WSOPE Press Launch - baby

beardyian

beardyian

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Poker, Pomp and Circumstance – The World Series of Poker Europe Launches in London

September 07, 2007
John Caldwell

For nearly 40 years, the world series of poker handed out gold bracelets in the Las Vegas desert. For all but the last three of those years, these coveted symbols of poker excellence were handed out in a place known as 'Benny's Bullpen' – more of a dimly lit cavern than a modern day sports facility.

Poker has grown out of the caverns, and into the limelight over the past few years. Any big poker event these days is a big deal, and as such must have a certain level of flair accompanying it to belong in the modern poker world.

The launch of the World Series of Poker Europe Thursday kept in stride with the
call for flair, as showgirls, waiters dressed as Elvis, and two top poker players lent
a hand in the launch festivities.

Things kicked off on Thursday with a press conference in an adjoining movie theatre that later that night would be showing the latest Matt Damon movie, 'The Bourne Ultimatum'. Rather than car chases and shoot em up action, we had executives, showgirls, and a couple fast talking poker players touting the birth of a new poker tradition – the World Series of Poker Europe.

After a brief introduction by Tony Kendall, the press conference kicked off with a statement from wsop Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack, who was joined on stage by David Yu, CEO of WSOPE title sponsor betfair. Pollack and Yu espoused the merits of the World Series of Poker, and shared their excitement for the future of the World Series of Poker Europe.

With show girls lining the stage, the next two speakers were introduced. Phil Hellmuth, Jr and Dave 'Devilfish' Ulliott took the stage. Both wearing sunglasses, the two proceeded to talk about the natural progression of the World Series of Poker to Europe, all the while trading barbs and jabs back and forth about who was the best player, and who would walk out of London with another gold bracelet.



After the press conference adjourned, it was time to head over to the casino for poker. The Casino at the Empire, a facility only opened a few months ago, will be the site for most of the poker action that will take place over the next 10 days. Right in the heart of Leicester Square in London, The Casino at the Empire is a modern, sleek looking facility.

While the casino would be dwarfed in size by the standards of any of today's modern Las Vegas casinos, by London standards The Empire is huge. Anyone who has spent any time in a London casino knows that the experience is usually akin to having one's face buried in an ashtray. Not so in the Empire, thanks to new laws banning smoking in casinos, and walls that have not endured years of smoking. The casino feels like a hip West End nightclub, with gaming tables set in the middle of it.

Due to space considerations, the fields for the WSOPE were going to be much smaller than the fields in Vegas. The Empire could hold a little over 120 players for the first event, a £2,500 H.O.R.S.E. (about $5,000 US Dollars) event.

With David Yu having the honors of announcing the very first 'shuffle up and deal' in the history of the World Series of Poker Europe, just after 2pm local time, the pomp and circumstance had come to an end, and the poker had begun. Over 100 of the top players in the world gathered to chase that elusive gold bracelet. Any fan of the game of poker would have recognized half the faces at the tables of the Empire. Fourteen tables representing a small but mighty gathering of poker's elite players, all chasing poker's most coveted prize. Just like the old days, when the titans of the poker world would gather in a dark cavernous room to chase poker immortality. But, this time these players were 5,000 miles, and light years away from where it all began on Fremont Street.
 
beardyian

beardyian

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$2500 HORSE

Early Casualties -

Robert Mizrachi
Kenny Tran
Ted Lawson
Lee Nelson
Ted Forrest
Todd Brunson
Michael Keiner
Robert Williamson III
Noah Jefferson
Michael Binger
Andy Bloch
Doyle Brunson
Jesse Jones
Phil Hellmuth
Richard Gryko
Dave Colclough
Kevin Daly
Humberto Brenes
Dan Shak
Michael Mizrachi
Tony G
Andy Black
Marcel Luske


:eek:
 
rainsoaked

rainsoaked

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Wow. That's quite a list. I forgot about Jesse Jones. I like him.
 
artofsin

artofsin

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WOW the early casualties list reads like a hows how of poker!!! so many names all want that first ever WSOP Europe win ... and a place in poker history.
 
reglardave

reglardave

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I see Dave Colclaugh on the early out list. Is his wife playing in this event?
 
beardyian

beardyian

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Day 2 Chip Count & Final Table Players

Down to the Final 8

Go the Brits :) Mr Joe & Gary Jones
 

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reglardave

reglardave

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Kirk Morrison's been showing up a lot of places lately. Now there's a guy that took a REAL hiatus.
 
beardyian

beardyian

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The Result

WSOPE, Event 1 - £2,500 HORSE: Thomas Bihl Captures First-Ever WSOP Europe Bracelet

September 09, 2007
John 'Falstaff' Hartness

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Eight players with nine WSOP bracelets among them returned to the Empire Casino in London on Saturday to vie for the first-ever World Series of Poker Europe bracelet. The field of 105 top players had narrowed to the final eight, with Jen Harman starting the day with the chip lead in one of the toughest final tables in recent memory. By the end of the day a former World Champion, an environmentalist with green hair and a Hendon Mobster would all be left watching the action as Thomas 'Buzzer' Bihl took down the £2,500 HORSE event, collecting the historic first WSOP Europe bracelet and £70,875 in first-place money.

