Master Classics Of Poker 2003, Amsterdam
€200 Texas Hold'em Limit
Report by Joe on Monday, 3 November 2003 at 12:12 pm

The first event of the The Master Classics of Poker (MCOP) was the 200 Euro Limit Hold-em with one re-buy. Limit is not my best game but I am determined to improve it and add a limit trophy to the collection at some point. This was not to be the tournament as neither I nor the other members of The Mob proved a factor on this occasion.

We were invited for dinner with Peter Voolstra last night. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the former Mobster of the Month the success of the MCOP is largely due to Peter’s work over the last ten years or so for Holland Casinos. It was also Peter who had the great idea of distributing the added prize money the way it is. Usually when a casino or sponsor adds money to an event they add it to the total prize pool or to first prize. There have also been instances of tangible prizes such as cars or holidays. This enables the event to have a bigger headlining first prize. Peter’s idea was to distribute the added money equally between the players that just finish out of the official prize money. Prize money at the MCOP is paid for the last two tables, first through eighteenth. With the added money players finishing anywhere nineteenth through thirtieth in any of the MCOP events get their buy-in returned. This way over sixty players can benefit throughout the week instead of just a few and the first prize in the Euro 3000 LIDO main event will not be inconsiderable either.

This added prize money is in addition to the freeroll provided by Holland Casinos where seven players win a 3000 Euro seat and three others satellite entries. It was during the freeroll that I found myself sat on the same table as former Irish Open Champion, Alan Betson. In a space of a couple of hours we seemed to have an extraordinary number of pairs of aces shown and in a certain half hour period we witnessed aces versus kings no less than four times. On the fourth occasion the guy that had the kings called all-in reluctantly pre-flop as he feared the worse and Alan announced, ‘I’m going home to play on the internet, it’s more realistic!’

As the relationship between online and offline poker seems to continually close I also witnessed something that would never have happened in a casino five years ago. At live festivals you see tournaments, satellites and full live action games, occasionally short handed but rarely if ever heads up. Last night though Erik ‘King of Ding’ Sagstrom, reportedly one of the biggest ever winners online, was playing Australian Jeff Lissandro 200 Euro / 400 Euro heads up and just like online there were several ‘(obs)’ watching.

Johan Storakers tells me that when they play at his hometown in Sweden some of the players are now using online-isms (is that a word yet?) in live games such as ‘brb’ or ‘nh’.

I find it kind of strange then that I am writing this diary from my hotel room in the NH Hotel !

Final Results 200 Euro Limit Holdem
Entrants: 220 Rebuys: 165
Prize pool: EUR 77,000
Added prize money: EUR 2,400
Total prize pool: EUR 79,400

1. Xiang Dong Yang, Netherlands, EUR 30,493
2. Alexander Tarasenko, Russia, EUR 15,246
3. Erich Kollmann, Austria, EUR 7,623
4. Marcus Neuhöffer, Germany, EUR 4,955
5. Paul Parker, England, EUR 3,812
6. Gilbert de Bouvère, Netherlands, EUR 2,668
7. Joseph Noujeim, Germany, EUR 1,906
8. David Turnbull, Scotland, EUR 1,525
9. Luo Shi Guang, Austria, EUR 1,143
10. Robert Binelli, Israel, EUR 915
11. Hans Mulder, Netherlands, EUR 915