World Cup of Poker VI: The first round

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Live updates from Day 1a of the World Cup of Poker VI brought to you by Stephen Bartley. You can find the teams in our tournament introduction as well as a run down on what's in store today. You can also check in on the PCA main event final table here, and watch it all for yourself on EPTLive.

4pm: "Are we last?"
Yes Luca, Italy are last. But it needn't stay that way. Ahead of the next round here are the combined scores after round one of the World Cup of Poker. It's Croatia on top.

1st - Croatia -- 35 points
2nd - Norway -- 30 points
3rd - Finland -- 29 points
4th - Canada -- 25 points
5th - Chile -- 24 points
6th - United States -- 23 points
6th - Germany -- 23 points
8th - Chinese Taipei -- 22 points
9th - Italy -- 19 points

3.55pm: Round one complete
An epic heads up encounter ends round one. Tommi Saarinen just scraped past Italy's Giovanni Manucuso to win ten vital points for his country.

Manucuso had held the advantage for most of the game but as the blinds reached the 1,000/2,000 stage it was all or nothing. The advantage swung between them until the last hand. Manucuso moved in with J♥5♥ with Saarinen calling with A♦3♣. The board ran 4♦K♦T♥Q♣J♣. Manucuso saw the jack on the end and thought he'd doubled up, but he'd missed the straight. So had a few people.

A count confirmed the win for Finland, so the points for table two are as follows:

1st - Finland -- 10pts
2nd - Italy -- 8pts
3rd - Germany -- 7pts
4th - Chinese Taipei -- 6pts
5th - Croatia -- 5pts
6th - Canada -- 4pts
7th - Norway -- 3pts
8th - USA -- 2pts
9th - Chile -- 1pt

3.30pm: Still playing
An all-in on table two where Giovanni Manucuso of Italy and Tommi Juhani Saarinen are the last two players of the round. Manucuso showed 6♥8♣ to call Saarinen's Q♦7♥. the board ran 5♦Q♥5♣A♣Q♣ to double up the Finn. The two are now level in chips.

In for the long haul, Tommi Saarinen (right) and Giovanni Manucuso

3.20pm: The latest
More results in, first from table three where Croatia just won their second table, and another ten points to their tally. Denis Obadic eliminated Chris Burmeister of the United States and was instantly bear hugged by Croatian men and women on the rail who finished off with a bit of chanting. Here's the full result:

1st - Croatia -- 10pts
2nd - USA -- 8pts
3rd - Chile -- 7pts
4th - Finland -- 6pts
5th - Chinese Taipei -- 5pts
6th - Germany -- 4pts
7th - Canada -- 3pts
8th - Norway -- 2pts
9th - Italy -- 1pt

There's more. As Croatia put that one in the bag Norway won on table one, the full result:

1st - Norway -- 10pts
2nd - USA -- 8pts
3rd - Canada -- 7pts
4th - Finland -- 6pts
5th - Chinese Taipei -- 5pts
6th - Italy -- 4pts
7th - Croatia -- 3pts
8th - Germany -- 2pts
9th - Chile -- 1pt

Just table two remains, where Italy are heads up against Finland.

3.10pm: Croatia on top
Results from table four are now in after Denis Kelemen of Croatia just defeated Michael Dietrich of Canada. That's 17 confirmed points for Croatia so far. The full results are as follows:

1st - Croatia -- 10pts
2nd - Canada -- 8pts
3rd - Chile -- 7pts
4th - Finland -- 6pts
5th - Norway (Lodden) -- 5pts
6th - Germany (Heitmann) -- 4pts
7th - USA -- 3pts
8th - Chinese Taipei -- 2pts
9th - Italy (Pagano) -- 1pt

First win for Croatia

3pm: Heads-up
Four tables remain, three are heads up. Croatian captain Denis Kelemen is heads up with Canadian Michael Dietrich. Giovanni Manucuso plays Finland's representative, while it's USA's Chris Burmeister up against Croatia after Team Chile's captain Mauricio Zeman was just eliminated.

