Just 104 players signed up for the first day of the WSOPE Main Event in Berlin today but plenty of big names were among them.
The total players were a slight disappointment -- especially after the Oktoberfest tournament attracted more than 2,000 entries just a week ago and raised high expectations for the remainder of the WSOPE.
Plenty of those big names mentioned above, however, made it through the action on Day 1A and will return on Tuesday for Day 2.
WSOPE Berlin Main Event Quick Stats
- Players: 104 (after Day 1A)
- Buy-In: €9,800 + €650
- Prize Pool: €1,019,200
- Chipleader: Niall Farrell
Stern, López, Holz Among Leaders
After Day 1A was in the books 60 players were left with chips - one of them being November Niner Zvi Stern, who finished with 98,000.
Another player with plenty of chips is Mario López. The Argentinian won the Estrellas Main Event in Barcelona two months ago and came 2nd in the $1,111 Little One this year in Vegas.
López bagged up 83,000 to finish 7th overall with just over half of chip leader Niall Farrell's 150,000.
Other notables that finished with chips include Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Fedor Holz, John Juanda, Jose Garcia, Erik Seidel and Jonathan Duhamel.
Defending Champion First to Fall
Despite the low turnout the field was packed with renowned and seasoned pros. One of them was Adrian Mateos, who won the last WSOPE Main Event in Enghien-les-Bains in 2013 (in 2014 there was no WSOPE).
The last man standing in 2013 was the first one to fall this year. After less than an hour of play Mateos managed to call an all-in for more than 200 big blinds on a Q♥ 8♣ 2♣ 3♥ board with pocket kings.
His opponent, German local Sven Reichert, turned over pocket queens for top set and took down this enormous pot after an uneventful 4♥ on the river.
The next champion to fall was Martin Jacobson. He's still the reigning WSOP Main Event champion for a few weeks but he will not be adding another Main Event title in Berlin.
He lost his chips rather unspectacularly by getting it all-in with ace-king versus Fedor Holz’ queens and failing to improve.
Not much later Steve O’Dwyer followed suit and also lost a flip -- in his case jacks against Ben Wilinofsky's ace-queen. Wilinofsky, who won an EPT title in Berlin, first found a queen and later four cards to a flush on the board to eliminate the 2013 EPT Monte Carlo champion.
Other notables to fall on the first day were Anton Wigg, German PokerStars Pro Jan Heitmann, Terrence Chan and Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky.
Hellmuth to Attack on Day 1B
Day 1B goes tomorrow starting at noon. Players are not allowed to re-enter, meaning once they bust the only bracelet tournament left in Berlin is the €25k High Roller.
More well-known players are expected to play tomorrow -- most notably Phil Hellmuth, who has managed only one tiny cash in Berlin so far (61st in the €550 Oktoberfest) but is determined to win his 15th bracelet:
Disappointing Turnout from Home Crowd
While many international professionals played today only one-fifth of the Day 1A players came from Germany - a surprisingly low percentage.
Day 1B will certainly see more players but it’s quite likely that this year's numbers will be lower than previous years. Attendance numbers for all previous WSOPE Main Events:
2007: London, 362 players; Winner: Annette Obrestad
2008: London, 362 players; Winner: John Juanda
2009: London, 334 players; Winner: Barry Shulman
2010: London, 346 players; Winner: James Bord
2011: Cannes, 593 players; Winner: Elio Fox
2012: Cannes, 420 players; Winner: Phil Hellmuth
2013: Enghien-les-Bains, 375 players; Winner: Adrian Mateos