EPT11 Prague: Midday update: Selbst surges into lead
Earlier today we speculated that having Vanessa Selbst on your left in a poker tournament was probably going to be a bad thing. In this history of not sitting on the fence it's hardly revolutionary or ground breaking but it has proven to be accurate.
For six levels into Day 1B the Team PokerStars Pro finds herself in a familiar position, that of chip leader. That she finds on that lofty perch is mostly down to a 140,000 chip pot she won against one of the few players who can go toe to toe with her when it comes to aggression, namely hyper-aggressive Scotsman, Ludovic Geilich.
With the reputations of the two players you'd be forgiven for thinking this huge pot had the potential for ending with a seven bet pre-flop all-in bluff in which one player showed up with eight high. But, in fact it was nothing of the sorts and was simply a cooler. But this was no run of the mill premium hand versus premium hand cooler, no this was weapons grade cooler.
Geilich was the pre-flop aggressor but Selbst took over the betting lead on the 9♣6♥K♦ flop, leading out for 600 and calling after Geilich had made it 1,775 to play. On the [10h] turn Selbst check-called a bet of 3,675 and the [10c] completed the board. There was now roughly 18,500 in the pot and Geilich went for a small overbet by firing out 19,275. Selbst took her time before raising to 65,000 total, a bet Geilich elected to call. The American opened K♠[10s] and Geilich said: "Absolute cooler," as he flung his cards high into the air and into the muck. Reportedly he held pocket sixes for middle set on the flop and a smaller full house on the river.
That left Geilich with just 8,000 and Selbst with a chip leading stack of 150,000, a stack she was still in possession of as the players headed off for their dinner break and one that's only slightly less than the 159.800 that Day 1A chip leader Dmitry Ponomarev accumulated yesterday.
So as it stands Selbst sits atop a record field here in Prague as 743 players have joined the fray today, add them to the 342 who entered Day 1A and you get 1,085 which has already eclipsed the 1,007 from last year. With late registration still open the final number could yet top 1,100. As for today, with two levels to go other players who are well placed to make a run at emulating Ponomarev include: Pasquale Grimaldi (129,000), Joseph Cheong (105.000), Chris Moorman (105,000), and Rory Brown (95,000).
As you'd expect with such a large field there are plenty of players sporting the Red Spade dotted around the room. As well as Selbst you'd find: Team PokerStars Pros Eugene Katchalov (40,500), Marcin Horecki (27.500) and Theo Jorgensen (25,800). Team Pro Online's Vicente Delgado (18,500), PokerStars Friend, Natalie Hof (27.500) and PokerStars Mind Sport Ambassador Jennifer Shahade (20,100). Whilst unfortunately Jan Heitmann, Jason Mercier, Ivan Demidov and Luca Pagano have all taken an early bath.
With the main event already under way there were 47 players who had yet to give up the ghost of getting in on the cheap. At 16.30 local time a last chance Hyper-Turbo satellite started. With a €1,050 buy-in it created nine seats to the main event although only three of the players who won a seat would actually jump straight into Day 1 action. The other winners, such as David Vamplew, had already played on Day 1A. But this Hail Mary play work well for Doron Davidovitz, Sylwester Fortuna and Fabien Motte and it'll be quite some story if one of them goes on to make the final table.
For now though the focus is on making Day 2, players are back in their seats and have two more levels to negotiate before bagging and tagging their chips.
Follow all the action from the Main Event on the Main Event page. There's hand-by-hand updates and chip counts in the panel at the top of the page and feature pieces below.