2.50pm: First results in from table five
The first of the sit n-go's has been won by Team Norway.Bjorn andre Horden getting the job done ahead of Chile. The full result for table five is as follows:

1st - Norway - 10pts
2nd - Chile - 8pts
3rd - Croatia - 7pts
4th - Germany - 6pts
5th - Italy - 5pts
6th - Chinese Taipei - 4pts
7th - Canada - 3pts
8th - USA - 2pts
9th - Finland - 1pt

2.45pm: Johnny Lodden and Raymund Wu - OUT

2.40pm: Three way action
A huge hand featuring three team captains. Only two would survive it. Croatia's captain Denis Kelemen moved all-in on the button for roughly 4,000. Jan Heitmann was on the small blind and called all-in, Johnny Lodden, not wanting to miss out, called from the big.

Kelemen: A♥K♠
Heitmann: T♣T♠
Lodden: 7♠7♣

The board ran 6♠2♥9♥A♠4♠. Much cheering for Croatia, a drat expression from Heitmann who busts. Lodden had Kelemen covered and plays on.

Jan Heitmann (left) and Johnny Lodden

"It was a pleasure playing with you guys," said Heitmann before adding a touch of sinister drama. "We'll meet again... soon."

Kelemen up to more than 8,000 now.

2.25pm: Keep the flag flying
It's hotting up. Italy have lost another, this time in fifth place. Norway just lost a player Geir Plasen busting against Giovanni Manucuso, ace-jack against ace-king. So far so good for Canada, without captain Suharto but otherwise complete.

"Huge, that was a big one." that was the verdict of tournament staff watching Chris Burmeister of the United States crush Rasmus Ludke of Germany. Burmeister now leads that table after his queen-ten made a straight to beat Ludke's aces. Ludke then departed in the next hand against Wen-Hoa of Chinese Taipei.

2.15pm: Ooooh dear
Things have just taken a turn for the worse for Team Italy. Without their skipper Pagano now they've just lost another player, the first to go on their table. That's just two points so far to the Italian tally.

2.05pm: The latest
Chile, Croatia and Germany are each a player down, the blinds starting to bite now. Of the five tables two are led by Chinese Taipei, including one by captain Raymond Wu. Frank Boehrens is ahead for Germany at his table thanks to his busting of Vanessa Rousso; Johnny Lodden leads for Norway and Giovanni Manucuso tops one for Italy.

Captain of Norway Johnny Lodden

1.50pm: More fallers
Low and behold another team captain is no more. Darus Suharto, at the helm for the Canadians, is out, his king-five splattered by the aces of Norways's Christian Stokkeland.

1.45pm: Eliminations
Vanessa Rousso is out. The Team PokerStars Pro got it in with pocket jacks against the tens of Germany. A ten hit the flop and Rousso's early afternoon adventure is over, a shock blow to the American team. Rousso had apparently had aces cracked a few hands earlier.

Vanessa Rousso, moments before her elimination

She followed Finland's departure from her table. Happiest in all of this is Jan Heitmann. The German captain just trotted over to shake hands with Frank Boehrens. Morale in the Team Germany camp is high.

1.30pm: First shots in anger
There's action on the table featuring Pagano, Hietmann and Lodden, although neither of them feature. Instead Mauricio Ibarba from Chile and Ryan Templin from the USA are tangling early. Ibarra won the first, forcing Lodden and Templin to fold on a flop of 3♠K♦Q♥. Then Templin took the next doing the same on the button on a flop of 4♣9♣3♥.

1.15pm: "Sick" table draw
The random table draw has pitched some team captains against each other. The Team PokerStars Pros Luca Pagano (Italy), Jan Heitman (Germany) and Johnny Lodden (Norway) are all at the same table, as are Darus Suharto (Canada) and Vanessa Rousso (United States).

"Usually I'd ask where everybody's from..." said Jan Heitmann. "It's kind of redundant here."

1.10pm: Play begins
The first matches are now underway. Five, nine handed sit and goes with 3,000 starting chips and 15 minute blinds.

1.05pm: Minutes away
It's started. The pandemonium that is. The team from Chile did a pre-match chant a few minutes ago. I think the Canadians just did the same although I couldn't pick out the words.

Jan Heitman, captain of the German team for the second year in a row, is in good spirits, his eye on a second world cup win. Did he understand the rules? "Most of them," he said. "I'm thinking if we win everything, it won't matter too much."


Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in World Cup of Poker