The first of two starting days of the inaugural €1,100 Unibet Open Antwerp Main Event at "De Shop" saw a field of 125 participants take to the felt. After 10 levels of 60 minutes each, only 35 bagged up chips with Niko Koop finishing as the dominant overnight leader with 385,000 in chips. To put things into perspective, Maksym Lavrov is in second place with 191,000 and Morgan Wald in third with 173,600.
Top 10 Day 1a Chip Counts
|4||Mihai Ani Leon||168,000|
|6||Matthias de Clercq||163,000|
Koop's day started very swingy before he got lucky in a three-way all in, cracking the pocket kings of Rob van de Riet with ace-jack and soon after busting the Dutchman with red queens versus king-jack. A massive all in with ace-king against the ace-queen of Stefan Mattsson catapulted the Russian into the top spot and he never looked back.
Oanh Bui was one of the early casualties after turning a flush with the . Niels de Wijs three-bet all in after the river and told Bui that he held the nut flush before the showdown, but the Dutchwoman was already committed and called off to get shown the . Meanwhile, 2015 Unibet Open Cannes finalist Joachim Kleiven followed in level three after losing almost all chips with ace-king against the kings of Alex Hendriks, though the latter also hit the rail after running into the flopped queen-high flush of Patrick Aerts.
Among the familiar names to run out of chips entirely were the de Meulder brothers, Matthias and Christophe, Unibet ambassador Charlotte van Brabander, Guy Goosens, Jasper Wetemans, Dan Glimne, Dieter van Itterbeeck, Vincent Gabel, Boris Kuzmanovic, Marc Naalden and Jochum Weenink.
Other notables that made it through to Day 2 include Matthias de Clercq (163,000), Bert Geens (150,800), Hans Sybrandi (141,100), the very entertaining and honest de Wijs (84,300), Pieter de Korver (72,900) and Bart Lybaert (49,200). They will be back at the tables as of 12:00 local time on Saturday for the penultimate tournament day while Day 1b gets underway at the same time on Friday.
The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be back then to provide updates, which you can follow in our dedicated live blog.