As Bihl said before the final table, "It's not the easiest field I will ever face but I'm so happy to get this far in a field of 105 of the best players in the world. I think I have every chance now. A few key pots and I could be the first WSOP Europe bracelet winner." Bihl picked up more than a few of those key pots on his way to his first WSOP bracelet and victory in the inaugural WSOP Europe event.

Bihl started the day in the middle of the pack. The final-table chip counts and seat assignments looked like this:

Seat 1: Jennifer Harman — 204,000
Seat 2: Gary Jones — 30,000
Seat 3: Joe Beevers — 74,500
Seat 4: Kirk Morrison — 172,500
Seat 5: Thomas Bihl — 130,500
Seat 6: Yuval Bronshtein — 185,500
Seat 7: Alex Kravchenko — 114,500
Seat 8: Chris Ferguson — 142,500

Gary 'The Choirboy' Jones lasted less than one orbit before all his chips got in the middle for the last time. The British poker pro, who dyed his hair bright green for the WSOP Europe to raise awareness of global warming and climate change, raised pre-flop with
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, and Chris 'Jesus' Ferguson called from the big bling. On the flop of
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, Jones bet and Ferguson check-raised. Jones called, then called all in when Ferguson led out on the
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turn. Ferguson held 8-9 for a pair of eights with a straight draw, and got his straight on the river with a seven, sending Jones to the rail in eighth place with £9,188.

Joe 'The Elegance' Beevers was well-known to British poker fans from his performances on Late Night Poker, and had home-field advantage in his home town of London. That wasn't enough to hold off Kirk Morrison in the second Hold'em round of the day. Beevers was eliminated in seventh place when Morrison turned an ace-high flush to send the dapper Englishman to the rail, collecting £11,812 for his finish.

Shortly after Beevers hit the rail, he was followed by Atlanta native Yuval Bronshtein, when Bronshtein ran into Thomas Bihl in Razz with 2-9-3-2 showing. Bronshtein bet out all the way until Bihl check-raised on sixth once Bronshtein paired his deuce. Bronshtein called all in on seventh and turned over a nine-low, which was no good against Bihl's 8-7-5-3-A, sending Bronshtein home in sixth place with £14,438.

After eliminating Bronshtein, Bihl moved up into the middle of the pack as Alex Kravchenko tried to make something happen with his short stack. Kravchenko picked up his first WSOP bracelet this summer in the $1,500 Omaha-8 event, and finished fourth in the Main Event, so he was no stranger to the pressure of WSOP play. He was eliminated in fifth place during Omaha-8 play here by Kirk Morrison's
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on a board of
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ks.gif
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. All the chips went in on the turn, when Kravchenko's
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was slightly ahead of Morrison's flush draw and low draw. The
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on the river made Morrison's flush and nut low, and sent Kravchenko home with £17,850 for three days' work. Morrison picked up a slight chip lead on that hand, and the chip stacks looked like this at the beginning of four-handed play:

Kirk Morrison — 310,000
Jennifer Harman — 305,000
Chris Ferguson — 230,000
Thomas Bihl — 210,000

Morrison increased his chip lead as the dinner break passed, moving into a major chip lead shortly after dinner, as former chip leader Jennifer Harman slid dangerously close to elimination. Ferguson, though, was the first to be eliminated after dinner when he ran into Thomas Bihl's kings in the hole in Stud Hi and didn't improve to win. Bihl's kings held up through seventh, and the 2000 World Champion was eliminated in fourth place for £21,700. As three-handed play began, Morrison still held a massive chip lead over the other two competitors:

Kirk Morrison — 685,000
Thomas Bihl — 280,000
Jennifer Harman — 75,000

But a little luck and a lot of determination go a long way in limit poker, and Harman was determined not to let her night end early. She clawed her way back from the brink of elimination over nearly three hours of three-handed play to pull back into contention, and then past Morrison for second position in chips as Thomas Bihl took over the chip lead. Finally, as the night wore on, Harman sent Morrison off in third place during Stud Hi/Lo action. Morrison brought it in, and called when Harman completed. Morrison called Harman's bet on fourth, fifth and sixth street, ending up all in on sixth. Morrison turned up a pair of fours and a draw to an 8-7 low. Harman was ahead with her jacks and no low draw, and Morrison missed his low and didn't improve his high on seventh street. Morrison collected £26,250 for his performance.

