By Simon Young

It seems a bit harsh to leave the efforts of those who played yesterday behind so quickly. But the WSOP Main Event waits for no one, and today we have another 1,400 or so players starting their quest to make it deep in the biggest poker tournament in the world.

First, though, congratulations to PartyPoker players who made it through Day 1A. They include Sweden’s Vartan Ohannesian with 55,475, the UK’s John Webley with 19,775 and Germany’s Klaus Malanitsch, who scraped home with 6,700 of his 20,000 starting stack.

Today we have a new crop of our online qualifiers who secured $10,000 seats, travel and accommodation after winning their way through on PartyPoker. One is a familiar name – Mika Paasonen from Finland, who finished fourth in our recent PartyPoker Million VI cruise for a $119,425 pay day.


Flying the Finland flag: Mika Paasonen

Since that May event he’s been taking a break with his family back home, and now says he is focused and well prepared for what the Main Event will throw at him. For a man who has been prominent on the European stage for so long, it is surprising that this is his first shot at the Big One. But there is a good reason:

“If I make the money here I have to pay 60% tax back in Finland! So for all the effort of playing it will be a huge amount to give back. But I want to be able to say I have played it, so here I am.”

Mika has taken the opportunity to play in three other events since he has been in Vegas. He has not managed to cash, and unfortunately bubbled in the $1,500 NL event when his top set was overtaken by the flush draw. “I’ve enjoyed myself, however, and am feeling relaxed and well prepared.”

While he has left his family back home in Scandinavia, Mika is here with his wife’s cousin, a keen poker player who has been having a great time during the trip.

As for today, Mika recognises the Main Event has a super-slow structure, and plans to take lots of small pots and try and keep himself above the average stack level.

Once again, these players will start with 20,000 chips today and enjoy two-hour levels. Despite that, expect action all the way. If yesterday was anything to go by, people won’t hang around!

We’ll update with news of our PartyPoker qualifiers throughout the day.

Full list of our finishers from yesterday:

Martin Tonnesen, Denmark, 91,100

Max Greenwood, Canada, 63,325

Vartan Ohannesian, Sweden, 55,475

Jiri Hlavaty, Czech Republic, 32,400

Tyron Krost, Australia, 30,300

Trond Tjntveit, Norway, 21,775

John Webley, UK, 19,775

Klaus Malanitsch, Germany, 6,700.


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