Day 2 of the €1,090 "European Stimulus Special" is in the books, and we're down to our final nine.
The day began with 104 hopefuls still in contention, but the eliminations came brutally quick in the early levels. Peter Jetten couldn't make it out of the first hand of the day, though in fairness to him, he only had 6,000 chips when play began. Other early casualties included Dan Shak, Farzad Bonyadi, Richard Toth, and France's newest WPT champion Matt Waxman.
For a while, it looked like we were pushing toward a stacked final table, but the middle levels were equally cruel to the remaining familiar faces. Vanessa Selbst had her queens cracked by ace-queen to all but end her day, and she followed her pal Kevin MacPhee out the door with a middling cash. Other notables to fall by the wayside with small cashes were McLean Karr, Tyler Kenney, Nicolas Chouity, Toby Lewis, Dan Kelly, and November Niner Eoghan O'Dea.
That leaves us with just nine, and it's Italy's Gianluca Speranza out in front with 757,000. He'll have to deal with a tough cast of characters, and Andrew Hinrichsen might be the betting favorite with one day left. He begins in second place with 434,000, and he's followed by another tough player, Roberto Romanello. The Welshman had an above-average stack for the bulk of the day, but a late clash with Speranza cost him nearly half his stack.
The end-of-day chip counts are posted below, and those are the stacks they'll return to tomorrow. The final table is slated for 2:00 P.M. local time, and we'll be on hand as we crown the Series second bracelet winner. Can Romanello snag the Triple Crown? Or will Hinrichsen grab one for the Aussies? Check back here tomorrow afternoon to find out.
Until then, all that's left is goodnight!
From under the gun, Gregory Lejolivet limped in. Roberto Romanello raised to 26,000 from middle position and then Richard Haile reraised all in for 41,000. In the small blind, Nabil Nedjai reraised all in for 165,500. Play folded back to Romanello and he took a minute and then mucked.
Haile tabled the and was behind the . He was all in and at risk to bubble the final table.
The flop came down and kept the queens in front for Nedjai. The turn was the and the river completed the board with the . Nedjai finished in 10th place and bubbled the final table here in Event #2: €1,090 No-Limit Hold'em.
We'll have counts and a recap coming for you shortly.
For the second consecutive hand, Gianluca Speranza opened to 12,000. The first raise got through, but Roberto Romanello got in the way the second time around. Next door to Speranza, the Welshman reraised to 32,000, and he was given a quick sideways look before the call came to send them off heads-up.
The dealer spread a flop, and both men checked through. That action repeated after the turn, and the filled out the board on the river. Now Speranza sprung into action with a bet of his own -- 33,500. Romanello made a minimum raise to 67,000, and that turned out to be a bit of a misstep. Speranza's response was a reraise to 155,500 total, and Romanello let out a sigh as he announced the call.
Speranza showed up for the full house, essentially the nuts. Romanello quietly mucked, despite pleas from Speranza. "What'd you have? Ace-queen? A flush? What'd you have? Huh?"
After that shakedown, Romanello has been reduced to about 265,000, while Speranza increases his lead to about 680,000.
From early position, John Eames raised to 12,000. Action folded to Gregory Lejolivet in middle position and he moved all in for 38,500. On the button, Roberto Romanello reraised all in. Action folded back to Eames and he also folded.
The board ran out and Lejolivet spiked an eight on the river to crack Romanello's aces and double.
Nabil Nedjai raised from middle position to 18,500 and Roberto Romanello called from the big blind. On the flop, Romanello fired 35,500. Nedjai called.
The turn was the and Romanello moved all in to put Nedjai to the test for his last 150,000 or so. Nedjai gave it up and Romanello won the pot.
From under the gun, Gianluca Speranza raised to 12,000. Tarcisio Bruno reraised all in from middle position and everyone folded to give Bruno the pot.
We're down to our final ten players, and that cues the final redraw of the event.
Here's how the unofficial final table lays out. We'll play on for two more knockouts rather than one as there's only room for eight players at the TV table.
Jean-Pierre Grand Moursel was all in for 128,000 on the final board of . Gianluca Speranza was in the tank when we arrived at the table. Eventually, he made the call. Moursel revealed the for a king-high straight. Speranza tabled the for a flush and the winning hand. He won the pot while Moursel was eliminated in 11th place.
The final 10 players are now redrawing to one table. We'll have that redraw and counts coming for you shortly.