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Highlights

Main Event
Day 1a completed

Big Names Fall on First Name of the 2018 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona

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Michel Dattani Bags the Most Chips on Day 1a
Michel Dattani Bags the Most Chips on Day 1a

It was a very promising start to the highlight of the record-setting 2018 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Grand Final festival at the Casino Barcelona, as a total of 338 entries of €10,300 each entered the first of four starting days of the Main Event, which comes with a stunning guaranteed prize pool of €10,000,000. With the new structure fast at the start and deep in the later stages, it was no surprise that the 12 levels of 45 minutes each whittled down that field to just 93 hopefuls, and a close race for the chip lead took place in the last half an hour.

Chris Brammer and Laszlo Bujtas seemed to poised for the overnight spotlight after shooting up to more than eight times the starting stack, but ultimately they were passed by Michel Dattani and Taylor Black. Dattani sent Bryn Kenney to the rail in the third-last hand of the night when he rivered the nut straight with king-jack and Kenney got it in with ten-nine for two pair. Black won a massive three-way all in with flopped bottom set of deuces, raking in the stacks of Stefan Schillhabel (pocket kings for an overpair) and Abdelhadi Kondah (ace-jack for top pair top kicker). Dattani bagged up 9.415 million with Black close behind on 8.26 million, Bujtzas is in third place with 8.26 million.

Taylor Black
Taylor Black

Other big stacks through to Day 2 out of the first flight include Markus Durnegger (7.495 million), 2017 WSOP Main Event 8th place finisher Jack Sinclair (7.5 million), Chris Brammer (7.16 million), Ben Heath (6.615 million), Marton Czuczor (6.23 million), Claas Segebrecht (6 million), Paul Vas Nunes (5.88 million), Govert Metaal (5.505 million) and Damian Salas (4.825 million).

Johnny Lodden
Thumbs up for (by) Johnny Lodden

For team partypoker it was a day with mixed success on the felt. Only team online's Josip Simunic (4.385 million), and the sponsored pros Johnny Lodden (4.105 million), Anatoly Filatov (1.65 million) and Kristen Bicknell (1.22 million) advanced while Joao Simao fired two bullets without bagging up. His wife Luiza, who represents team online and team ladies, was also felted along with Marcel Luske, partypoker chairman Mike Sexton, Richard Dubini, Roberto Romanello and Dzmitry Urbanovich.

Urbanovich ran out of chips in the last hand of the night when his three-bet jam with pocket nines was no good against the pocket queens of Aymon Hata. Other notables that entered without success include Max Silver, Dietrich Fast, Niall Farrell, Alessio Isaia, Steven van Zadelhoff, MILLIONS Russia Main Event champion Aleksandr Gofman, Steve O'Dwyer and €25,500 Super High Roller II champion Davidi Kitai.

Most of those big names will very likely take another shot at bagging a decent stack in the ongoing Day 1b, and the registration for that flight will remain open until the start of level 10 at approximately 00:30 a.m. local time. The PokerNews team will provide feature articles for Day 1b, while the live coverage then kicks off on tomorrow's Day 1c and Day 1d.

Tags: Abdelhadi KondahAleksandr GofmanAlessio IsaiaAnatoly FilatovAymon HataBryn KenneyChris BrammerClaas SegebrechtDamian SalasDietrich FastDzmitry UrbanovichJack SinclairJoao SimaoJohnny LoddenKristen BicknellLaszlo BujtasLuiza SimaoMarcel LuskeMarkus DurneggerMatt SextonMichel DattaniRichard DubiniStefan SchillhabelSteve O'DwyerSteven van Zadelhoff

End-Of-Day 1A Counts (full)

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The full chip counts will be published when PokerNews receives them, and it appears that 93 players out of 338 entries made it through. Below are assorted chip counts of the Day 1A survivors.

