An incredible 2,490 players survived the tumultuous rides that were day 1b and day 1d and they are all squeezed into the Pavilion and Amazon room all hoping for Groundhog Day. The leading PartyPoker qualifier was Chilean hotshot Nicolas Fierro, who bagged up an impressive 106,950 back on day 1b. Not content with a mere 106,950 chips Fierro went about growing that stack and in the first two levels grew it to over 270,000. The bulk of his new chips came after he called a raise from the big blind holding and hit a [8x] flop against an opponent holding [9x] [9x]. All of the money went into the middle on the flop to create a 100,000 pot and Fierro hit the flush on the turn.

Moving from the fortunes of Nicolas Fierro and onto the unfortunate Primoz Cimerman. Cimerman started the day with 20,000 chips and set about his work diligently in the first two levels, amassing a 60,000 stack. Then he picked up under the gun and raised to 1,100 and received one caller from middle position. The flop was as good as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the folks around here, when it came down [jx][tx]. Cimerman checked, his opponent bet 2,600 and Cimerman check-raised to 7,000; his opponent moved all-in and he called. His opponent had [jx][jx]for second set and Cimerman was looking good as the [8x] hit the felt but then the [tx]struck the felt like a thunderbolt from poker heaven and Cimerman was crushed and back down to 26,000.

Mike Sexton started the day with 49,600 chips and right out of the gate he found himself under pressure. Faced with a board of Sexton check-raised Charles Ritchie to the tune of 4,200 and Ritchie called. The turn was the and Sexton took the betting lead with an 8,000 bet. Ritchie’s response was to raise and it was 20, 200 total and eventually Sexton mucked his hand.

PartyPoker Team Pro Giovanni Rizzo finished day 1d at the top of the list of PartyPoker qualifiers. He started that day dreadfully but finished strong and he was taking the same line today. The board was with around 12,000 in the pot. It was heads up and Rizzo bet 15,400 and his opponent called. The river was the and no sooner had Rizzo checked when his opponent moved all-in for around 17,000. Rizzo went deep into the tank and when he surfaced he made the call and flipped over . We didn’t see his opponent’s cards but we did see Rizzo’s hand going into the muck without hauling in the pot. Rizzo down to 74,000.

Marcus Balmert started with around 60,000 and he couldn’t have had a worse seat draw with Greg Mueller and Bluefirepoker coach Martin “Dr Giggy” Fournier Guigere sat at his table. Balmert never really got going all day and had dropped 20,000 in the first few levels of play.

Level eight sparked a mass exodus of PartyPoker qualifiers. Samuel Davies was eliminated after three-bet jamming his short stack with [ax][tx]only to be called by [7x] [7x] and another [7x] in the window ended any hopes for Davies. Next to go was Ka Yung who hit the dreaded set over set and then seconds later hit the rail. Mads Hansen was next to go; there was a raise from middle position and there were two callers including Madsen. The flop was [9x] [9x] [2x] and all three players checked. The turn was the and both players checked to the original raiser who bet 2,000. The small blind folded but Madsen check-raised to 6,800 and the raiser called. The river was the [qx]and Madsen checked and his opponent put him all-in. Madsen tanked before calling and then throwing his cards into the muck. Marcus Balmert’s tournament then ended after he ran his [ax][kx]into [qx][qx]during a blind battle and the board ran out [jx][tx][8x] [7x] [9x] sealing Balmert’s fate. Last but not least Oleg Pepp bit the dust after his pocket tens ran into the massive [5x] [6x] of Brian Dennis; massive because the flop was [7x] [8x] [9x] and the small connector held.

So as we reached the dinner break the PartyPoker situation was pretty much like this: Nicolas Fierro (345,000), Jason Layland (150,000), Ramin Henke (95,000), Giovanni Rizzo (70,000), Mike Sexton (70,000), Dario Pavan (63,000), Stephanita Fechete (60,000), Primoz Cimerman (57,000), Ahras Karum (40,000), Simon Kovacic (34,000), Vladimir Mefodichev (30,000), Frank Dollinger (23,000), Massimo Iucci (22,000), Oliver Theuillion (22,000), Sylvian Lanternier (17,000). Nicolas Fierro had managed to amass 345,000 and simultaneously achieved the chip lead after this happened. On a board of and a pot of around 100,000 Nicola’s Fierro was facing a bet of 20,500 when he moved enough chips into the middle to put his opponent all-in. Fierro’s opponent declined the offer and Fierro hauled the catch into his net.

After the break Nicolas Fierro had added another 50,000 to his stack and he now had 400,000 chips. So how does this stack seem to keep growing? After watching him for a while it seems as though he likes to select his opponents well. He always seems to be in position and playing against stack sizes that are vulnerable – not too small and not too big. Put simply nobody wants to mess with him! We did see him get rather unlucky in the following hand though. On a board of Fierro, out of position for once, bet 8,000 and the cut off called. The turn was the and Fierro bet 14,800 and his opponent had around 40,000 behind. After a while his opponent decided it was the right time to move all-in and Fierro called quicker than a greyhound out of the traps. Fierro held and his soon to be lucky opponent . It seemed rather inevitable that Fierro would inch closer to half a million when a river meant the spoils were shared.

Four more bust outs to report in level nine: Massimo Iucci three-bet shoved [ax][qx]only to run into [qx][qx], WPT Bratislava final tablist Frank Dollinger moved his last 22,000 into the middle with and ran into that brick wall called [9x] [9x] and Ahras Karum left the building after putting his last 22,000 into the middle with [4x] [4x] and Martin “Dr Giggy” Fournier Guigere snapped him up with [ax][qx]and hit his over card on the board. One more person vanished into the ether in level nine and that was Simon Kovacic but we do not have the details of his elimination as no one on his table could speak English!

Into the final level of the evening and it was mixed news for the PartyPoker qualifiers at both ends of the chip counts. We lost Mike Sexton after he three-bet jammed his last 15,000 chips over a Josh Mancuso open. Mancuso made the call and his pocket queens were too much for the pocket nines of Sexton. At the other end of the table Nicolas Fierro had been moved into the Amazon room and although Ben Lamb and Kevin Saul had now joined the 400,000 club Fierro was still in a fantastic position. Giovanni Rizzo (110,000), Stephanita Fechete (100,000), Ramin Henke (120,000), Primoz Cimerman (135,000) and Jan Philippi (165,000) the other PartyPoker qualifiers on six figures.

As the night drew to its familiar close we were left with 1,080 players and 8 of them qualified for this great event playing on PartyPoker. The only PartyPoker Team Pro playing today also made it through – Giovanni Rizzo ending the day with 148,700 chips.

  • Nicolas Fierro (405,000),
  • Giovanni Rizzo (148,700),
  • Jan Phillipi (140,100),
  • Ramin Henke (139,500),
  • Primoz Cimerman (138,600),
  • Stefanita Fechete (93,200),
  • Jason Layland (74,000),
  • Patryk Hopner (66,800),
  • Dario Pavan (49,400),

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