Sammartino Soars on Day 2 of WSOPE Main Event as 165 Players Advance

Day 2 of the 2018 World Series of Poker Europe €10,350 Main Event is in the books. The action kicked off at noon local time in Europe’s biggest poker arena at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov with 221 players out of 341 entries remaining and the registration and single re-entry period remained open for the first four of six 90-minute levels. Once the registration closed at the end of level 11, the screens showed 534 entries to ensure that the guaranteed prize pool of €5,000,000 was surpassed.

Only the top 81 spots will take home a portion of the €5,073,000 prize pool and the money bubble is expected to burst late on Day 3, so half of the remaining field will walk away empty-handed with the minimum payout set at €15,074. A massive payday of €1,122,239 and the coveted gold bracelet await the champion.

Dario Sammartino Takes the Lead

Leading the field after Day 2 is Dario Sammartino, who soared to the top of the leaderboard in the final stages of the day and bagged up an impressive 1,480,000. The Italian started the day with just 94,000 and things really kicked off after he had chipped up and was moved to the table of Vladimir Geshkenbein. In a key hand, Sammartino doubled through Geshkenbein in a three-bet pot.

“I opened the button with ten-six of hearts and he three-bet me out of the big blind, I called,” Sammartino recounted. “The flop was ten-six-two. He bet, I raised, he re-raised and I called. We got it in after an eight on the turn and I held up against kings. Lucky day and not a tough table.”


In the final stages, Sammartino sent several players to the rail including Jason Wheelerand Hans Thumann to bag and tag almost five times the average chip count.

“Of course it is really good, but the tournament is very long. You need to stay focused and we have another three, four days to play. It is a good start, but nothing really special yet. Special is when you win, not now,” Sammartino said after bagging for the day.

Winning a bracelet and seven-figure payday in one of the most prestigious events of the year would see Sammartino edge closer to Mustapha Kanit at the top of the Italian all-time money list. Kanit himself made it through to Day 3 with an above-average stack of 626,000. Sammartino already had a close call this past summer in Las Vegas when he finished third in Event #23: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship and added a tenth and 15th-place finish in Sin City, but the elusive bracelet has escaped him thus far.

“It is important for me,” admitted Sammartino. “Two, three years ago it was the dream [to win a bracelet], you know. Now it is important, but not like when I was 24 years old.”

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