Michel Dattani pt
Michel Dattani
pt 9,415,000 9,415,000
Taylor Black us
Taylor Black
us 9,300,000 9,300,000
Laszlo Bujtas hu
Laszlo Bujtas
hu 8,260,000 8,260,000
Jack Sinclair gb
Jack Sinclair
gb 7,500,000 700,000
Markus Durnegger at
Markus Durnegger
at 7,495,000 7,495,000
Jari Mahonen fi
Jari Mahonen
fi 7,170,000 7,170,000
Chris Brammer gb
Chris Brammer
gb 7,160,000 7,160,000
Ben Heath gb
Ben Heath
gb 6,615,000 6,615,000
Ahmed Abdella gb
Ahmed Abdella
gb 6,515,000 6,515,000
Alexis Urli ca
Alexis Urli
ca 6,500,000 6,500,000
Marton Czuczor hu
Marton Czuczor
hu 6,230,000 6,230,000
Arne Ruge de
Arne Ruge
de 6,055,000 6,055,000
Claas Segebrecht de
Claas Segebrecht
de 6,000,000 6,000,000
Paul Vas Nunes gb
Paul Vas Nunes
gb 5,880,000 5,880,000
Vitalii Pankov ru
Vitalii Pankov
ru 5,870,000 5,870,000
Georgios Vrakas gr
Georgios Vrakas
gr 5,750,000 5,750,000
Aliaksei Boika by
Aliaksei Boika
by 5,640,000 5,640,000
Govert Metaal nl
Govert Metaal
nl 5,505,000 5,505,000
James Chen tw
James Chen
tw 5,485,000 5,485,000
Chris Sly gb
Chris Sly
gb 5,335,000 5,335,000
[Removed:13] ES
[Removed:13]
ES 5,330,000 5,330,000
Tapio Vihakas fi
Tapio Vihakas
fi 5,225,000 5,225,000
Aymon Hata gb
Aymon Hata
gb 4,990,000 4,990,000
Damian Salas ar
Damian Salas
ar 4,825,000 4,825,000
Orpen Kisacikoglu tr
Orpen Kisacikoglu
tr 4,810,000 4,810,000

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Kenney and Urbanovich Fall at the Very End

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No Luck for Joao Simao on Day 1a
No Luck for Joao Simao on Day 1a

With fewer than 100 players remaining, several well-known faces were sent to the rail. Among them were partypoker team online member Renato Nomura, partypoker ambassador Joao Simao, Niall Farrell, Frank Romanello, Anirudh Seth, Mike Watson and Dietrich Fast. Some of them may already have jumped into Day 1B with 92/144 players remaining in level seven at blinds of 10,000/25,000.

In the last level of Day 1A, Taylor Black jumped into a big stack after scoring a double knockout. As per other players at the table, he flopped bottom set with pocket deuces on a {J-}{6-}{2-} flop and dealt the final blow to Stefan Schillhabel's pocket kings and the ace-jack of Abdelhadi Kondah to jump up to more than 9 million.

Jack Sinclair's ace-seven for trips aces on the river won a big pot off [Removed:17] and he moved up to 7.5 million, while Bryn Kenney was eliminated in the third-last hand of the night, having jumped into the first starting day after his 5th place finish in the €101,000 Super High Roller. Kenney got it in on the river of a board {Q-Spades}{9-Clubs}{4-Spades}{A-Hearts}{10-Diamonds} and flashed {10-Clubs}{9-Diamonds} for two pair, only for Michel Dattani to flip over {K-Diamonds}{J-Hearts} for the straight. Dattani edged past Black and will most likely be the chip leader.

Bryn Kenney
Bryn Kenney in the €101,000 Super High Roller

Last but not least, partypoker sponsored pro Dzmitry Urbanovich exited in the final hand of the day after three-bet shoving around the starting stack with pocket nines. Aymon Hata snap-called with pocket queens and there was no upset on a blank board.

Tags: Abdelhadi KondahAymon HataBryn KenneyChristopher FrankDietrich FastDzmitry UrbanovichJoao SimaoMichel DattaniRenato NomuraStefan SchillhabelTaylor Black

The Field is Being Cut Down

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Niall Farrell
Niall Farrell

The first of four starting days has reached level 11, the penultimate level of the night, and there are just 127 players out of 338 entries remaining. Among those to bust after returning from the last break were Antti Halme, Alexandros Kolonias, Sofia Lovgren, Maria Ho, Christopher Frank (who had peaked at almost 3.0 million), Alex Foxen, Andreas Eiler, Niklas Astedt, David Peters, Craig McCorkell, Igor Yaroshevskyy, Nicky Romanello, Oleg Titov, Koray Aldemir and Mike Leah.

What do they all have in common? They will very likely be back for another shot at the €10,000 guaranteed prize pool, be it in the ongoing 1B that has 108/136 players remaining, or in the upcoming two flights tomorrow.

Team partypoker has had some casualties, as Luiza Simao and Richard Dubini were felted. Dzmitry Urbanovich has climbed to 1.75 million while Joao Simao dropped to 1.2 million. Kristen Bicknell just faced a big bet by Govert Metaal on a river of {9-Spades}{2-Diamonds}{3-Spades}{Q-Clubs}{K-Hearts}, the Dutchman made it 390,000 to go with 600,000 in the middle. Bicknell folded out of the small blind and had around 2.6 million remaining, Metaal jumped to 4.6 million.

Kristen Bicknell

Several other players have around 5.0 million such as Ben Heath, Juan Pardo Dominguez, Ahmed Abdella and Sergio Aido.

