Head to the Regency Hotel Dublin over the weekend and not only will you be greeted the usual Irish clientele but also hundreds of French poker players. Why is this the case? Because the iconic hotel is hosting the 2014 Winamax Poker Open.
The Winamax Poker Open has become a must-play event for tournament grinders thanks to its relatively low buy-in and high attendance figures. When the €550 buy-in tournament ran in 2013, a total of 1,086 players took part and created a prize pool weighing in at €530,511.
Frenchman Jerome Guermeur won the 2013 edition and claimed the €75,000 first place prize. Guermuer defeated former November Nine member Slyvain Loosli heads-up after navigating his way through a final table that homed the likes of Michael Gathy and Ireland’s Marc “sluglife” Macdonnell.
On Thursday afternoon, Day 1a of the 2014 Winamax Poker Open kicked off and by the time the registration period ended there were 413 player who had bought in. Fast forward to the end of the night and only 110 of those starters managed to punch their ticket for Saturday’s Day 2.
As you would expect from a tournament run by the French-facing Winamax, the majority of the 405-strong crowd called France home. It should therefore be no surprise to see a Frenchman at the top of the Day 1a chip counts.
Moundir Zoughari bagged up 277,700 chips at the close of play to finish at the top of the leader board. Zoughari may not be a household name when it comes to live poker, but he has still managed to amass more than $20,685 in live tournament winnings, with a €10,000 haul for winning the €225 Winamax Poker Tour in Paris in 2012 making up the bulk of his winnings.
One man who is most definitely a household name is the second placed Davidi Kitai. The talented Belgian has three World Series of Poker bracelets to his name, a European Poker Tour Berlin title and more than $5.1 million in winnings! Kitai ended the night with 220,700 chips thanks to using a second bullet after busting early on in the day.
2014 Winamax Poker Open Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
Some of those who failed to progress from Day 1a include Michel Abecassis, Ludovic Lacay and Manuel Bevand.
Friday’s Day 1b should see a crowd in excess of 500 players take to the felt and a much larger number of those entrants should be representing Ireland.
Thank you to the Winamax blog for the information and image used in this article.