The World Series of Poker Europe is underway in Cannes, France, and Phil Hellmuth has announced his presence in a big way.
In the very first event of the seven tournament schedule, the €2500 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em event, Hellmuth came to the final day of the tournament on Sunday in excellent position. With twelve players remaining from the original 360 runners, the eleven time WSOP bracelet winner was in second place behind only Switzerland’s Guillaume Humbert. From the start of play on Sunday, however, Hellmuth was unable to make many inroads.
Adrien Allain was able to double up through Hellmuth right off the bat when his A-10 found trip tens on the flop against Phil’s pocket nines, cutting a huge chunk of chips off the former World Champion. Matan Krakow took some more from the “Poker Brat” when Hellmuth failed to chase down Krakow’s pocket Kings. In less than thirty minutes, Hellmuth had gone from the second place position to below the chip average.
The bleeding continued for Hellmuth as the tournament wore on. Allain continued to be a thorn in his side as his chip stack slid further downward. When play reached eight handed, Hellmuth was the short stack in the tournament.
After Alexander Salabaschew was eliminated in eighth place, the pursuit of Bracelet #12 would come to an end for Hellmuth. With his final chips in on the big blind, Hellmuth took a K-J to battle against Marton Czuczor’s A-4. No King or Jack came on the board, eliminating Phil Hellmuth on the final table bubble in seventh place.
The six handed final table was bunched together, with Krakow holding the chip lead with 660K in chips and Roy Finlay right behind him with 654K. Allain held the third slot with 406K in chips and Azusa Maeda, Humbert and Czuczor filling out the remainder of the table.
Krakow dominated the early going before the table took a dinner break, pushing his stack over the million chip mark. He was matched, however, by Maeda, who assumed the lead as the dinner bell rang. Finlay and Humbert would be well back of those two men, but a charge for the ages was forthcoming.
After some sustenance, Humbert started to move up the leaderboard. He doubled up through Krakow first, then eliminated him from the tournament in fourth place. Even with those achievements, Humbert was still almost 600K in chips behind Maeda as three handed play wore on.
Humbert would take a good deal of Finlay’s chips before Maeda eliminated Finlay in third place, putting Maeda in a slight lead (1.6-1.1 million) over Humbert. As the duo sparred, Humbert slowly ground his way up before taking a sizeable pot to assume the lead. The end would come when, on a 9-6-7 flop, Humbert checked his option to Maeda and he moved all in. Humbert quickly called, tabling his 5-8 for the flopped straight against only a 4-3 from Maeda. The only thing that would save Maeda was for the board to complete the straight but, once a four fell on the turn, Guillaume Humbert had completed an unlikely comeback to win the first ever WSOP bracelet for Switzerland.
- Guillaume Humbert (Switzerland) €215,999
- Azuza Maeda (Japan) €133,471
- Roy Finlay (United Kingdom) €92,629
- Matan Krakow (Israel) €65,068
- Adrien Allain (France) €46,250
- Marton Czuczor (Hungary) €33,255
The second event of this year’s WSOP-E, a €1000 No Limit Hold’em tournament, drew out 771 players for its Saturday start. At this moment, there are 68 players remaining in the tournament, with Ricardo Pereira leading the way with 145,000 in chips. Some of the noted professionals still remaining in this tournament include Vanessa Selbst, Roberto Romanello, Lars Bonding and Canadian Erik Cajelais. The final table of this tournament will play out on Wednesday.
While the €1000 NLHE event continues, the €5000 Pot Limit Omaha tournament begins today. This event should draw out the professionals, in particular the Europeans weaned on the PLO game. There will be three more events beginning this week leading up to the €10,000 Championship Event, which begins on Saturday.