Felix Schulze took a hit against Jack Sinclair after both engaged into a three-bet pot. Sinclair had raised to 90,000 and Schulze three-bet to 270,000 from one seat over, Sinclair called. On the {10-Spades}{6-Spades}{3-Diamonds} flop, the Brit check-called a bet of 225,000 and the {4-Hearts} turn was checked. Sinclair's bet of 770,000 did the trick, as Schulze called and was shown {8-Hearts}{7-Hearts} for the nut straight. Sinclair moved up to almost 4.0 million also. One hand later, Tom Hall three-bet jammed {2-Diamonds}{2-Hearts} into the {A-Diamonds}{J-Hearts} of Bryan Ruiter and held up despite a paired board to help himself to 2.0 million.

Jack Sinclair
Sinclair bests Schulze

Last but not least, Niall Farrell moved to 4.1 million after dispatching Christopher Kyriacou. The latter had bet the {K-Hearts}{9-Clubs}{2-Clubs} flop for 200,000 and got his stack in after the {4-Hearts} turn, flashing {A-Diamonds}{A-Hearts}. Farrell called with {K-Clubs}{4-Diamonds} and the {J-Clubs} river bricked. "Sounds like he has something way more exciting lined up than me anyways," the Scotsman joked and earned laughter all around.

All around the stacks are getting bigger and Laszlo Bujtas appears to be the current chip leader with around 8.0 million, followed by Chris Brammer with 7.1 million.

Tags: Alex FoxenAlexandros KoloniasAndreas EilerBen HeathChris BrammerChristopher FrankChristopher KyriacouCraig McCorkellDzmitry UrbanovichFelix SchulzeLaszlo BujtasMike Leah

Day 1a is Trodding Along

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Dzmitry Urbanovich
Dzmitry Urbanovich

On Day 1A, level nine has been reached with blinds of 15,000/30,000 and the screens show 163 out of 338 players remaining, the field has already been cut down in more than half. Among the current big stacks are Christopher Brammer (6.1 million), Laszlo Bujtas (up to 5.2 million on second bullet), Juan Pardo Dominguez (5.0 million), Dennis Wilke (3.7 million), Arsenii Karmatckii (3.3 million), partypoker sponsored pro Johnny Lodden (3.1 million) and Frank Romanello (2.9 million).

Team partypoker is further represented by Dzmitry Urbanovich, Joao Simao (2.15 million), Kristen Bicknell (2.6 million), Renato Nomura and Luiza Simao (450,000). Urbanovich boosted his stack to 1.3 million without showdown after he tangled in a pot with Ryan Riess. The latter was on the button and bet the {A-Diamonds}{Q-Spades}{3-Spades}{5-Hearts}{J-Diamonds} river for 150,000 into a pot of 320,000. Urbanovich called and Riess mucked to drop to 700,000.

Fellow partypoker sponsored pro Roberto Romanello was less fortunate and busted recently, along with other familiar names such as Maria Ho, Jorma Nuutinen, Espen Solaas, partypoker sponsored pro Marcel Luske, Jason Gray, Dominik Nitsche and Manig Loeser.

Roberto Romanello

Szymon Wysocki joined them on the rail after his three-bet all in for 700,000 came at the wrong time. Behind Wysocki, Imad Derwiche called to force out the initial raiser and tabled {A-Clubs}{A-Spades}. Wysocki only had {A-Diamonds}{10-Hearts} and the board of {Q-Hearts}{J-Spades}{6-Diamonds}{3-Spades}{4-Hearts} failed to come to the rescue for the Pole.

Tags: Adrian MateosAndras NemethAnthony SpinellaAnthony ZinnoArsenii KarmatckiiBryn KenneyChristopher BrammerDominik NitscheDzmitry UrbanovichErik SeidelJoao SimaoJohnny LoddenKristen BicknellLuiza SimaoManig LoeserRenato Nomura

Simao Busts in First Attempt; Back for More

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Joao Simao
Joao Simao

The field size for Day 1A of the 2018 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona €10,300 Main Event has grown to 335 entries, of which some 230 remained at the second break after the end of level six. Many familiar names were eliminated, such as Barny Boatman, Adrian Mateos (twice), Benjamin Pollak, Christoph Vogelsang, Steve O'Dwyer, Juha Helppi, partypoker chairman Mike Sexton, Chino Rheem and many more.

Joao Simao was also felted just before the break, but has bought back in for attempt number two. Simao was involved in a two million chip pot to the {A-Clubs}{10-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{8-Clubs} river. Ahmed Abdella moved all in for half of the pot, 1.137 million to be exact, and Simao gave it plenty of thought before calling. Abdella turned over {A-Diamonds}{K-Spades} and Simao mucked {A-Spades}{Q-Spades} to be left with crumbs, the remaining chips were gone shortly after, while Abdella jumped up to 4.25 million.

