Day 2 of WSOPE Main Event breaks attendance records during Czech COVID crisis

Jon Pill
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Posted on: December 6, 2021 2:53 am EST

The Czech Republic announced a state of emergency this week in response to climbing numbers of COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Czechia and neighboring countries.

Despite this logistical difficulty, the WSOPE has managed to set new records for attendance, including the largest WSOPE Main Event field in history. When registration closed on the Main Event, there were 688 entries in the field.

The previous largest field for a WSOPE Main Event was 593 players in 2011. That year Elio Fox won €1.4 million for beating Chris Moorman heads up to take the bracelet.

With a €10,000+€350 buy-in, the prize pool came to €6,536,000. €1,276,712 of that cash is up top for the winner. Unfortunately, the shallower pay structure compared to 2011’s event means we will miss out on seeing a record set for first-place prize money.

It is clear that European players are as — if not more — anxious to get back to brick and mortar play. Even with curfews throwing the schedule out of joint and venue caps limiting attendance, the WSOPE has proved a huge success so far.

The European Poker Tour, by comparison, canceled its own December 2021 event in Czechia after the state of emergency was announced.

All this was before worries about the Omicron variant began to top the news cycle.

The final table of the WSOPE will be live-streamed on the WSOP Youtube channel. 153 players will go through to Day 3 with Christian Stratmeyer leading the field.

“WSOP Europe Main Event new RECORD,” @WSOP tweeted. “688 entries and over €6.5M in prize pool! Thanks to all players and to the @PokerroomKings staff!”

WSOPE Main Event top 10 chips stacks at the end of Day 2

Chip PositionPlayer NameChip StackBig Blinds
1stChristian Stratmeyer1,354,000169
2ndBoris Kuzmanovic1,223,000153
3rdJovan Kenjic1,175,000147
4thLuuk Gieles1,139,000142
5thRobert Sampat1,100,000138
6thIan Bradley1,092,000137
7thWiktor Smolka1,017,000127
8thJan-Peter Jachtmann970,000121
9thAlexander Tkatschew926,000116
10thDavid Kaesler914,000114

Open season on ElkY

Across the halls of King’s Resort, on the temporary stage erected for televised tables, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier made the final table of 2021 WSOPE Event #13: €10,350 6-Max No-Limit Hold’em.

The table was live-streamed on the WSOP Youtube channel.

A combination of post-WSOP (U.S.) fatigue, Europe’s tighter border controls, and COVID spiking across the continent seems to have kept many of the names (especially U.S. pros) away.

So, a table with Grospellier on it was quite a draw. Around 60k people watched the stream on its first day up on the site.

However, Grospellier’s run was relatively short. He busted out in 4th place when he got his short stack in with AT♣. He was called by Miegel who took a chance with the 97.

Miegel outdrew ElkY and sent him to the rail to collect €62,574. Miegel followed shortly in 3rd.

Grospellier’s fellow Frenchman, Romain Le Dantec went on to win the event.

2021 WSOPE Event #13: €10,350 6-Max No-Limit Hold’em complete final table results

PositionPlayer NamePayout
1stRomain Le Dantec€207,267 (~$234,000)
2ndSonny Franco€128,096 (~$145,000)
3rdJakob Miegel€88,223 (~$100,000)
4thBertrand “ElkY” Grospellier€62,574 (~$71,000)
5thSirzat Hissou€45,574 (~$51,000)
6thChristopher Puetz€34,507 (~$39,000)

Featured image source: Twitter