Money Bubble Approaching In WSOP Europe Championship Event, Three Canadians Remain In Tournament

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Day Three of the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe €10,000 Championship Event is rapidly approaching the money bubble, with three Canadian pros looking to take home some hard earned cash from their trip to France.

Play on Tuesday began with 116 players remaining and plans for the day to either play down to the final 24 players or seven levels, whichever comes first. After dominating the play through much of Tuesday, Rifat Palevic and veteran pro Hoyt Corkins were passed late in the evening for the chip lead by Constant Rijkenberg. Rijkenberg, a former European Poker Tour San Remo champion, started off the day with 462,800 in chips, slightly ahead of Corkins (429,900) and Palevic (353,500) and with such players as Triple Crown winner Jake Cody, Arnaud Mattern and Patrik Antonius lurking down the leaderboard.

Rijkenberg got off to an excellent start this afternoon in the Hotel Majestic Barriere in Cannes, pushing his chip stack up by 100K within the first hour of play. Corkins attempted to keep pace, but he doubled up Carlo Savinelli when Savinelli’s pocket fours caught a set on the flop to defeat Corkins’ pocket Queens. Even with these starts, there have been other players who have caught and passed the Day Two leaders.

One of the players who has pushed her way into the “boys club” atop the leaderboard is the United States’ Melanie Weisner. Using a double up through Dmitry Motorov, when she made a straight betting on the come with flush and straight options, Weisner has been able to push that stack skyward. After the first break of the day, Melanie eliminated John O’Shea to momentarily seize the chip lead with 600K.

As play has come to the second break, a new name is sitting atop the mountain. 2011 WSOP bracelet winner Amir Lehavot used the knockout of Mustapha Kanit to push his chip stack just shy of the one million mark at 990,000. Lehavot used pocket Kings against Kanit’s pocket sixes and, once an unnecessary King hit the flop, it was basically over.

For one Canadian player, Mike “SirWatts” Watson, the end came on Day Three. On his Twitter feed, Mike simply explained, “AQ<AT for 170K, I’m out.” He did put a positive spin on things, however, following his elimination statement with, “There’s a 5K 6-handed turbo in an hour, I think!”

There are currently three Canadians among the 68 players remaining, with the ever-present Shawn Buchanan leading the trio. The Abbotsford native is currently holding down the nineteenth position, as it appears he has avoided the limelight for much of the day. His stack of 330K should allow him to make the money, which would be his third cash during the WSOP-E schedule.

The other two Canadians on the leaderboard may make the money, but they will have their work cut out for them if they are to make a deeper run. Currently sitting in 37th place, Montreal’s Chris McClung has a stack of 220,000 chips in front of him; with the chip leader over four times that ahead of him, however, Chris needs to start his move to the front. Mike “GoLeafsGoEh” Leah is also in the mix, currently sitting in 46th place with 125,000 in chips.

With 65 players currently remaining in the tournament, here is a look at the Top Ten:

1. Amir Lehavot (United States), 990,000

2. Rifat Palevic (Sweden), 800,000

3. Max Silver (United Kingdom), 710,000

4. Brian Roberts (United States), 685,000

5. Constant Rijkenberg (United States), 650,000

6. Melanie Weisner (United States), 610,000

7. Stephen Chadwick (United Kingdom), 540,000

8. Thibaud Guenegou (France), 480,000

9. Michael Drummond (Parts Unknown), 445,000

10. Tom Bedell (Norway), 418,000

Just outside the Top Ten are such notable names as Antonius (390K), 2011 WSOP bracelet winner Sean Getzwiller (355K), Erik Seidel (305K), Liv Boeree (250K) and Freddy Deeb (240K).

However the tournament ends today – with the requisite seven levels of play or reaching 24 players – there will be a long day tomorrow for the survivors. Play on Wednesday will bring the field down to the final table of nine, with the champion determined on Thursday afternoon (Cannes time) at the Hotel Majestic Barriere.

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Earl Burton is a veteran journalist in the poker industry, having covered the game since 2004. He has played the game much longer, however, starting out playing in family games at a very early age. He has covered tournaments across the United States, including the World Poker Tour, the World Series of Poker and various charitable events. Earl’s background includes writing for some of the top poker news sites in the industry as well as other poker media outlets that include Poker Player Newspaper and Canadian Poker Player Magazine. Earl keeps an unblinking eye on the poker world, offering coverage of news from the industry, tournament action, player interviews, strategy and his opinions on the game. Whenever possible, Earl will also step to the tables to demonstrate that there’s more than just writing talent behind his poker game!

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