Coming off one of the hottest summers in recent memory, four-time WSOP bracelet winner Shaun Deeb has journeyed across the Atlantic to King's Casino in Rozvadov to play in the 2018 World Series of Poker Europe with one goal in mind: to become part of World Series of Poker history and have his banner draped across the Amazon Room of the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Winning the WSOP Player of the Year race is a highly sought-after accolade in poker and Deeb's claim is looking even stronger after taking second place on the first day of Event #2: €1,650 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed Deepstack. A total of 221 entrants created a prize pool of €318,074 — smashing the guarantee — and after 14 levels of 40 minutes each, only 39 of them are still in contention. They will return at 2 p.m. on Monday, five places away from the bubble.
The only player to surpass Deeb (373,000) on Day 1 was Milad Oghabian from the Netherlands, who racked up 457,500 in chips to distance himself from the rest. Three hands were key to Oghabian's overall end of day chip lead, as he told PokerNews at the end of the day. Firstly, holding king-queen of spades, Oghabian got it in on a jack-high flop with two spades against Michal Mrakes' jack-nine. The turn and river brought a queen to give him the double.
Perhaps Oghabian's most important hand and certainly the boldest one came up next, in a three-bet pot against Christian Bertu. Holding nothing but queen-ten, as he would disclose later, Oghabian floated two streets in position on a jack-jack-five-five board. An innocuous trey rolled off on the river and Bertu check-folded to Oghabian's shove with the queen-high. A little while later, Oghabian won his third big hand with pocket tens against pocket aces in a three-bet pot. A ten flopped to secure the end-of-day lead for the Dutchman.
Behind Oghabian and Deeb, Van Tiep Nguyen (364,500) and Chin Wei Lim (324,000) follow in third and fourth. There are plenty of notables among the 39 survivors, each looking for the coveted WSOP bracelet that's up for grabs. Big names such as Michael Soyza (240,500), Pete Chen (204,500), Asi Moshe (184,500), Jerome Sgorrano (179,500), Manig Loeser (179,500), Rex Clinkscales (117,000), Maria Lampropulos (115,500), Roland Israelashvili (68,000), and Cord Garcia (44,000) made it through the action-packed day that had three- and four-bets flying everywhere.
For players such as Dutch Boyd, Anthony Zinno, Bertrand Grospellier, Hakim Zoufri, Vojtech Ruzicka, Guoliang Wei, and Jeff Madsen, the day came to an early end after using up either one or both of the allowed bullets.
Cards will be back in the air on Monday, October 15 at 2 p.m. local time five places away from the bubble. Action is expected to be fast and furious again given the 6-max format, and play will continue until the final table is reached. The finalists will then return on Tuesday, October 16 to contest for the bracelet and the first place prize of €82,280. PokerNews is your one-stop shop for start-to-finish live coverage of all ten bracelet events at the 2018 World Series of Poker Europe, so make sure to check back regularly as the action in King's Casino is heating up.