WSOP-E Championship Event Smashes Records; Shawn Buchanan, David Pelletier In Top 20

Shawn Buchanan at the 2011 WSOP Europe
Shawn Buchanan is Currently in the Top 20

After the second of two Day Ones at the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe in Cannes, France, several records have been broken as two Canadians are amidst the players in pursuit of the crown.

With 310 players coming out on Saturday and another 283 showing up for battle on Sunday, the final field size eclipsed any WSOP-E tournament in its history. The 593 players have built a prize pool of €5.692 million, which will be shared among the final 54. The winner of the Championship Event of the WSOP-E will pocket the largest first place prize in the history of the event, €1.4 million, and it is also no surprise that this is the largest ever tournament in French history.

328 players came back to the tables today as the field was assembled for the first time following the dual Day Ones. Day 1A chip leader Jamie Rosen was able to hold onto that moniker for the entirety of the Day One action, holding 162,700 in chips. The top two players from Day 1B, Lari Sihvo (144,725) and Tommy Vedes (142,775), were in pursuit of Rosen, as is the defending champion of the tournament, the U. K.’s James Bord.

Two Canadians in particular have made several inroads into deep runs in the tournament through the action today. Sitting in the Top Ten at the moment is Montreal’s Daniel Pelletier, who has been able to ring up a stack of 212K in chips, good for tenth place at this time. It seems we always are calling out Abbotsford’s Shawn Buchanan’s name during major tournaments and this one is just the same; with 190K in chips, Shawn is in the Top 20 in seventeenth place.

2011 WSOP Europe Main Event Room
The 2011 WSOP Europe Main Event Room

Several other Canadian players are in the Day Two field, but they will have some work to do if they are to survive to Day Three. Blainville’s Amirouddine Alibay (86,200), Montreal’s Chris McClung (83,000), Waterloo’s Alexander Wice (73,300), 2011 WSOP-E bracelet winner Philippe Boucher (69,500), Vancouver’s Daniel Idema (57,925), Montreal’s Gabriel Houle (56,975), Toronto’s Mike “SirWatts” Watson (56,300), Guelph’s Mark Radoja (44,000), Christopher Lastiwka (38,500) and Mike “goleafsgoeh” Leah (37,000) are among the 199 players remaining at this time. Notable Canadians who have been eliminated include Kyle Johnson, Terrence Chan and Sam Chartier.

As the players head for the dinner break, there has been a massive change atop the leaderboard. Of the top three players who started the day, only Sihvo has been able to stay in the tournament, with both Rosen and Vedes eliminated in the early half of Day Two play. Sihvo’s stack has taken a bit of a hit, however, as the Finn sits on 115K as the players head off for some nourishment.

At the top of the standings at the dinner break is Sweden’s Rifat Palevic, who suffered a huge chip loss but still maintained his lead. In a hand against Vadim Ifergan, the duo saw a 9-8-6 rainbow board which Palevic checked to Ifergan. After Vadim bet 20K, Rifat put in a check raise large enough to put Ifergan all in. After a few moments, Ifergan made the call and tabled an A-9, good for top pair, top kicker. Palevic had ten outs twice with his pocket sevens, but missed the entire way to double up Ifergan.

These two men, who verbally bantered after the hand with Palevic surprised that Ifergan made such a (his view) bad call, now sit atop the leaderboard. Palevic’s once mountainous stack is now “only” 415,000, while the double up puts Ifergan at 350K. The rest of the leaderboard looks like this with 166 players remaining:

  1. Rifat Palevic (Sweden), 415K
  2. Vadim Ifergan (France), 350K
  3. Hoyt Corkins (United States), 345K
  4. Constant Rijkenberg (Netherlands), 293K
  5. Andrew Moseley (United Kingdom), 260K
  6. Giuseppe Sammartino (Italy), 230K
  7. Elio Fox (United States), 220K
  8. Barny Boatman (United Kingdom), 215K
  9. Victor Ramdin (United States), 215K
  10. David Pelletier (Canada), 212K

There is still a long way to go before this tournament’s true story can be told. With 166 remaining players, most of the field isn’t even thinking about the money yet at 54 players. The final table looks to be a distant pursuit also, with the championship to be determined on Thursday. But the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe Championship Event has already etched its status in poker history and should be tremendously exciting throughout the remainder of this week.

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Earl Burton
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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