The first high-roller event of the 2018 World Series of Poker Europe got underway today with Event #8: €25,500 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller. With it, brought some of the game's greatest players into King's Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. They filled the upper level of the casino and the action was fast and furious throughout the day.
After 14 levels of play, Michael Addamo emerged as the chipleader with 8,120,000 chips, leading the remaining 49 player field. Addamo has accumulated over $2.1 million in career tournament earnings with his largest cash coming this summer in Las Vegas where he scored over $650,000 and his first WSOP bracelet with a win in The Marathon event. Addamo also has two other WSOP final table appearances and if he keeps up this pace, he is well on his way to another one.
Addamo continued to find himself on the right side of all the big pots he got involved in, including a massive pot with Andrej Desset to get things started. Addamo three-bet preflop and continued on the flop and turn before finally making top pair on the river and claiming the rest of Desset's chips. After being moved to a different table, the Australian clashed with James Chen in a chip-leading pot that saw Addamo turn two pair against Chen's top pair. All of the chips got in the middle and Addamo held on to claim another victim and continue his heater.
The day began somewhat slowly and the tournament was even delayed by 30 minutes as the tournament staff awaited more entries. They decided to get the action underway with just seven players split up on two different tables. One of the first entries, Timothy Adams, began to build a stack early on and that momentum carried him throughout the day as he finished with 4,775,000 chips.
Players started to roll in through the opening levels and there was already over 40 entries by the time the first break arrived. The field was stacked with familiar faces on every table but that was to be expected. With an unlimited number of entries possible, there was no shortage of all-ins, which also meant there was no shortage of re-buys. Michael Soyza and Martin Kabrhel each had three entries to their name but Kabrhel was the only one to find a bag with 2,650,000 chips.
Kristen Bicknell also had an up and down day but managed to get away with firing only one bullet. Bicknell built her stack up to over 2,000,000 early on with a triple up through Manig Loeser and Jack Salter, but then saw her chips slowly dwindle away. After the last break of the night, Bicknell woke up with pocket kings in a dream spot to eliminate Salter and double up through Sergio Aido, bringing her stack to over 4,000,000 this time. By the time the bags were handed out, Bicknell was left with 3,890,000 chips.
The only other lady to put up the €25,500 and sit amongst the "big boys" was Liv Boeree who wound up bagging 585,000 chips. Some other notables to keep an eye on heading to Day 2 include Jean-Noel Thorel (5,910,000), Ivan Leow (5,050,000), Winfred Yu (4,645,000), Dominik Nitsche (3,020,000), Ryan Riess (2,460,000), Adrian Mateos (2,275,000), and defending champion Niall Farrell (1,575,000).
It wasn't a profitable day for everyone though as many players were put through the ringer with such a tough field to battle against. Some players to fall short by the end of the day were Anthony Zinno, Gal Yifrach, Benjamin Pollak, Chris Ferguson, Bertrand Grospellier, John Cynn, Thomas Muehloecker, and Jack Salter. By the end of the day, there were a total of 124 entries with 80 unique players and 44 re-entries.
With late registration still open until the start of Day 2, everyone still has the opportunity to try their luck one more time. The action will continue at 3:00 PM on Thursday with the blinds resuming on level 15 at 30,000/60,000 and a 60,000 big blind ante. The schedule is to play down to a winner and crown another WSOPE gold bracelet winner. The live stream will also continue tomorrow on Twitch with hole cards being shown for the final eight players.
Stay tuned to PokerNews as the live reporting team will be on the tournament floor to bring you all of the action throughout the day.