Twenty-seven events are already in the books at the 2009 World Series of Poker and, so far, European players are having one of their best Seriesâ€™ to date. As you might expect, it is the Americans that are dominating the majority of events but weâ€™ve seen some spectacular results from British and European players.
The 2009 WSOP started in earnest with the $40,000 buy in No Limit Holdâ€™em Anniversary event back on May 28th. Vitaly Lunkin, from Russia, took the honours and a $1,891,018 pay day after fighting his way past a plethora of world famous poker players. Lunkin has been in red hot form in 2009 and his victory brings his WSOP bracelet tally up to two following his success in the $1,500 No Limit Holdâ€™em event here last year.
UK players have been enjoying a great Series so far. According to the Pokerati 2009 WSOP Standings table players from the UK have made 72 cashes, 9 final tables and won 2 bracelets to date.
So who are the British bracelet winners? It was JP Kelly that was first to register on the WSOP bracelet radar. Kelly, despite his baby-face looks, has been a regular on the international poker circuit for a while now but he has been suffering a dry spell of late. With only two cashes in 2009, it was unlikely John Paul went into the $1,500 Pot Limit Holdâ€™em event on June 9th brimming with confidence. What a difference a tournament can make! Kelly took command of the final table with a power-packed display of aggressive poker like a player who has a sock drawer full of WSOP bracelets at home. Despite Erik Seidel (7th) in menacing mood and, fellow Britâ€™, Aaron Virchis (5th) looking dangerous there was simply no way Kelly was going to be denied the title and a $194,343 win. Credit should also go to second place player Marc Tschirch, from Germany, who pressed Kelly all the way in the heads-up stages.
While the UK digested JP Kellyâ€™s success, the British poker player army struck again at The Rio. This time it was Roland De Wolfeâ€™s turn to grab some WSOP wrist jewellery. De Wolfe is having an outstanding Series so far. Following three impressive cashes earlier in the festival the ever cheerful Londoner finally grabbed a WSOP title by winning the $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo tournament for $246,616. The tournament was littered with European cashes with Andy Black (Ireland) in 6th, Anthony Lellouche (France) in 9th and Mark Bartlog (Germany) a creditable 11th.
Betfair Poker proâ€™ Sorel Mizzi has also been enjoying a great Series so far. Mizzi, from Toronto, Canada, started his 2009 WSOP off in superb fashion with a 25th place in the $40,000 No Limit Holdâ€™em Anniversary event for $71,858. A creditable cash in the $1,500 No Limit Holdâ€™em event, on June 2nd, followed for Mizzi against a field of almost 2800 players.
Popular Canadian Daniel Negreanu is, perhaps, the unluckiest player of the 2009 WSOP so far, falling just short of a bracelet success. Negreanu has been his usual consistent self with 4 cashes in the bank. A 2nd place in the $2,500 Limit Holdâ€™em (six handed) event and a 4th place in the $10,000 World Championship Omaha Hi/Lo event has certainly boosted Negreanuâ€™s profits but that wonâ€™t be any consolation for the WSOP regular as the hunt for a 2009 WSOP Negreanu bracelet continues. Negreanu will still be brimming with confidence, though, and with the WSOPE Caesarâ€™s Cup on the horizon, in which Negreanu will captain the American team against Annette Obrestadâ€™s European squad, the Toronto born professional still has plenty of time to register a WSOP success in either Europe or America.