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Sammartino Soars on Day 2 of WSOPE Main Event as 165 Players Advance

Dario Sammartino

Day 2 of the 2018 World Series of Poker Europe €10,350 Main Event is in the books. The action kicked off at noon local time in Europe's biggest poker arena at the King's Casino in Rozvadov with 221 players out of 341 entries remaining and the registration and single re-entry period remained open for the first four of six 90-minute levels. Once the registration closed at the end of level 11, the screens showed 534 entries to ensure that the guaranteed prize pool of €5,000,000 was surpassed.

Only the top 81 spots will take home a portion of the €5,073,000 prize pool and the money bubble is expected to burst late on Day 3, so half of the remaining field will walk away empty-handed with the minimum payout set at €15,074. A massive payday of €1,122,239 and the coveted gold bracelet await the champion.

Dario Sammartino Takes the Lead

Leading the field after Day 2 is Dario Sammartino, who soared to the top of the leaderboard in the final stages of the day and bagged up an impressive 1,480,000. The Italian started the day with just 94,000 and things really kicked off after he had chipped up and was moved to the table of Vladimir Geshkenbein. In a key hand, Sammartino doubled through Geshkenbein in a three-bet pot.

"I opened the button with ten-six of hearts and he three-bet me out of the big blind, I called," Sammartino recounted. "The flop was ten-six-two. He bet, I raised, he re-raised and I called. We got it in after an eight on the turn and I held up against kings. Lucky day and not a tough table."

It is a good start, but nothing really special yet. Special is when you win, not now."

In the final stages, Sammartino sent several players to the rail including Jason Wheeler and Hans Thumann to bag and tag almost five times the average chip count.

"Of course it is really good, but the tournament is very long. You need to stay focused and we have another three, four days to play. It is a good start, but nothing really special yet. Special is when you win, not now," Sammartino said after bagging for the day.

Winning a bracelet and seven-figure payday in one of the most prestigious events of the year would see Sammartino edge closer to Mustapha Kanit at the top of the Italian all-time money list. Kanit himself made it through to Day 3 with an above-average stack of 626,000. Sammartino already had a close call this past summer in Las Vegas when he finished third in Event #23: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship and added a tenth and 15th-place finish in Sin City, but the elusive bracelet has escaped him thus far.

"It is important for me," admitted Sammartino. "Two, three years ago it was the dream [to win a bracelet], you know. Now it is important, but not like when I was 24 years old."

WSOPE Main Event Top 5 Stacks

PositionPlayerCountryChip CountBig Blinds
1Dario SammartinoItaly1,480,000296
2Marco SlacanacGermany1,128,500226
3Jack SalterUnited Kingdom1,051,000210
4Rainer KempeGermany818,000164
5Joel EttedgiUnited Kingdom747,000149

More Big Stacks

Jack Salter
Jack Salter third in Chips after Day 2

The only two other chip millionaires are Marco Slacanac (1,128,500) and UK's Jack Salter. In the penultimate level of the registration period, Salter was involved in a five-bet pot and won a flip with ace-king against the pocket jacks of Hani Bahna. From there on, the Brit kept building his stack further and claimed 1,051,000 for Day 3.

Further big stacks and notables include Rainer Kempe (818,000), Michael Sklenicka (722,000), Laszlo Bujtas (713,500), 2013 WSOP Main Event fourth place finisher Sylvain Loosli (638,000), Timothy Adams (629,500), David Urban (546,000), Alex Foxen (516,000), 2018 EPT Barcelona champion Piotr Nurzynski (496,000) and Ben Heath (475,000).

Several WSOP bracelet winners also made it through including Triple Crown champion Niall Farrell (625,000), Norbert Szecsi (560,500), Will Givens (539,000), 2013 WSOP Main Event champion Ryan Riess (382,000), Chris Ferguson (326,000), David Peters (295,500), Johannes Becker (287,500), Kristen Bicknell (248,500) and Day 1b chip leader Adrian Mateos (245,000) to name just a few.

Among the big names to fall on Day 2 were Romain Lewis, Jason Wheeler, Anthony Zinno, Gal Yifrach, Tom Middleton, Dominik Nitsche, Jan-Peter Jachtmann, Michael Addamo, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Davidi Kitai, as well as local bracelet winners Artur Rudziankov and Martin Kabrhel.

Day 2 WSOPE Main Event Action

All those poker enthusiasts from near and far that had not entered yet or had already busted once had a chance to take another shot at the €10,350 Main Event and almost 200 new entries emerged on Day 2. Among the early casualties were Ludovic Geilich, Kabrhel and Gianluca Speranza.

Geilich bricked off with a flopped flush draw against the pocket aces of Gudmundur Sigurjonsson and had to re-enter in order to bag up 198,500. Speranza, who had finished runner-up to 888poker qualifier Marti Roca de Torres one year ago here in Rozvadov, busted on his first bullet with ace-king against the ace-queen of Anatoly Filatov. Speranza also successfully re-entered and finished Day 2 with 184,500, while Sigurjonsson and Filatov were both eliminated later on.

The first player to move up to one million in chips was Robert Skopalik, a recreational player from the Czech Republic. Skopalik was on the fortunate end of an aces versus kings setup against Wai Leong Chan early on and also claimed most of the chips of Martin Finger. Towards the end of the day, Skopalik took several blows and finished Day 2 with a still healthy 602,000.

Farrell and Salter were among those to build their stack along with Sammartino, who went through his table like a wrecking ball in the final level of the night. The biggest pot of the tournament so far played out in the final level of the night when Oleg Netaliev tried to push Laszlo Bujtas off in a three-way three-bet pot. However, Bujtas didn't go anywhere with turned trips and the top full house on the river, and claimed the remainder of Netaliev's chips soon after with nines versus eights after hitting yet another full house.

Romain Lewis
No Day 3 for Romain Lewis this time

The excellent WSOP year of Romain Lewis with four top-three finishes in Las Vegas and Rozvadov came to a premature end in the final hand of the night. In a three-way all in with Lukacs and Jakob Miegel. Lewis had the best of it preflop with pocket kings versus pocket queens and ace-king respectively, but Lukacs spiked one of the two remaining queens on the flop to score the double elimination.

After six levels of 90 minutes each, only 165 players out of the 534-entry strong field bagged up chips and will return to the tables at noon local time on Tuesday, October 30. The action will recommence with blinds of 2,500/5,000 and a big blind ante of 5,000.

Make sure to follow the PokerNews live updates page as the live reporting team will be on the floor to provide all the action. There you can also find the complete Day 3 Seat Draw.

2018 WSOPE Main Event Payout

PositionPrize in €Prize in $ PositionPrize in €Prize in $
1€1,122,239$1,278,051 13-14€47,019$53,547
2€693,573$789,869 15-16€38,187$43,489
3€480,028$546,675 17-24€31,623$36,014
4€337,778$384,675 25-32€26,712$30,421
5€241,718$275,278 33-40€23,025$26,222
6€175,965$200,396 41-48€20,262$23,075
7€130,350$148,448 49-56€18,210$20,738
8€98,287$111,933 57-64€16,723$19,045
9-10€75,461$85,938 65-72€15,700$17,880
11-12€59,011$67,204 73-81€15,074$17,167
  • Sammartino is joined by Jack Salter, Rainer Kempe and Michael Sklenicka in the top ten.

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