Day 1b of this five-day affair saw 168 players pony up the 20,000 PLN to gain a seat at the tables this morning, including among their ranks Team Andy Black, Johnny Lodden, William Thorson and the inimitable Rolf Slotboom.
Combined with yesterday's starting field of 191 runners, the total enrollment for this year's iteration of the Polish Open counts 359 souls, a substantial improvement over the 284 players who visited Warsaw for last year's inaugural tournament and a decent-sized field for an event that will not be filmed by the EPT cameras.
Those 359 players will be competing for a prize pool worth 7,180,000 PLN, or for those whose brains don't work in zloty, approximately €2,032,607. Thirty-two finalists will receive payment for their efforts in this event, with those landing on the proper side of the money bubble guaranteed at least 28,720 PLN (€8,130) and probably a bit more.
The top five finishers are guaranteed payments of at least six figures (€), with first place earning 2,154,000 PLN or €609,782. In contrast, Peter Jepsen earned 1,266,712 PLN for his efforts, which give or take a few thousand zloty is about what second place will take from the dungeon this year.
As on Day 1a, a large portion of the field received their $10,000 starting stack and immediately set about removing themselves from prize-money eligibility. Mikael Norinder and David Colclough would find themselves amongst the first to hit the rail.
Fossilman Greg Raymer, meanwhile, saw his fortunes falter almost from the get-go, first doubling up an opponent after getting him all-in on a 9-8-2 flop with 8-8 to the PokerStars pro's pocket tens, and then busting out shortly after in a sick beat where he was all-in with A-K against A-K and saw his rival river a flush to send him packing. Tough beat, sir.
The second and final Team PokerStars pro in the day's field would hit the road shortly after, as Luca Pagano would get his short stack all-in with A-Q against opponents with pocket sevens and A-J. The board would run K-J-4-6-A and the worst hand in the hand would earn the check mark, busting two players and sending Luca to sleep with the fishes once more.
As the blinds increased during the middle of the tournament day, a pair of young gunners were doing battle at their own table with the end result that each saw himself eliminated. William Thorson and Sorel Mizzi both played Roller-Coaster Tycoon with their stacks all afternoon, but as dusk approached first the Swede, then the Canadian would hit the road.
Thorson busted after being crippled when he called off all but his last $250 on a K-J-6-10-3 board without a hand that could beat the nut straight and then got all-in good with A-7 against A-6 but saw his opponent flop two pair and river the boat.
Mizzi, the controversial online phenom, was up and down all day but finally hit the road after self-immolating in a hand that saw Imper1ium four-betting all-in pre-flop with A-Q and running into an opponent's pocket kings. The hand crippled the young pro and he was rendered busto on the very next hand when his A-3 failed to improve against an opponent's pocket fives.
The constant rush of the amateurish and unlucky to the exits meant plenty of tables breaking and plenty of interesting seating assignments. In the back of the dungeon, Liz Lieu joined Thierry van der Berg, Thomas Fougeron and Mads Andersen on the baize, and a few feet away Andy Black suddenly found himself surrounded by pros, with Thomas Wahlroos taking a seat to his left and Arnaud Mattern a seat to his right.
The Irishman would emerge victorious, however, building a substantial stack and running his table with a series of dominating bustifications. One such elimination was Wahlroos himself, who five-bet all-in with big slick and saw Black make the call with the monstrous T♥ 6♥. The flop came ten-high, however, and the Walrus could not respond on the turn or river. He was thus eliminated, heading to the rail while protesting the inherent sickness of the game.
Mattern would bust around the same time, like Wahlroos getting it all-in good but seeing an opponent engineer the suck-out. The French pro called all-in with pocket kings and was up against A-Q, but an ace on the flop and another on the river gave the villain the emphatic victory and Mattern was Showell'd late in the proceedings.
Black would end the day with a decent $45,000 stack, good for a spot on the chip leaderboard but nowhere near Dane Dan Pedersen's $100,000 stash. All told, 61 players survived the first day of play and will join their 73 Day 1a counterparts on the felt for another kick at the can on Day 2, with Johnny Lodden, Liz Lieu, Mads Andersen and Mel Judah among the name players surviving to see the morrow.
Overall chip leader is Day 1a's Robert Flink with $113,000, while also in the hunt from the first first day of play are Joe "Not Sebok" Serock, Fredrick Haugen, Magnus Petersson, Johan Storakers, Mats Rahmn, Dans Carter and Ryan, Marc Goodwin and Julian Thew. Action resumes at 2 p.m. Warsaw time (8 a.m. Eastern/5 a.m. Pacific) and if you promise to tune in bright and early we'll try to avoid making any rotten puns on the world Pole. Goodnight!