011 WSOP November Niner Ben Lamb began the day with 8,100 chips (from a 30,000-chip starting stack) and managed an early triple-up before the bottom fell out. After working up to about 25,000, he promptly ran his pocket kings into Joseph Elpayaa's pocket aces, and Lamb was relegated to the rail within the first few minutes of the day. Lamb's tablemate in November, Matt Giannetti, didn't fare much better and was very short on chips when his pocket tens fell to an opponent with ace-four.
Mumbling to himself all the while, Phil Hellmuth lost his final coin flip with against Davidi Kitai's to seal his exit. Unfortunately for "The Brat," Tony G was right there to needle him: "You get biked?" You leaving? Wow, that's so far to come and go out so early," he jabbed. Hellmuth just paced away and was followed to the exit by Carlos Mortensen and Jonathan Duhamel. Also hitting the rail during the day were Viktor "Isildur1" Blom, Tom "durrrr" Dwan, Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy, Mike "Timex" McDonald, and Will "The Thrill" Failla.
With 17 players remaining, hand-for-hand play lingered for a couple of arduous hours as the players tried to fade one of the largest bubbles in WSOP history. After a long string of double-ups, it became clear that it would take a cooler to end it.
Sure enough, Jon Aguiar check-raised all-in with pocket jacks on a ten-high flop, running his overpair smack into Kent Lundmark's pocket aces. Aguiar hit the rail in 17th place, the clock was paused, and the remaining 16 players celebrated their guaranteed payday. They'll now enter the heads-up part of this unique event, and the draw will be conducted before play begins again on Friday at 1500 CET (0600 PDT).
Be sure and follow all the updates on the PokerNews Live Reporting Blog.
Event #6: €1,090 Pot-Limit Hold'em — Fierro on Fire
Rarely do you see 339 players reduced to 36 in eight levels, but that is the beauty of Event #6: €1,620 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha. Day 1 really was a whizz-bang, all-out shove-fest with players leaving the tournament area quicker than Usain Bolt on jet-powered roller skates.
The player who grabbed the chip lead with 131,700 chips was Nicolas Fierro. The man from Chile is no stranger to the 2011 WSOP scene after having a barnstorming summer in Vegas. Fierro finished third in the $5,000 Shootout for $198,096 and then finished a very respectable 34th place in the Main Event for $242,636. Both results were nice but neither came attached with a gold WSOP bracelet. Both events were no-limit hold'em, so maybe pot-limit Omaha will give him a change in fortune?
Chad Brown and Jack Ellwood were the early chip leaders. Ellwood accumulated his chips after eliminating both Daniel Negreanu and Sam Trickett in the first few levels. Then Roberto Romanello started to show everyone that he wasn’t a one-trick pony. He took a huge lead midway through the tournament and maintained it for most of the day until finally being overcome by Fierro. After losing his lead, the Welshman slipped down the pecking order but will still be returning for Day 2.
A total prize pool of €498,330 was generated and with play as quick as it was, the money bubble was reached, and the remaining players are now guaranteed a minimum of €2,616. The activity around the bubble was pretty interesting with both Alexander Kostritsyn and Anthony Lellouche doubling up at the death, before Sean LeFort was eliminated in 37th place by Rifat Palevic.
Notable returning Friday include Victor Ramdin, Tommy Vedes, Roberto Romanello, Carlos Mortensen and Event #3 winner Steve Billirakis.
Be sure and check out all the action from the felt in our WSOPE live reporting coverage.
Follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.