Day 1a of the €10,400 Main Event Championship at the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe has come and gone. On the schedule Saturday were the first six levels of play, and a great six levels they were. The field size was enormous on the first day of action with 310 players coming out, further proving that the WSOP's idea to move this series to France was an awesome idea.
Last year, James Bord conquered a field of 346 players, meaning this Day 1a almost surpassed that total by itself. With another few hundred players tomorrow, this will easily be the largest-ever WSOP Europe Main Event field. The previous record was from 2007 and 2008 when the field size of 362 players each of those years.
At the end of the night, under 200 players remained with Jamie Rosen leading the charge. He bagged up a whopping 162,700 in chips according to the dealer sheet on the table at the end of the night.
Rosen wasn't the only player to bag up a lot of chips. Dermot Blain (123,500), Chris Moorman (121,775), Polito Laurent (120,200), Mustapha Kanit (117,700), Erik Friberg (117,000), Darren Elias (111,400), Leo Boxell (110,900), Emil Patel (109,000) and Johnny Chan (108,350) will all be yielding big stacks when Day 2 arrives on Monday. Matan Krakow, Sam Holden, Erik Seidel, Tristan Wade, Matt Waxman and Randy Dorfman advanced as well.
Moorman saw a nice boost to his stack from eliminating well-known pro and two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Jason Mercier. When we got to the table, the flop of was in the middle with Moorman's tabled versus Mercier's . The turn brought the and the river the to eliminate Mercier.
Another notable elimination was 11-time gold bracelet winner and 1989 WSOP Main Event champion Phil Hellmuth. With the blinds at 250/500 with a 50 ante, Hellmuth was down to his last 1,600 in chips. Action folded to him in the hijack seat and he raised to 1,100. Michael Telker three-bet to 2,800 from the small blind and Hellmuth called all-in. Telker held the and Hellmuth the . The board ran out and Hellmuth headed for the exit.
Other notables to bust on Day 1a included Tom Dwan, Anton Makiievskyi, Tyler Bonkowski, Sam Stein, Justin Bonomo, Matt Stout and Joseph Cheong.
Day 2 will take place on Monday at 1200 CET (0300 PDT) in Cannes, giving the remaining players Sunday off. Day 1b will take place on Sunday starting at 1200 CET (0300 PDT). Be sure to tune back into PokerNews for all of the live coverage starting then.