This past Sunday, the GGPoker Network (GGPN) continued their partnership with World Series of Poker and hosted the first of three starting days for the international portion of the $10,000 WSOP Main Event.
Unlike the record-breaking $5,000 WSOP Online Main Event, this online and live poker hybrid will be hosted as a Freezeout. This means players only have a single shot at glory, just like how it would have been in Vegas.
Poker enthusiasts in eligible countries all over the world added the first starting day to their busy Super Sunday schedule, and a field of 246 entries emerged for Day 1A. The goal of each participant was to reach the end of level 16 with chips at their disposal. 62 hopefuls succeeded in that quest after the final river card was dealt for the night.
Among the top ten in the overall counts were also two Natural8 players, including Day 1A chip leader Julian “VWgunther” Menhardt and Sosia “Aunty_Ninja” Jiang. Austria resident Menhardt was the only participant to turn his starting stack into more than half a million in chips upon conclusion of the action, bagging up 534,490. New Zealander Jiang prevailed with a late surge and claimed 390,312 to her name, good enough for 78 big blinds at the start of Day 2.
Other notable big stacks belong to Paul “AsiaStylez” Esau (475,075), Dirk Gerritse (457,197), Preben Stokkan (446,677), Lauryinas Levinskas (389,628), Norway’s Espen “COVFEFE-19” Jorstad and Camille “Cam Godin” Godin (320,895).
They weren’t the only well-known poker pros to secure their seats for Day 2, as Brunno Botteon, Aliaksei Boika, Yuri Dzivielevski, Antoine Labat, Manuel Ruivo, George Wolff, Stefan Jedlicka and Artur Martirosian also advanced.
Natural8 Team Bling member Daniel Dvoress, who won his maiden WSOP bracelet earlier this year in Event #48: $1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER, also made it through with 200,905. Fellow Team Bling member Thi Truong was not as fortunate and was eliminated. The same also happened to Natural8’s Team Hot ambassador Bryan Paris.
They were in good company as big names such as Ole Schemion, Fedor Holz, Ognyan Dimov, Christian Jeppsson, Rainer Kempe, Ken Okada, Julien Martini, Julian Stuer, Andrey Pateychuk, Fabrizio Gonzalez, David Yan, and Pascal Hartmann all failed to make it through to the end of level 16.
Kempe and Holz were perhaps the two biggest names that fell, with the former departing in the final level of the night after having nursed a short stack in the late stages. Holz hit the rail in level 7 when his flopped two pair improved to a full house on the river, only to get shown a superior full house by Canada’s “RandyLew!”.
Japanese music and TV star Gakuto Oshiro, commonly known under his stage name of “GACKT”, was also among those to bust. He won his entry through one of the various satellites and was above the average during the first half of the day. However, a classic flip with pocket fives against ace-king suited spelled the end for “GACKT” in level 10.
The two remaining starting days take place at 6 p.m. GMT on December 5th and 6th. Poker players from all over the world also have the chance to start their journey in the satellite system for as low as $0.50.
Vietnam’s “vansy1988” will do so free-of-charge, having won his entry in the exclusive Natural8 Main Event Freeroll this past Saturday. They will no doubt aim to turn that into a tremendous success story.
All Natural8 players also have the opportunity to win a $100,000 Team Bling Sponsorship if they succeed in the $10,000 WSOP Main Event.
By winning the final table of the international tournament (which is scheduled to take place at the King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic), a $30,000 sponsorship awaits. And if another victory in the Heads-Up Championship in Las Vegas follows thereafter, another $70,000 sponsorship as well as captaincy of Team Bling awaits.