Ahmed Abdella
Ahmed Abdella

Juan Pardo Dominguez is back to his heater from the two €25,500 Super High Rollers and knocked out Timothy Adams to climb up to 4.5 million. Other bigger stacks include Jan-Eric Schwippert (4.0 million), Alessio Isaia (3.2 million), Claas Segebrecht (3.2 million), Justin Bonomo (3.0) Dietrich Fast (2.9 million), Andrew Chen (2.45 million) and partypoker sponsored pro Johnny Lodden (2.2 million). On Lodden's table are Bonomo and Byron Kaverman, who doubled just before the break for 304,000 after winning a flip with pocket fives against the {A-Spades}{K-Hearts} of Georgios Karakousis.

The tables are filled with plenty of pros from all over the world. You can find the likes of Taiwan's James Chen, Singapore's Wayne Yap, 2017 WSOPE Main Event champion Marti Roca de Torres, Australia's Jason Gray, almost all German regulars of the European circuit and old school Russian grinder Oleg Titov spread all over the 99-table big tournament room.

Tags: Adrian MateosAlessio IsaiaAndrew ChenBarny BoatmanBenjamin PollakByron KavermanChristoph VogelsangClaas SegebrechtDavid RheemDietrich FastJohnny LoddenJuan Pardo DominguezSteve O'Dwyer

The Tough Road to Earn Respect as a Women in Poker and the Courage to Battle it Out

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Kristen Bicknell
Kristen Bicknell

In the first part of the interview with partypoker sponsored pro Kristen Bicknell, the Canadian spoke about her recent run goods and the reason behind. Following up on that, Bicknell also talked about women in poker in general. You can read the first part of the interview here.

It can be quite intimidating for women to play live tournaments when sitting at a table with eight other guys, who always try to impress or bully their way to victory, along with the occasional comments. Bicknell has her very own point of view about that.

“That's one thing I really like about being a girl in poker, that dynamic, it's fun because it's different for each player. I am a pretty aggressive player, and it feels like I can mess with their mind more than they can mess with mine sometimes and I love playing against men who think they can push me around. It's fun and usually I am aware of that and have the better side of it.”

Kristen Bicknell

With confidence at an all-time high after her recent results, Bicknell pointed that out as a key factor. “The confidence thing in poker as a girl, there is a spotlight on you. I can do something that looks like a mistake or they are going to attack me for that. If I was a player that earned respect, with results, people like Adrian Mateos, what he did was perfect because it's him. But as a girl, I am always battling for that respect.”

Bicknell has more than earned her merits on the virtual felt as well as the live poker tables, and a certain mindset is required to emerge victorious. “Something I had to see and realize is not to learn to that noise and don't care about that criticism. One thing that I changed in my game recently is not feeling scared to make mistakes, because I know I have that spotlight on me. Instead, I am embracing my game and channeling into what I want to do for multiple reasons. I just want to go with it now, you can't be afraid of what people gonna think and say. As a girl in poker I know I am going to get criticized, but who cares? (laughs) I am just going to do my best.”

With two bracelets to her name and the High Roller victory, what actually matters more as a poker player, the trophy or the money?

“I think the respect part is probably both, and the respect should come with consistency. For me, the money is important, but the titles are really important. With tournament poker, you start to get such a competitive drive behind you in. The more that I play tournament poker, the more competitive I have gotten, and there is an aspect for me that I do feel driven as probably one of the few female players to play in the High Roller that I really want to represent women in poker. And hope to inspire women in poker to do that, to show that women belong at the poker tables, too. Even in the High Rollers. And I get a lot of satisfaction by competing with the best in the world.”

Bicknell received the Female Player of the Year award by the Global Poker Index in 2017 and with her appearances on the TV tables the awareness has increased for the partypoker sponsored pro.

“I have gotten some messages, and I got some really nice words. Because I feel I was just under the radar in poker and didn't really talk to many people for many years, just playing online. I do fell in the last few months after being on Poker After Dark and getting some coverage from that, and winning the GPI award, I have gotten messages from women that have been really nice, that I inspire them. And getting those really inspires me to keep doing what I am doing.”

Bicknell is back to her usual routine on Day 1A of the Main Event right now, which shows 256 players out of 324 entries remaining. On her table are Steven van Zadelhoff and Michel Abecassic amongst others, and right next to Bicknell sits partypoker team online and team ladies member Luiza Simao, the wife of partypoker ambassador Joao Simao. Moree about the couple from Brazil will follow later today.

Luiza Simao and Kristen Bicknell

Tags: Adrian MateosKristen BicknellLuiza SimaoMichel AbecassisSteven van Zadelhoff