The first of two starting days of the 2017 Unibet Open Bucharest €1,100 Main Event gathered a field of 167 entries of which 39 hopefuls advanced to Day 2 in the Grand Ballroom of the luxurious JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel. The 10-year anniversary edition of the popular tournament series has a guaranteed prize pool of €500,000 and nine out of the first ten players at the top of the counts were from Romania.
Andrei Grimberg (325,500) narrowly beat Tudor Bartha Lazar (324,000) to the top spot while Tudor Purice (252,500) bagged up the third-most chips. Among the other big stacks at the end of Day 1a were Razvan Cetanas (247,000), Guy Ohayon (245,000) and Marius Pertea (177,000).
Jose Luis Capdevila, who currently travels the world with his girlfriend, noticed the event while in Eastern Europe and bagged up 163,000. Other notables include Vinod Jadav (153,000), Martin von Zweigbergk (129,500), Pasquale Grimaldi (114,500), and Emanuel Flesner (70,000).
It wasn't all smiles for everyone as some familiar faces of the Unibet Open circuit joined the rail far earlier than expected. Dorin Rauta was among the early casualties and Ben Bensimhon was also gone well before the dinner break. Unibet Poker ambassador Espen Uhlen Jorstad exited the €2,200 High Roller and jumped into the Main Event only to bust soon after as well. Fellow ambassador Daiva Byrne came back from 4,000 chips to an above-average stack, but was eventually ousted in a three-way all in just after the dinner break with ace-king against the pocket nines of Adrian Nica and the pocket queens of Martin von Zweigbergk.
Also among those to bust were Luciana Manolea, Nandor Solyom, Ioana Silvana Apostol and Serghei Lisii. Two former Unibet Open champions took to the tables and were both felted. Joni Liimatta busted in the early stages while Daniel Chutrov joined the rail in a three-way all in. Markus Heikkila, who led the field after Day 1a one year ago here in Bucharest, three-bet all in with ace-five and Chutrov moved in over the top with ace-ten suited. Initial raiser Tudor Bartha Lazar quickly called with kings and held up on a queen-high board.
At the time of writing, the €2,200 High Roller was down to eight players out of 99 entries, all guaranteed at least €6,605 for their efforts. Dorin Rauta bubbled in 14th place when his ace-jack suited lost a flip against the pocket nines of Olvedo Heinze. After that, Elvis Petcu (13th, for €4,160), Mihai Niste (12th, for €4,160), Florin Elisei (11th, for €4,785), Unibet Poker ambassador Dara O'Kearney (10th, for €4,785) and Andrei Boghean (9th, for €5,505) joined the rail in the money.
The nine-handed eSports Battle Royale VII was won by Fredrik "dbergie" Bergmann (€5,000), Thijs "Thijs" Molendijk (€3,000) and Andrey "Reynad" Yanyuk (€2,000) rounded out the top three spots in the money.
Action recommences at 11 a.m. local time with Day 1b of the €1,100 Main Event and the respective Satellite generated 161 entries for 21 seats and €326 to the 22nd place finisher.