The World Poker Tour has touched down in two European countries this week. A few days after the the World Poker Tour Grand Prix de Paris kicked off in France, the WPT Alpha8 began in London at the luxurious Palm Beach on Mayfair venue. The hefty £100,000 price tag attracted some of the top talents in the game, and after a full day of action only 11 of the original 19 entries remained. German high roller extraordinaire Tobias Reinkemeier leads the way heading into Day 2 and is best positioned to take down the second-ever Alpha8 title.
The tournament was set to begin at 3 p.m local time with just 10 players seated, but organizers decided to delay the start for a short period while players made their way to the tournament area. After a few more high rollers filtered in, the action kicked off with each player starting with 100,000 in chips.
Reinkemeier more than quadrupled his starting stack early on thanks to a monster pot he won against Sorel Mizzi and Antonio Esfandiari. According to the WPT Live Updates, the three players saw a flop and Mizzi led out for 25,000. Reinkemeier min-raised to 50,000, and Esfandiari opted to move all in. Mizzi and Reinkemeier both called, creating a giant 400,000-chip pot.
"The Magician" was out in front with his overpair, but he had to fade a plethora of outs to survive. Reinkemeier was looking for a club, and he found one when the peeled off on the turn. That sealed the hand for the German, sending Mizzi packing and leaving Esfandiari severely short-stacked.
Esfandiari busted a short while later and, after deciding to re-enter the event for another £100,000, he had the same result the second time around. The other four players who hit the rail on Day 1 were Erik Seidel, Dhru Patel, Sam Trickett and Jeff Gross.
One player who fared much better was Antanas "Tony G" Guoga, who made the trip to London after busting out of the WPT Grand Prix de Paris earlier in the day. Guoga eliminated Seidel when his pocket jacks held up against Seidel's sixes through a board, moving him into second in chips with one level to go. Fabian Quoss passed Guoga on the leader board late in the night, but Guoga will still be in good shape when play resumes on Tuesday.
Day 2 will commence at 12 p.m. and won't end until the next Alpha8 champion is crowned. Registration will remain open through the first level of the day, so there's a good chance the prize pool could reach £2 million. Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for a full recap of the final table.
*Photo and data courtesy of WPT.com.
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