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17 October 2011

WSOP Europe: Michael Mizrachi, Philippe Boucher Capture Bracelets As Championship Event Enters Day 1B - 16th October 2011

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As the €10,000 Championship Event of the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe enters its second Day One on Sunday, poker pros Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi and Philippe Boucher captured the final two preliminary bracelets awarded on Saturday.

In the €10,000 Split Format No Limit Hold’em event, Mizrachi came back yesterday as a member of the Final Four who would determine the title. In his semi-final match against Roger Hairabedian, Michael slowly worked the heads up match to what was a startling conclusion. On the final hand of their matchup, Hairabedian flopped a set of fives on a J-8-5 board, but Mizrachi was able to best that by turning a straight with his 7-6 when a four found the turn. Once the board didn’t pair on the river, Michael Mizrachi was on to the final.

In the other semi-final match, Shawn Buchanan and Noah Schwartz battled it out for the right to face “The Grinder.” Buchanan methodically worked his way into a comfortable lead against Schwartz before getting him to commit his final chips with a mediocre offering. After a minimum raise from Shawn, Noah decided to make a three-bet stand for his last chips with only an A-5 off suit. Buchanan quickly called, tabling his pocket Kings, and once the board ran dry (albeit with a bit of a flush sweat), Shawn Buchanan was the winner of the match.

As predicted here yesterday, the Mizrachi/Buchanan battle was a fierce one, although Michael came to the felt with a 2:1 chip lead over Shawn. “The Grinder,” true to his name, was able to gradually add on to his lead over the two hours of play; nothing that Buchanan attempted seemed to work as his chip stack slowly slipped southward. The end of the tournament was particularly brutal for Buchanan as, holding an A-J against Mizrachi’s A-10, a ten came on the flop to flip the lead to Mizrachi. Turn and river deuces sealed the deal for the 2010 $50K Poker Players’ Champion, giving him his second bracelet in as many years.

1. Michael Mizrachi (United States), €336,008
2. Shawn Buchanan (Canada), €207,624
3. Roger Hairabedian (France), €112,092
4. Noah Schwartz (United States), €112,092

The final table of the €1500 Six Handed Pot Limit Omaha tournament seemed to be more of a sprint than a marathon, highly unlike major championship final tables. Chile’s Nicolas Fierro came to the final table with the chip lead, but it was a one man wrecking ball by the name of Philippe Boucher who stole the show.

After taking almost an hour and a half before the first player, Jack Ellwood, was eliminated by Boucher, the Canadian pro would then storm his way through the remainder of the field. He would go on to knock off the entire table on his run to the title, only pausing slightly during heads up play against Michel Dattani. On the final hand, Dattani would commit his final chips holding an A-A-J-7 against the A-Q-10-9 of Boucher. After the board ran 6-6-8-J-Q to give him the winning straight, Philippe Boucher would pick up his first WSOP bracelet in just under four hours.

1. Philippe Boucher (Canada), €124,584
2. Michel Dattani (Portugal), €76,982
3. Nicolas Fierro (Chile), €53,426
4. Alexander Dovzhenko (Ukraine), €37,529
5. Jared Solomon (South Africa), €26,676
6. Jack Ellwood (United Kingdom), €19,181

While these two final tables wrapped up action, the first Day One of the €10,000 Championship Event was in play. 310 players eventually wound their way to the tables in the battle for the next WSOP Europe Main Event championship, guaranteeing that this will be the biggest Championship Event in the history of the WSOP Europe. Last year’s total number of players was “only” 346 and the record field for the tournament was in 2007 and 2008, when the tournament drew 362 players.

At the end of Day 1A, 173 players remained, with Jamie Rosen holding the chip lead with 162,700 in chips. Notable names in the Top Ten include the U. K.’s Chris Moorman and Erik Friberg, but there are threats looming down the leaderboard. Two time World Champion Johnny Chan is just off the leaderboard in eleventh place with 108,350 in chips, while Ramzi Jelassi, 2011 WSOP November Niner Ben Lamb, Carlos Mortensen, Will “The Thrill” Failla, Chad Brown and Arnaud Mattern are just some of the names in the Top 25.

Day 1B is currently in play, with 165 players stepping up for the action on Sunday. Some of the players who have made early moves during Day 1B include 2010 WSOP November Niner Filippo Candio, Robert Mizrachi, Tommy Vedes, Shannon Shorr, Bryan Devonshire, Sandra Naujoks, Mike “Timex” McDonald and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier. Defending World Champion Jonathan Duhamel, Men “The Master” Nguyen, Jean-Robert Bellande and Sorel Mizzi are all below their starting stacks, with “The Grinder” and Steve Billirakis two of this year’s WSOP Europe bracelet winners already eliminated from the tournament.

Final numbers for the Championship Event aren’t in yet, so the prize pool hasn’t been determined or the first place prize. However it plays out, the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe has been a record breaking schedule with its final stories yet to play out. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

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