Highlights from day 9 of the 2012 WSOP Europe (September 29)
The battle for the sixth WSOP Europe Main Event title is underway at the Hotel Majestic Barriere in Cannes, France with 115 of the 215 starters progressing to day two.
Four Aussies took to the felt – Leo Boxell, Oliver Speidel, Kyle Cheong and Jeff Lisandro – with Speidel (71,950) and Cheong (26,420) surviving the day’s play.
Atop the pyramid of survivors is three-time WSOP title-holder Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi. This has already been a monster year for Mizrachi, who won his second career "Poker Players Championship" victory at the 2012 WSOP in Las Vegas last June.
After last year’s shutout of French players at the inaugural in Cannes (none won a gold bracelet), the host nation is clearly having a banner year in 2012. Not only have French players won two of the six gold bracelet events completed so far, they represent half of the players in the top 10.
The list of players also returning for day two include Dan Shak, Steve O’Dwyer, Alexander Kravchenko, Phil Ivey, Scott Seiver, Salvatore Bonavena, Isaac Haxton, Chance Kornuth, David “ODB” Baker, Adrien Allain, Ben Roberts, Justin Bonomo, John Monnette, Noah Schwartz and reigning champion Elio Fox.
WSOP Europe event 7: €10,450 No Limit Hold’em Main Event day 1A chip count (top 10)
Michael Mizrachi (USA) 234,850
Stephane Girault (France) 172,850
Sergii Baranov (Ukraine) 152,000
Juan Carlos Alvarado Rodriguez (Mexico) 140,675
Martial Blangenwitsch (France) 129,800
Denis Biscaldi (France) 122,625
Michael Kolkowicz (France) 122,150
Dan Smith (USA) 110,525
Joao Vide Barbosa (Portugal) 101,925
Jean Thorel (France) 101,000
• Will the No Limit Hold’em Mixed-Max event ever end? After Brandon Cantu and Jonathan Aguiar defeated their semi-final opponents (Roger Hairabedian and Faraz Jaka), they butted heads for more than six hours before the casino doors shut at 5am.
However, details of the final were cast into doubt when Cantu insisted that the two must finish the match while Aguiar stated that he is not interested in missing levels of the Main Event.
WSOP Europe event 5: €10,450 No Limit Hold’em Mixed-Max final chip count
Brandon Cantu 1,520,000
Jonathan Aguiar 1,361,000
• Francisco Da Costa Santos (pictured above) has become the first Portuguese gold bracelet winner ever in the 43-year history of the World Series of Poker. The 36-year-old professional poker player and small business owner from Porto, Portugal won the Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha championship, which paid €83,275.
The three-day tournament concluded with a heads-up showdown, which was unquestionably one of the most interesting finales in some time for WSOP play.
After a five-hour final, during which the last five players were whittled down to just two, Da Costa Santos faced Spain’s Ana Marquez, who aspired to be only the second female to win a gold bracelet at WSOP Europe (Annette Obrestad was the first, in 2007).
She also had a shot at being only the second Spaniard to win a WSOP title (2001 world champion Carlos Mortensen was the first).
But Da Costa Santos would not be denied. He won the final pot of the tournament by flopping a straight. After Marquez missed her flush draw, Da Costa Santos lifted his smaller opponent in the air, likely the first time a winner has ever lifted up the second-place finisher in a moment of spontaneous jubilation!
WSOP Europe event 6: €1650 Pot Limit Omaha Six-handed final table payouts
1 Francisco Da Costa Santos (Portugal) €83,275
2 Ana Marquez (Spain) €51,443
3 Aku Joentausta (Finland) €36,351
4 Petteri Kalenius (Finland) €25,831
5 Andrew Lichtenberger (USA) €18,463
6 Nikolay Volper (USA) €13,273
• Additional reporting, WSOP.com