WSOPE: Vaitiekunas Bags Day 2 Lead in Main Event, Ferguson Busts in Last Hand
After another six levels of poker, Day 2 of Event #14: €10,350 Main Event has drawn to a close at the World Series of Poker Europe. It was a packed room at King's Resort in Rozvadov, the Czech Republic, when the day began with 279 players returning to their seats. That number filtered down to just 129 by the end of the day, and Paulius Vaitiekunas (lead photo) bagged the most towering stack with 1,221,000 in chips.
Top 5 Chip Counts After WSOPE Main Event Day 2
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Vaitiekunas came into the day as a top-ten stack and got his momentum rolling when he turned a pair of kings in a four-bet pot into a bluff. He got his opponent to fold middle set on the river on a relatively dry board, and from there, Vaitiekunas continued to accumulate chips. It was mostly "small ballin'" poker - as Vaitiekunas called it - that earned him the chip lead after two days.
The Lithuanian poker pro came close to his first gold bracelet when he finished in fifth place at the Global Casino Championship earlier this year. Vaitiekunas claimed his first WSOP Circuit ring in March, topping the field in the €777 Lucky 7s Event. Throughout his short two-year reign at the live felt, Vaitiekunas has racked up over $170,000 in tournament winnings and is looking to add to that number in a big way this week.
Heading into Day 3, he will be closely followed by Ahmad Achegsei, who finished strong with 1,213,000 chips. Daan Mulders held the lead in the last few minutes but lost a pot in one of the final hands to wind up with 1,191,000. Alexandros Kolonias was another player to finish in the seven-figure club as he busted Freek Scholten in one of the last hands. Kolonias wound up bagging up a stack of 1,115,000 chips.
WSOPE Day 2 Action
The action kicked off at noon, and empty seats were quickly filled with late entries. A starting stack of 100,000 chips was still worth over 60 big blinds at the start of the day, and players took full advantage. There were nearly 100 entries on Day 2 that brought the total to 541, setting a new record for the WSOP Europe held at King's Resort. The €5,000,000 guaranteed prize pool was reached early on as players were re-entering faster as fast as they were being eliminated.
It was a rough day for one of the chip leaders Kahle Burns, who was up and down throughout but eventually was sent to the rail. Burns hit a couple of rough patches in the middle levels and finally found himself on a stack of 20 big blinds. He got his chips in the middle with top pair against a straight draw, and his opponent rivered a straight to eliminate the 2x bracelet winner at the 2019 WSOP Europe.
Many other big names took to the felt in search of making a deep run in the Main Event, but things didn't go their way either. Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, WSOP Main Event champion Hossein Ensan, Dominik Nitsche, Ole Schemion, Christoph Vogelsang, William Kassouf, Sam Grafton, Phil Hui, Ryan Riess, and Alex Livingston all failed to find a bag. That left Shaun Deeb as one of the only players in the field still in contention for the Player of the Year race, bagging up a stack of 118,000 chips.
Alex Foxen came into the day as the overall chipleader and rode a wavy rollercoaster through every level. Things got sour in a hurry, but Foxen recovered his entire stack and then some by the time dinner break rolled around. However, a couple of double-ups to his neighbor Adi Rajkovic left Foxen with 200,000. In the last level of the night, Foxen spun it up once more, with a large portion coming when he flopped set over set to score an elimination. He finished the day with 813,000, more than what he started with, which is the goal every time.
A few other big names to make it through the day include Jan-Peter Jachtmann (851,000), Martin Kabrhel (793,000), Joao Vieira (715,000), Dario Sammartino (687,000), Anton Morgenstern (600,000), Jeff Madsen (404,000), Benjamin Pollak (350,000), and defending champion Jack Sinclair (272,000).
One player that didn't make it through to Day 3 is Chris Ferguson. The vilified Ferguson lost his stack in the last hand of the night with ace-ten against the jack-seven suited of bracelet winner Julien Martini. An ace on the flop favored Ferguson, but the king of spades on the turn left the former Full Tilt Poker frontman drawing dead as his French opponent hit his flush.
When the players return to the felt on Day 3, they will have their sights set on the money bubble. With 129 players remaining and only 82 making the money, the bubble could come faster than players expect. A min-cash will be worth €15,089 all the way up to the winner receiving €1,133,678.
Another six levels are on the schedule for Day 3, and the action will get underway at noon. There will be a 15-minute break after every level and a 60-minute dinner break after the fourth level. The PokerNews team will be back on the tournament floor to bring you all of the big pots and all of the action throughout the day. Check out the WSOPE Live Updates, Day 3 seat draw, payouts, and chip counts in the Live Reporting section.