The Party Poker Premier League VI began this Sunday at the Aspers Casino with sixteen of the world’s leading professional poker players doing battle for $450,000.
The sixteen players were split into two groups of eight and both pools have now completed their opening events.
Group A kicked off the tournament and definitely looked like the more stacked table with Antonio Esfandiari, Jonathan Duhamel, Sam Trickett, Marvin Rettenmaier, Daniel Cates, Daniel Negreanu, Phill Hellmuth and last year’s winner Scott Seiver all doing battle.
Scott Seiver’s quest to defend his title did not start well and he was the first player to be eliminated and was quickly followed to the rail by Daniel Cates.
The next elimination involved the final two of the 2012 Big One For One Drop tournament and Sam Trickett gained a small slice of revenge by eliminating Antonio Esfandiari.
Phill Hellmuth was uncharacteristically quiet during the event and was eliminated in fifth place before Daniel Negreanu joined him on the rail just two hands later.
The in-form Marvin Rettenmaier had steadily built himself a decent chip stack but was crippled by Trickett and eliminated just a few hands later.
At the beginning of the heads-up battle Trickett had a clear chip lead over Jonathan Duhamel but the pair traded momentum back and forth before Duhamel was able to claim victory when his Ace-Nine held up against Trickett’s King-Jack.
Duhamel scored sixteen points for his victory that has him sitting in the box seat to qualify for the final table of the event while Seiver and Esfandiari have a great deal of work to do.
While Group B didn’t have as many big names as the first group the quality of poker was just as high.
Tony G lost a big hand against Talal Shakerchi early and was never able to recover becoming the first player in Group B to be eliminated.
Shakerchi raced away to an early chip lead but some overly aggressive play saw him eliminated in seventh position and earn just two points.
Igor Kurganov was a last minute call-up to Party PokerPremier League VI but he was able to take advantage off his opportunity and was the next player sent to the rail.
After a slow start Phil Laak got involved in the action but ran into the trips of Tobias Reinkemeier and finished in fifth place.
Jason Mercier was the favorite heading into this table but he found himself short-stacked and was the next player eliminated by Reinkemeier.
Jennifer Tilly was the surprise packet of the group but joined the line of players to be eliminated by Reinkemeier and finished in third position.
Despite his dominance of the table Reinkemeier only held a slight chip lead over Dan Shak going into the heads-up battle.
Shak took a slight lead early in the piece but a showdown between Shak’s King-Queen and Reinkemier’s Ace-Five gave the German a massive chip lead and he claimed victory on the very next hand.
Both groups will play three more heats, with top three players from each group advancing to the final table.
Premier League VI is sponsored by Party Poker one of the leading online poker rooms.