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World Series of Poker Europe Gets Underway in Paris

The World Series of Poker Europe got underway yesterday with the opening tournamemt, a €1,000 Ladies Event. The Ladies Event was a late addition to the schedule, so in reality the full World Series of Poker Europe doesn’t get into full swing until today when day 1a of the €1,000 No-limit Hold’em Re-Entry Event begins. There are going to be 8 events in total and there is never more than 1 event starting in a day, unlike what people are used to in the WSOP held in Las Vegas.

The WSOPE has a different feel this year as it will be in Paris for the first time. The newly renovated Casino Barriere Enghien-les-Bains will host all of the action, and a large 500-person theater is going to host the Final Tables throughout the series. These changes provide a lot of interesting wrinkles into the WSOPE that haven’t been seen thus far. Many complained that the event in London was at a casino that couldn’t really handle the amount of people wanting to play and the event in Cannes was in a far too expensive part of Europe. Moving the event to Paris provides a lot of good reasons for people to play and the hopes are that it will spur even more signups than in previous years.

The schedule of events is doing its part to attract players as well, as there is a little bit of everything. There is a €5,000 Mix-Max No-Limit Hold’em event, a €2,000 NLHE event, €25,000 NLHE High Roller event, as well as the aforementioned Re-Entry event starting today. Pot-Limit Omaha is well represented as well, which is one of the most popular games in Europe. There will be a €1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event and a €3,000 PLO event offered to those attending, which are sure to generate huge fields. The Main Event will be a €10,000 buy-in 7-day tourney that kicks off on October 19th with day 1a, and has another starting day the following day before beginning to whittle down the field.

The story lines are thick heading into this very important series. The Player of the Year leaderboard is close and has numerous large names. Currently leading is Mathew Ashton, who had an impressive series in Las Vegas taking down the $50,000 Player’s Championship coupled with three other final tables. Daniel Negreanu is hot on his heels despite a little bit disappointing of a WSOP in Las Vegas. Negreanu had a very impressive World Series of Poker Asia earlier in the year that allowed him to remain this close to the leader. 

They are not the only players who have a chance to take the POY crown. Loni Harwood sits in 3rd place, which is a very big surprise for many people. She took down a $1.5k NLHE event, but also had 3 total final tables to her credit. David “Bakes” Baker sits in 4th place after making it to five final tables this summer, including three in an impressive one week run that rivaled what Phil Ivey did last year. He didn’t have any really deep finishes in those final tables, however, which is why he was only able to land 4th place in the standings. Donald Nguyen sites in 5th, regular Marco Johnson currently is in 6th place, Tom Schneider holds down 7th despite taking down two bracelets during the festivities in Las Vegas. Chris Klodnicki, Jared Hamby and Anthony Gregg round out the top 10 spots in the POY standings.

The World Series of Poker Europe is setting up to be a huge success with lots of events, storylines, and a new location. With the huge fields that the EPT London garnered, the WSOPE is sure to bring in lots of players and it might be the biggest WSOPE we have seen yet. Vanessa Selbst, Phil Helmuth and many November Nine participants had impressive runs or wins at EPT London, so the stars are out to shine at the WSOPE. Keep your browser pointed to as we will keep you updated on all the action across the pond.

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Andrew Schupick