WSOP Main Event: The European march
by Howard Swains
Day three, and the final 1,168 all fancy their chances of the money. Just 873 of those actually will make it, meaning 295 won't. We're already in a pseudo-bubble phase, with the uber-bubble expected to burst a level or two into today.
From a European PokerStars perspective, things are rosy. Dario Minieri (275,900), the SuperNova from Rome, continues to blaze a trail. He has remained in the top chunk since day one and has shown exceptionally few chinks in his armour.
Akshay Kumar (249,600), from London, is in similar shape. Both these two love getting their chips in but their frighteningly hasty accumulation has proven that they know exactly when to do so and when to steer clear.
Also from London (although originally from the north of England) is Gary Jones (172,800) a well-known professional player and poker commentator. A qualifier on PokerStars for the second year in succession, he undoubtedly has the big game experience to push on. Watch out for a profile later today.
The success in the main event of Dennis Plejdrup Kobbero (126,500) gives me the most pleasure of all. I got to know Dennis during last season's EPT, where he qualified for both the Barcelona and Dublin events on PokerStars (and also bubbled on a Baden qualifier). Clearly an excellent large-field player, a major success has been imminent for far too long. Here it is, at last.
"Whichever tournament I go to, you seem to be there and have chips." That's me, to Ole Busborg Jensen (114,500), Danish PokerStars qualifier, who has been in the money on the EPT last season. "Well, what can you do?" he replied. Jensen was down the the felt on day two when Freddy Deeb made an outrageous call of a re-raise with nothing but an inside straight draw. Deeb hit it to beat Jensen's two pair. But the Dane has battled back and is now safely on the right side of six figures.
Meanwhile Donna Skolnick (33,100) is still in the mix as well. I saw her move her entire stack in late on day 1D and receive a caller - bolding laying her tournament on the line. Thankfully, she was sitting with a set of fours to her opponent's top pair kings and a fourth four on the turn provided the safety net she didn't need. She survived through day two with a minimum of variance and now might push on.
We'll be following all these players today, as well as the certain few who are still battling but we have missed. That's the frustration of these massive fields, but also the beauty. I am certain there are at least two or three other European players who will cash here who have not yet appeared on our radar. Look out for our discovery of those later, as well.