It took over 100 hands of heads-up play and several lead swaps before Bihl took down the final hand during Hold'em play and claimed his first WSOP bracelet. On a flop of
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, both Bihl and Harman checked. Harman check-raised the turn
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, and Bihl called on a draw with an open-ended straight draw and a flush draw. Harman's tens and sevens couldn't hold up when a six on the river made Bihl's 10-high straight and brought him the first WSOP Europe bracelet ever.
Here is the final-table finishing order:

1. Thomas Bihl £70,875
2. Jennifer Harman £40,688
3. Kirk Morrison £26,250
4. Chris "Jesus" Ferguson £21,700
5. Alex Kravchenko £17,850
6. Yuval Bronshtein £14,438
7. Joe Beevers £11,812
8. Gary Jones £9,188

Bihl, sponsored by http://www.pokernews.com/betfair-poker/Betfair (also the official sponsor of the WSOP Europe) said, "It's every poker player's dream to win a bracelet," in an interview shortly after winning the event. "I hope the good run continues."


Pot Limit Omaha has now begun >>>>>>>
 
beardyian

beardyian

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PLO Day 1 chip count

If the more chips you have the louder you get - bring those ear plugs, Tony G is chip leader :eek:
 

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beardyian

beardyian

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PLO Winner

WSOPE, Event 2 - £5,000 Omaha: Alioto Claims Bracelet

September 10, 2007
Amy Calistri

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Dario 'Ryu' Alioto won the £5,000 Pot Limit Omaha event at the WSOPE, scoring his first bracelet and becoming the third Italian ever to claim WSOP gold. Alioto just missed his first bracelet earlier this year when he made the final table of the 2007 WSOP $1,500 Omaha hi/lo event, finishing in sixth place. He also cashed in the 2007 WSOP $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha event. Alioto started Day Two second in chips, nipping at chip leader Jon Persson's heels. But Alioto would have to play a long night, and into the next day, before the bracelet was his.

Day Two started with 48 players remaining. They would still have to lose a majority of the field before they made the money, let alone the final table.

The start of play gave the false illusion that the day might play quickly when four players were lost within the first 20 minutes. Bruno Fitoussi had two second-place finishes in prior WSOP events, including the 2007 $50,000 HORSE event. But the bridesmaid wasn't even going to make the wedding party in this event, as he was in that first wave of departures to the rail.

The second wave to depart claimed well-known players Allen Cunningham, Chris Bjorin, Eli Elizra and Brandon Adams. David "Devilfish" Ulliott was in danger of joining them, but managed to double up his short stack twice in the first hour and a half of play. Tony G was another player that was able to improve his chances in the early going. Starting with a decent stack, Tony G scored a double up against Rafi Amit, placing him among the chip leaders.

The Devilfish's luck finally ran out. Jesse Jones, Kenny Tran and Jani Sointula also lost the race to the money. Will Hayden became the designated bubble boy, after only three hours of play. It would take another four hours before the final table was set. Martin Vallo, Ted Forrest, Rafi Amit, Rupert Houston, Andreas Hagen, John Duthie, Ted Lawson, and Roland de Wolfe all fell in succession. Jon Persson had started Day Two as chip leader, but was down to a single chip with the final table bubble yet to be determined. Persson temporarily quadrupled up on quad aces, but in the very next hand, the bloom was off the rose and Persson was the event's tenth-place finisher.

The chip counts going into the final table were:

Sherkhan Farnood – 651,000
Istvan Novak - 480,000
Dario Alioto – 397,000
Antoine Arnault – 391,000
Andy Bloch – 376,000
Tony G – 281, 000
Dave Callaghan – 271,000
Sampo Lopponen – 247,000
M H Razaghi – 153,000

Razaghi was the short stack going into the final table and couldn't beat the odds. He finished in ninth place when his two pair couldn't improve against Alioto's turned flush. A flopped two pair was also Andy Bloch's undoing as he ran into Farnood's flopped set. Bloch finished in eighth place. Tony G was the short stack and a likely candidate for next out. But Tony got it all in against Farnood and Tony's A-A-x-x held up against Farnoo's K-K-x-x to score the double up. Instead it would be Sampo Lopponen that would take seventh, falling at the hands of Dario Alioto.

Sherkhan Farnood entered the final table as chip leader and demonstrated from the outset that he was willing to tangle. Unfortunately for Farnood, he tangled with Alioto holding a flopped top pair of jacks, when Alioto was sitting with an overpair of aces. Sherkhan Farnood finished in sixth place and Alioto had the chip lead. Alioto also was responsible for Antoine Arnault's fifth-place finish. David Callaghan looked like he picked a good hand to go up against Alioto. It was Callaghan's A-K-K-5 vs. Alioto's A-K-J-5. But when the board of A-10-10-3-Q played out, Alioto had a Broadway straight and Callaghan had a fourth-place finish. After a long three-way battle, Tony G finally succumbed to Alioto, finishing in third place.

It had been a long, long day to reach heads-up, but Dario Alioto's daunting 7-to-1 chip advantage over Istvan Novak indicated it might soon come to an end. After six hands of play, Novak had to settle for second place and £137,280. Dario Alioto had prevailed after 15 hours of play, scoring his first WSOP bracelet and £234,390.
 
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