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Saber Harrazi Claims Early Leads in the Winamax Poker Open Dublin

Saber Harrazi
  • Keith Brennan bagged up 113,500 and was the best-placed Irishman

  • Three-time WSOP champion, Davidi Kitai, ends Day 1a with a top 10 stack

The 2015 Winamax Poker Open (WPO) Dublin Main Event got off to a flying start on Thursday when 336 entries were processed on Day 1a, the first of two starting flights. Three-quarters of those starters bust during before the curtain came down on proceedings, and it is Saber Harrazi who holds the overnight chip lead having amassed a stack of 274,500 chips.

2015 Winamax Poker Open Dublin Main Event Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts

1Saber Harrazi274,500
2Ignas Sinkevicius193,700
3Bernard Elfvering191,900
4Benjamin Saada188,400
5Ott Jackson181,400
6Eric Chevalot165,400
7Ludovic Lebeault145,700
8Franck Lelong139,500
9Alexandre Bey138,600
10Davidi Kitai132,700

Harrazi told the Winamax live reporting team that he’d run a number of large, successful bluffs on his way to claiming the Day 1a chip lead, a risking approach to the game but one that has seen him be fast out of the blocks. Harrazi is well-known on the French circuit which is where the majority of his $120,000 winnings stem from.

No other players managed to break through the 200,000 chip barrier, although a handful came close to doing so.

Ignas Sinkevicius (193,700), Bernard Elfvering (191,900), Benjamin Saada (188,400) and Ott Jackson (181,400) finished the night with more than 180,000 chips, which is a very healthy total when one considers the average stack is 77,241.

Despite the €550 buy-in being at the more affordable end of the scale, one of poker’s most-decorated players bought in and ended Day 1a with a top 10 stack.

Belgium’s Davidi Kitai, a Team Winamax Pro, has more than $6.2 million in live tournament winnings, an impressive figure aided by his three World Series of Poker (WSOP) wins, his European Poker Tour (EPT) Berlin victory and numerous final table appearances in major live events around the globe. Kitai’s unique style of play can see him bust at any moment regardless of his stack size, but now that he is armed with plenty of chips, we wouldn’t bet against him reaching the money places or beyond.

While the field was predominately French nationals, a handful of Irish grinders progressed to Saturday’s Day 2.

Keith Brennan (113,500) fared the best of the Irish contingent and bagged up a solid five-figure stack. Former Irish Open champion, Patrick Clarke (105,300) should also be pleased with his start in this event, while Dave Masters (73,500), Robbie McCormack (45,500), and Chris Dowling (12,900) also punched their tickets for Day 2.

Day 1b kicked off at 12:00pm on Friday and has late registration open for the first six 45-minute levels of play. Beating Harrazi’s lofty total is going to take some doing, but anything can and does happen in poker. Head to the UK & Ireland PokerNews homepage on Saturday to see if anyone manages to do just that.

Lead image courtesy of Winamax

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