Day 1a of the €550 buy-in The Festival Tallinn Main Event is done and dusted after ten exciting levels of play. Some 58 players bought in on the first of four flights, with 22 of those starters bagging up chips at the close of play.
Nobody bagged and tagged more chips than Germany’s Stefan Bittger, who turned his 30,000 starting stack into a tournament-leading 188,700 over the course of ten levels.
The Festival Tallinn Main Event Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
|2||Juan Carlos Vecino Duenas||179,500||112|
|10||Marlon Andrey Lopez Martinez||65,500||41|
Bittger has more than a dozen live cashes around Europe, totalling a shade over $30,500. He recently cashed in two side events at the 2022 Irish Open, and has done his chances of adding another in-the-money finish to his record no harm at all by getting off to a flying start in this tournament.
The chip leader was already in possession of one of the larger stacks in the room when he snapped off an ill-timed bluff by Juris Hlibovs while holding a flush. That hand catapulted Bittger to the top of the chip counts, and left Hibovs hovering around the middle of the pack.
Second in chips right now is Juan Carlos Vecino Duenas with a 179,500 stack. Duenas found himself at the summit of the chip counts after his pocket aces held against the jacks of Nicholas Berth, but he lost a little ground in the closing stages to finish second.
Three other players had the welcomed problem of trying to cram six figures worth of chips into their overnight chip bag. Vambo Lund (161,500), Eric Wasylenko (156,700), and Igor Pihela (118,300) being that big-stacked trio.
Also safely through to Day 2 is Espen Sandvik with 92,300. The Norwegian World Series of Poker bracelet winner currently occupies sixth place after Day 1a, and it one to watch as this value-packed tournament progresses.
Of course, not everyone managed to find a bag on Day 1a, although they have three more opportunities to do so in the coming days. The Festival founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk busted at the hands of the aforementioned Wasylenko and headed off to play in the roulette tournament.
It is likely Artjom Kovalevski will re-enter at some stage after busting to a horrible bad beat during the penultimate level. Kovalevski committee his last 12 big blinds with pocket kings afterHlibovs had opened with the lowly nine-five of diamonds. Hlibovs called and flopped a straight and a flush draw, leaving Kovalevski drawing to a single out. It didn’t appear and Kovalevski crashed out.
Day 1b commences at 12:00 p.m. local time on June 29 and sees some fresh hopefuls enter the mix and battle it out over the course of ten excellently-structured 45-minute levels.