World Series of Poker Europe

WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic Day 1a: Nahum Lum Leads; Baumann and Weisner Advance

WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic Day 1a: Nahum Lum Leads; Baumann and Weisner Advance 0001

On Thursday, Season XII of the World Poker Tour continued with its second annual stop at the Emperors Palace Poker Classic at The Palace of Dreams in Johannesburg, South Africa. Last year, Dominik Nitsche defeated Jerome Bradpiece in the tournament to add his name to the WPT Champions’ Cup. This year, 85 players turned out on Day 1a to take their shot at the title.

After six 60-minute levels, only 54 remained with Nahum Lum and his stack of 123,725 leading the way. Others making it through the day were Gaelle Baumann (85,300), Melanie Weisner (68,550), Barny Boatman (42,125), Bryn Kenney (39,000), Amanda Musumeci (29,900), Faraz Jaka (23,350), and the defending champion Nitsche (42,000).

End-of-Day Top 10 Chip Counts

1Nahum Lum123,725
2Rob Fenner112,050
3Mauro De Rose105,575
4Leon Govindsamy100,500
5Marc Joseph94,000
6Gaelle Baumann85,300
7Aston Soon Shiong77,175
8Menesh Keshav70,850
9Melanie Weisner68,550
10Evro Psiloyenis67,575

According to the WPT Live Blog, Baumann got off to a quick started when she held {a-}{k-} and flopped the nuts on a {q-}{j-}{10-} flop. Robbie Sham had flopped an inferior straight with {k-}{9-}, the money went in, and Baumann doubled to 60,000. In Level 2, she added to her stack when action folded to Wener Smit in the cutoff and he opened for 525, which Sham called from button. Baumann came along from the small blind and three players saw a flop of {a-Clubs}{9-Hearts}{3-Clubs}.

Gaelle Baumann
Gaelle Baumann

Baumann checked, Smit bet 750 and Sham called. Baumann then woke up with a check-raise to 2,600, Smit three-bet to 7,200, and Sham got out of the way. Baumann made the call, and then both players checked the {Q-Clubs} turn as well as the {2-Diamonds} river. Baumann then tabled the {a-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds} for two pair and the win.

In Level 4 (100/200/25) noted South African player and 2007 World Series of Poker third-place finisher Raymond Rahme was eliminated by Leon Govindsamy. The two got the chips in on a {j-}{8-}{4-} flop that contained two clubs. Rahme, who was featured in PokerNews’ popular Where Are They Now series not long ago, was at risk holding {q-}{j-} and behind the {k-}{k-} of Govindsamy. Neither the turn nor river helped Rahme, and he was eliminated from the tournament while Govindsamy chipped up to 150,000 (though he’d end up giving a lot of those to Weisner by the end of the night). Not to be deterred, he opted to exercise his re-entry option.

In Level 6 (200/400/50), a preflop raising war resulted in Roni Chamani getting his stack all in against WPT Champions Club member Jordan Cristos.

Chamani: {a-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}
Cristos: {q-Hearts}{10-Hearts}

According to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, Chamani was a 68.86% favorite to double while Cristos would come from behind 29.36% of the time. The {8-Spades}{6-Clubs}{3-Hearts} flop wasn’t particularly exciting, and Chamani increased his lead to 80.30%. The {5-Diamonds} turn mean Cristos needed a queen on the river to eliminated Chamani, something that would happen a mere 6.82% of the time. Fortunately for Chamani , this was not one of those time as the harmless {8-Diamonds} peeled off.

“I would have re-entered ... I don’t want to come in short,” Chamani admitted after the hand.

While Chamani survived, not everyone was so lucky. Each of the 31 players who busted will have the option of re-entering on Day 1b.

PokerNews will be bringing you daily recaps of the WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic all weekend long, so be sure to check back for those in the coming days.

*Photos courtesy of the WPT Blog.

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