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2011 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event Day 1b: Lari Sihvo Is The Man To Catch

Lari Sivho

When organizers decided to move the home of the World Series of Poker Europe from London to Cannes, there was a mixed response. Whether or not the move would be a success would depend on numbers. At the end of Day 1b on Sunday, the World Series of Poker Main Event numbers were tallied. What did they say? The numbers were saying — no screaming — Cannes is the home of the WSOPE!

On Sunday, 283 players turned up, making a combined total of 593 players who entered the Hotel Majestic Barriere to play in the 2011 WSOPE Main Event, dwarfing the record field of 362 who played in the inaugural event back in 2007 and then one year later in 2008.

Finnish pro Lari Sihvo ended the day at the top of the counts with 144,725. He is followed by Tommy Vedes (142,775), Alex Kostritsyn (126,200), Antonio Palma (125,000) and Constant Rijkenberg (121,500).

The day began with tables brimming with absolute quality. To give you an example, seated at Table 12 were Benny Spindler, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Graeme Putt, Jonathan Duhamel and James Akenhead and there were plenty more just like this. After finding a set against Erik Cajelais to nearly double his stack, Filippo Candio became the early chip leader.

On Saturday, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi won his second WSOP bracelet in Event #5. Mizrachi's Main Event did not go as well, and he was eliminated early in the day, leaving his brother to continue flying the Mizrachi flag. Robert Mizrachi, who also owns a WSOP bracelet, took over the chip lead from Candio while plying his trade on a tough table where Dominik Nitsche, Sorel Mizzi, Bryan Devonshire and Sandra Najouks were seated. While Mizrachi and Candio were battling it out at the top, Viktor Blom, Marvin Rettenmaier, Steve Billirakis, Dan Kelly, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Sam Trickett were eliminated.

At the dinner break Bruno Benveniste held the chip lead. Benveniste, who cashed in Event #1, finishing in 10th place, eliminated James Mitchell on his way to the top. Filippo Candio, Tommy Vedes, McLean Karr and Robert Mizrachi were all snapping at his heels. At the other end of the spectrum more notables dropped to the rail, including November Niner Matt Giannetti, former WSOPE Main Event runner-up John Tabatabai, Andrew Feldman, Sorel Mizzi, Jonathan Duhamel and Daniel Negreanu.

Day 2 begins at 1200 CET (0300 PDT) on Monday with both remaining fields from Day 1a and Day 1b combining for a field of 333. The PokerNews Live Reporting Blog will bring you the play-by-play from all the action on the felt.

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