World Series of Poker Europe Final Table Set
Thursday, 1 October 2009
It’s been a bloody dramatic week at The Empire, with rollercoaster chip stacks and the cream of the poker crop doing battle across the felt. Now, the 334 entrants have been bluffed, rivered and coolered down to just nine remaining men.
And what a nine! At the final table we have a remarkable roster of players all bearing great poker resumes. James Akenhead and Antoine Saout join Ivan Demidov in proving that a November Nine spot pretty much guarantees a WSOPE final table; while Daniel Negreanu has made it two on the trot – in fact, it’s his third WSOPE final table in two years.
The following players have reached the final table of the 2009 Betfair World Series of Poker Europe £10,000 No-Limit Hold ‘em Main Event:
Jason Mercier (3,198,000)
London is this guy’s lucky city. Actually, scratch that – he did win the £20,000 EPT London High Roller event last year for over £500,000, but any city is this guy’s lucky city.
In the past two years Mercier has been on fire – in 2008 he bested Dario Minieri and William Thorson to an EPT San Remo victory and almost €1m; he later won over €200,000 for a 6th place finish in the EPT Barcelona.
Then, he managed to make a WSOPE 2008 final table, coming 8th in the £5,000 PLO event. In 2009, he won the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event at the World Series of Poker in Vegas before decimating the field here to wind up at the final table with almost a third of the 10,000,000 chips in play.
James Akenhead (1,398,000)
Akenhead is one of the rising stars of British poker, proving it here with a great show on home soil. The fact that he’s not chip leader is down only to Jason Mercier displaying both superhuman skill and luck.
The Full Tilt red pro’s biggest WSOP cash prior to this year was at the 2008 WSOP in the $1,500 Hold ‘em event – he finished second after his AK was cruelly outdrawn by T4o, taking home $520,000.
Akenhead is also notably a November Niner at the World Series of Poker, albeit as the shortstack. Nevertheless, he is guaranteed the better part of £1,000,000 even were he to finish in 9th place on both sides of the Atlantic.
Praz Bansi (1,160,000)
The 11th Briton to win a World Series of Poker bracelet with his 2006 victory in the $1,000 NLHE event. He has also had a great 2009 – the past year has seen him make three cashes at the WSOP worth over $50,000; he also took down the $5k NLHE event at the Five Star Poker Classic back in April.
Both he and James Akenhead are members of the Hit Squad, who seem to be absolutely crushing tournaments around the UK with GUKPT victories and now this – hands against Akenhead will be very intriguing given how well they know each other.
Barry Shulman (1,090,000)
This must be a first – the father of WSOP November Niner Jeff Shulman is sitting at the final table of the concurrent WSOPE Main Event. That is freaky, but I don’t fancy playing against Jeff Shulman Jr. when he hits casinos – they’ve got some good genes.
Shulman Senior, the CEO of CardPlayer magazine, has a WPT final table under his belt and over $1,600,000 in live tournament earnings.
Markus Ristola (784,000)
Finnish poker player (that phrase is getting more and more common these days) Markus Ristola is no stranger to big final tables, with a win in the 2009 Helsinki Freezeout and a second place finish in the Irish Open PLO event behind him already this year. However, this might be a little bigger than he’s used to – the ninth-place prize would double his $100,000 live tournament earnings.
Antoine Saout (701,000)
It only gets better. The French pro is probably the only player in the world who can say he is at three live final tables at once – not only has he made the infamous WSOP November Nine in addition to this event (we’ll have to call it “pulling a Demidov”) but he is also chip leader at the delayed final table of the Partouche Poker Tour. Nice work indeed.
Matt Hawrilenko (674,000)
The Fixed-Limit Hold ‘em specialist plays at the highest stakes online under the nickname HOSS_TBF and already has eight WSOP cashes behind him and literally millions in online earnings. He is a red pro at Full Tilt Poker alongside James Akenhead.
Chris Bjorin (518,000)
Swedish Chris has over $4,000,000 in lifetime tournament earnings. The oldest player at our final table, Bjorin is first on the Swedish all-time money list for poker tournaments, and 64th overall. He cashed in this year’s Main Event at the WSOP and also made the final table last week in Event #2 of this present WSOPE.
Daniel Negreanu (438,000)
It’s irritating that we’ve been writing less and less about players as their stacks diminish and yet there’s so much to say about PokerStars PRO Negreanu. To summarise – this is his third WSOPE final table in two years and second consecutive Main Event final table; he has four WSOP bracelets and is one of the most loved and respected pros out there. If anyone can win this thing from a shortstack, he can.
First place in the WSOPE Main Event is £801,000. Here are the final table payouts and also those who fell short of that last hurdle:
Eric Liu £51,536
Keith Hawkins £ 51,536
Thomas Bichon £ 51,536
Tony Cousineau £ 40,481
Teddy Sheringham £ 40,481
Ram Vaswani £ 40,481
Saar Wilf £31,198
Doyle Brunson £ 31,198
Sandor Demjan £ 31,198
Craig Brugess £ 25,918
Steven Fung £ 25,918
Konstantin Bücherl £ 25,918
Liz Lieu £25,918
Arnaud Mattern £ 25,918
Peter Gould £ 25,918
Yevgeniy Timoshenko £ 25,918
Men Nguyen £ 25,918
Andre Akkari £ 25,918
John Kabbaj £ 21,142
Christian Harder £ 21,142
Christian Kruel £ 21,142
Tommy Pavlicek £ 21,142
Steve Zolotow £ 21,142
Michael Fosco £ 21,142
Oyvind Riisem £ 21,142
Dave Ulliott £ 21,142
David Docherty £ 21,142