Players prepare for 2012 WSOPE High Roller, Main Event kicks off


Some excitement was generated among the poker community this past summer when 2012 WSOPE organizers announced the €51,000 buy-in Majestic Super High Roller event with rebuys. And now this tournament is almost here since the €51k High Roller begins on Tuesday, October 2nd and will run until the 4th.

Despite the fact that this is a non-bracelet event, many of poker’s best players are expected to enter the first ever WSOPE High Roller. Additionally, high stakes poker aficionados/billionaire businessmen Paul Phua and Richard Yong have reserved a seat for themselves.

Ty Stewart, who is the WSOP’s executive director, spoke about certain aspects that went into adding the High Roller to this year’s schedule by saying, “Many factors, but really, the success of the Big One (for One Drop) and seeing all the high-stakes action it created around the city. There is an appetite for a group of players to continue to play really big, and we strive to have offerings for every player at WSOPE events”.

As for why the buy-in wasn’t €100,000 or more like some of the world’s other High Roller tourneys, Stewart said, “Felt right, particularly since re-entry is allowed. Guys like Yong and Phua are accustomed to playing really big, but €50,000 is already huge.” He added, “We looked at the high roller and super high roller tournaments out there, how many distinct players each achieved, and felt that €50K would give the tournament the best chance.”

2012 WSOPE Main Event is underway

While the High Roller will be starting soon, the €10,450 WSOP Main Event has already kicked off with players taking the felt for Day 1A. The number of entrants has yet to be released, but the Day 1A field has already been trimmed down to 115 players. Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi is out in front with 234,850 chips, while JC Alvarado trails him with 180,675 chips.

Seeing as how no entrants figure has been released for Day 1A, and Day 1B still has yet to happen, the total Main Event prize pool is unknown. However, it’s reasonable to expect that it will come close to last year when 593 players bought in and created a €5,692,800 prize pool. Elio Fox earned the largest share of this amount after winning the Main Event title and collecting €1,400,000.

WSOPE Side Event Results

With five side events down in the 2012 WSOPE, we’ve already seen some big winners and great stories. From Antonio Esfandiari capturing another bracelet to Roger Hairabedian making history, here’s a quick recap of the finished tournaments.

Event #1: €2,700 Six-Handed NL Hold’em – Imed “Ben” Mahmoud became the first Tunisian-born poker player to win a gold bracelet when he topped 227 players. Mahmoud, who currently works in a French kitchen, earned €147,099 and plans to buy a home for his family with the money.

Event #2: €1,100 NL Hold’em – Just a few months after winning the WSOP Big One for One Drop along with $18,346,673, Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari came back and won a WSOPE event. His €126,207 prize here paled in comparison to the One Drop payout, but it’s doubtful that Esfandiari is complaining about the money or his third career bracelet.

Event #3: €5,300 Pot-Limit Omaha – Despite being the WSOPE host country, France never had a gold bracelet winner in this event’s six-year history. However, Roger Hairabedian changed all of this by winning Event #3 and a €142,590 prize. Some of the players who tried to deny Hairabedian this honor included Jason Mercier (9th, €12,245), Joe Hachem (6th, €25,490) and Mizrachi (3rd, €62,749).

Event #4: €3,250 NL Hold’em Shootout – France didn’t have to wait long for their second bracelet winner because Frenchman Giovanni Rosadoni won this event along with €107,614. Following his victory, Rosadoni revealed that he’d only been playing poker for two years up to this point.

Event #6: €1,650 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha – Spain’s Ana Marquez was attempting to become the first female WSOPE winner this year. However, she came up just short after losing a heads-up battle to Portugal’s Francisco Da Costa Santos. The latter collected the bracelet and €83,275 for his win while Marquez settled for second place and €51,443.

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