Poker News Round-up
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Poker News Round-up: Week #12
Two interesting pieces of information regarding the World Series Of Poker Europe were released this week, the first of which was the dates for this year’s events. The 2008 series will take place from September 19th to October 1st, and as with last year’s events The Sportsman, Fifty and The Empire in Leicester Square will be the venues. The schedule has not yet been released but we can see that this year’s festival is scheduled to run for a few days longer than in 2007. Whether that means that organisers are just expecting larger fields this time around or whether another event might be added, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Secondly, we now know when we will finally get to see television coverage of the 2007 tournaments. From April 21st all three events (£2,500 HORSE, £5,000 pot limit Omaha and the £10,000 no limit hold’em main event) will be screened over eight consecutive nights on Sky Sports 3 culminating in Annette Obrestad’s historic victory in the championship event.
Runner up that day was young Englishman John Tabatabai who picked up over a million dollars for his efforts, and whilst his latest cash is no match for that he does at least now have a major live tournament win under his belt. The All Africa Poker tournaments have not generated a great deal of interest outside of Africa but Tabatabai decided it was worth a trip to Swaziland to take part, and it turned out to be a good decision. An aggressive style of play saw him make the final table, whereupon he then eliminated all nine of his opponents including Raymond Rahme who finished third. For this win Tabatabai collected one million South African rand - equivalent to around £61,100.
Meanwhile Europe and America were hosting big tournaments of their own at the EPT Warsaw and WPT San Jose main events. The WPT event was Bay 101’s Shooting Stars tournament which sadly featured neither the dove from above nor Donald Cox the sweaty fox, but instead saw $5,000 bounties placed on the heads of 24 of the 376 entrants who were nominated as star players. A few players managed to take out more than one bounty including Brandon Cantu who also collected a $10,000 bonus for being chip leader at the end of day 1a, meaning he was already in profit well before the paid positions were reached. The bonuses on offer were one unusual feature of this tournament, and another was that when play was reduced to 36 players the tournament was restarted on day three with six handed tables from then on.
Having made a questionable call to inflict a rivered bad beat on Joe Hachem, Brandon Cantu seemed to sense that it was his day and played like a man for whom only first place would suffice, winning an incredible seventeen consecutive pots at one point to reclaim the chip lead. The rush continued right to the end of the day for Cantu who eliminated JC Tran on the final hand of day three when pocket aces versus pocket kings both improved to give Cantu a set over set victory which meant a final table had been reached.
Having picked up bounties on Bill Edler, John Juanda, Phil Laak, Joe Hachem and JC Tran there was an opportunity for Cantu to pick up one final bonus payment in the shape of the last remaining shooting star Jennifer Harman. A flopped set of nines for Cantu was enough to take that last bounty when he eliminated Harman in third place, and in doing so he stacked up a 4:1 chip lead with which to take on Steve Sung heads up. A big early pot for Cantu with a set of jacks further increased his domination and there was to be no miracle turnaround for Sung as Cantu closed the tournament to collect his $1,000,000 prize.
A similar number of players paid 20,000 zloty (£4274) to enter the Polish EPT main event at the Hyatt Regency Casino in Warsaw. Whilst there was not quite the wealth of famous players on show here compared to the Shooting Stars tournament, EPT events generally have pretty tough fields as Greg Raymer and Sorel Mizzi both found out with early eliminations for the pair of them.
As players crashed out around them, Trond Eidsvig and Thierry van den Berg both resolutely stayed put in their seats to jointly record a new record of cashing in four EPT main events in a season, and with two events left there is a decent chance one of them could even make it to five for the year. Eidsvig’s achievement is at the moment the more impressive seeing as three of those four cashes have been final tables.
As usual with EPT events there was a good mix of players and the final table of nine featured seven different nationalities, with the chip leader coming from Germany in the shape of Michael Schulze. Second in chips was Portugal’s Ricardo Sousa and after a lengthy final table, these two found themselves heads up against one another. Just as with the previous EPT event in Copenhagen the final elimination was a long time coming, but eventually all the chips went in the middle pre-flop with Schulze holding A 6 versus Sousa’s 7 7. An ace on the turn brought heartbreak for Sousa, but for Schulze it meant an extra $946,269 as the new EPT Warsaw champion.
Next up on the tournament trail is the Irish Open which will be paid a visit by poker legend Doyle Brunson, along with fellow former world champion Dan Harrington. They will be joined by many of the best players from this side of Atlantic including the Hendon Mob, all looking for a big payday with a €3 million prize pool guaranteed.
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