On Friday, Season XI of the World Poker Tour rolled on with Day 1a of WPT Barcelona at the Casino Barcelona. Of the 106 entrants only 59 survived the flight, and no player accumulated more chips than Manuel Bevand. The Frenchman bagged 141,200 chips with help from a three-handed pot he played against Scott Baumstein and Artem Litvinov. Bevand fired bullets on the flop and the turn, forcing out Baumstein on the flop, but Litvinov called both times. On the river of a king-high board, Bevand opted to check, prompting Litvinov to bet. Bevand tank-called with a pair of kings, Litvinov tossed jack-high into the muck, and Bevand crossed the 100,000-chip threshold.
Kevin MacPhee also survived Day 1a with a healthy amount of chips, bagging 95,400. He eliminated WPT Champions Club member Philippe Ktorza when the two got all of the chips in the middle on an flop. Ktorza had a pair of aces, but MacPhee held queen-six for bottom pair and held.
Gaelle Baumann, who bubbled the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event final table, survived Day 1a despite taking a big hit. She lost a very large pot against Lauri Varonen, where Baumann held pocket kings, and Varonen pocket jacks. The board ran out with four spades, and Varonen held the lone spade to double up.
Baumann bounced back, and ended the day with a knockout of her own. In one of the final hands played, Baumstein three-bet shoved with five-four off suit only to be called by Baumann, who held queen-jack suited. Baumann won the hand, sending Baumstein packing.
Faraz Jaka came out of the gates strong, but lost a big pot to end the night, leaving him with just 14,000 chips. After firing out a bet on the flop (), and the turn (), Jaka was faced with a check-shove on the river () from David Konstandoff. Jaka tank-folded, and Konstandoff tabled for the nut-flush.
Frustrated, Jaka took to Twitter:
Other notables able to survive the day include Marcin Wydrowski, Bryn Kenney, Toby Lewis, Steve O'Dwyer, and Daniel Cates.
Frenchman Guillaume Darcourt has had a tough few weeks, busting in the early levels of both Day 1a and Day 1b of WPT Venice. It was more of the same on Friday, as Darcourt found himself on the rail by Level 4. He lost a large pot with pocket queens against an opponent's pocket aces, and was eliminated when he flopped trips on a board only for his opponent, who held , to fill up.
Joining Darcourt on the list of casualties were Lukas Berglund, Matt Salsberg, Michael Benvenuti, Arlo Dotson, and Davidi Kitai.
Day 1b begins on Saturday at 14:00 CET. Stay tuned to PokerNews for a recap of the action once play has been completed.
Data and photo courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com.