Esfandiari, Kollmann Climb as Fields Shrink at WSOPE

Antonio Esfandiari
Esfandiari: Game is tight whatever the buy-in.

Antonio Esfandiari and Erich Kollmann are the standout names at the top of the chip counts as Events 2 and 3 wound closer to final tables at the WSOPE in Cannes today.

Esfandiari is neck-and-neck for the chip lead in Event #2, €1,100 No-Limit Hold'em, as the field shrank to just 15 players to end Day 2.

Kollmann, in the meantime, wasted no time in building up a massive stack of 127,500 on Day 1 to lead a star-studded (if small) field in Event #3, €5,300 Pot-Limit Omaha.

Esfandiari, Karr Headline Final 15 in Event #2

The once 626-player field in Event #2, €1,100 No-Limit Hold'em, was reduced to just 15 today in Cannes with Esfandiari and McLean Karr the most high-profile players still in contention.

McLean Karr
Karr: Fueled by Tattytats

Esfandiari, poker's all-time leading money winner after his $18 million win in the Big One this summer, has stayed at the top of the counts for most of the tournament and bagged up 264,000 to end the day.

He’ll start Day 3 tomorrow just 5,500 chips back of leader Antonin Teisseire at 269,500.

Also notably still alive is fellow American McLean Karr, although he’s well off the pace at 61,000 in chips, and poker stalwart Casey Kastle, in a similar boat with just 54,500.

Action picks up tomorrow at the Majestic Barriere Casino at 1 pm to play down to a final table; follow along with live updates here.

The top five in chips:

  • 1. Antonin Teisseire 269,500
  • 2. Antonio Esfandiari 264,000
  • 3. Ashly Butler 179,500
  • 4. Valentin Detoc 174,000
  • 5. Joe Kuether 160,500

Kollmann Leads Fitoussi, Selbst, Mercier in Marquee PLO

The first real marquee event of the 2012 WSOPE, €5,300 Pot-Limit Omaha, got underway today and despite a rather pedestrian turnout of just 97 players the heavy hitters did begin to shine.

Kollmann: Old enough to know better.

Leading the 25 players who survived the day is Erich Kollmann, a poker vet second on Austria’s all-time money list with over $1.5 million in career earnings.

Kollmann turned his starting stack of 15k into 127,500 to put him in good position for a run at the final table and give him a slight edge over French poker icon Bruno Fitoussi to start Day 2.

Fitoussi bagged up 108,600 for second overall.

Several notable pros still remain in the hunt including Sam Chartier (59,100), Michael Mizrachi (47,100), Vanessa Selbst (42,400) and Jason Mercier (23,800).

Mercier only just arrived in Cannes in the afternoon fresh from his win in the $10k WCOOP 8-Game event just last night.

Just 12 players will cash in the event with €142,590 reserved for first. Play picks up at 2 pm tomorrow and will play down to a final nine.

Follow the live updates here; the top 10 in chips:

  • 1. Erich Kollmann 127,500
  • 2. Bruno Fitoussi 108,600
  • 3. Stephan Gerin 102,900
  • 4. Douglas Corning 94,000
  • 5. Jussi Ryynanen 88,800
  • 6. Ville Mattila 85,800
  • 7. Micah Smith 65,300
  • 8. Roger Hairabedian 59,800
  • 9. Sam Chartier 59,100
  • 10. Aubin Cazals 55,500
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