Main Event

The Stage is Set; Bensimhon Leads Final 9 At Inaugural €1,650 WSOPC International Main Event Rotterdam

KaleGozer • Level 22: 8,000-16,000, 2,000 ante
Ben Bensimhon

On Day 3 of the €1,650 World Series of Poker International Circuit Main Event in Holland Casino Rotterdam, it took slightly less than six levels of 60 minutes each to whittle a field of 35 players down to the final nine. Ben Bensimhon, of Swiss origin, will be the chipleader at the final table with 1,692,000 in chips. Belgian star Bart Lybaert and Dutch high roller Govert Metaal also made the final table. Fatima Moreira de Melo held the dubious honor of bubbling the Main Event.

Each of the final nine players has already locked up €8,657 for reaching the final table. However, the lion's share of the €393,120 prize pool is still up for grabs, with a dazzling €94,349 and a coveted WSOP Circuit ring awaiting the conqueror of the inaugural WSOPC Main Event in Holland Casino Rotterdam.

The day started off with 35 out of 273 players. 30 of them would finish in the money, which would leave five poor souls empty-handed. After four bust-outs, including Tobias Peters, it was none other than Olympic Gold medalist Fatima Moreira de Melo who became the eventual bubble girl. Holding ace-queen of spades, De Melo shoved over an open raise from Lawrence Bayley, who called with pocket eights. Despite flopping a flush draw to go with the over cards, De Melo didn't get there and missed out on the money.

Once in the money, Jer El Salsero, Pim Kuipers and Marlon Vasilda were among those to bust quickly. Kees van Brugge, one of Holland's hottest up and coming players, finished in 22nd place after shoving pocket sixes into pocket tens. Niko Mykkanen, who finished 4th in the €3,500 High Roller earlier this week, finished in 19th place after losing ace-queen against Micha Hoedemaker's ace-king.

Austrian tournament specialist Robert Auer saw a deep run end in 17th place when he went all in with king-ten. Govert Metaal looked him up with pocket kings and Auer couldn't escape. Another MTT-notable, James Gilbert, got eliminated shortly after. Gilbert, with Metaal and Lybaert among the most accomplished players left in the field, was short stacked for most of the day and played his final hand when he shoved ace-jack into Bart Lybaert's pocket kings.

Raoul Refos, Wim Emo, Wladimir Stepanian, and Frits Heckler all just missed out on a WSOPC Main Event final table. During the last level of the day, a couple of brutal hands in a row set the stage for the final nine. Egi Adriaans was on the receiving end of a nasty beat. After losing a coin flip against Hoedemaker first, it was his nemesis who eliminated him shortly after as well. With pocket kings, Adriaans was all in against Hoedemaker's ace-queen but a queen on both the flop and the river send the Belgian to the rail in 11th place (€7,009).

Eric Sfez finished in 10th place and became the final table bubble boy. After losing to a brutal one-outer against Teun Mulder earlier, Sfez got his last chips in with pocket eights against Lybaert's pocket aces. Sfez couldn't improve and took home €7,009 for his tenth place finish.

With that, the final nine are known. Leading the field is Ben Bensimhon, draped in a pink bunny hood, who won a big pot against Bart Lybaert to claim the end of day chip lead. In a four-bet pot, Bensimhon check-called pocket nines on a trey-trey-eight-king board. The six on the river was checked by both players and Bensimhon's pair was good.

Other notables at the final table are the aforementioned Lybaert, who cashed no less that 10 times at the 2016 World Series of Poker. Lybaert is fresh off a 3rd place in the €1,100 PokerStars National Championship Barcelona, where he collected an astonishing €368,473. Govert Metaal also made his way to the final table. The Dutch high roller played a quiet day and slowly moved himself up the pack. Metaal will start as one of the short stacks and has his work cut out for him.

The final table will start on Saturday at 2 p.m. local time, with 1 minute and 24 seconds left in the 8,000/16,000 ante 2,000 level. After that, blinds will be 10,000/20,000 with an ante of 3,000 and levels will be 60 minutes. Seating for the final table hasn't been announced at this time; the seat draw for the final table will be held tomorrow before the start of the day. PokerNews will be on hand to provide live coverage of the first ever WSOP International Circuit Main Event final table in The Netherlands until the winner is crowned.

Tags: Bart LybaertBen BensimhonEgi AdriaansEric SfezFatima Moreira De MeloFrits HecklerGovert MetaalJer El SalseroKees van BruggeLawrence BayleyMarlon VasildaMicha HoedemakerNiko MykkanenPim KuipersRaoul RefosRobert AuerTeun MulderTobias PetersWim EmoWladimir Stepanian