An unusually large contingent of Aussies have made the trek to Europe in pursuit of one of the major titles up for grabs. On day 1A of the £5250 EPT London Main Event, four Australians survived the first eight levels of play – Andrew Hinrichsen (71,100), Simon Taberham (68,600), Jonathan Karamalikis (45,200) and Daniel Neilson (12,800).
Joe Hachem (pictured left) topped the list of Australians after ending day 1B with 87,100 ahead of Con Tzerefos (45,000) and Kyle Cheong (14,800).
They were among the 417 players who’ll return for day two of the 691 players who started day one. Poland’s Lukasz Golczyk (211,600) was the chip leader ahead of Benny Spindler (Germany, 160,800), Rajesh Vohra (USA, 156,600), Mustapha Kanit (Italy, 152,200) and Umberto Vitagliano (Italy, 143,600).
• Once the EPT London title is decided, it’s off to the south of France the fifth annual World Series of Poker Europe, which makes its French debut in the famed seaside resort of Cannes, France from October 7-20.
The 14-day schedule includes seven gold bracelet events, the Caesars Cup specialty event featuring the best players for the USA and Europe, plus an additional 51 side events.
One of the most intriguing events is a “split-format” tournament where players will play day 1 of this No Limit Hold’em event nine-handed, day 2 six-handed, and the remainder of the tournament as a heads-up format.
The €10,400 WSOPE Main Event Championship kicks-off with day 1 flights on October 15 and 16, with the final table on October 20. Click here for the full WSOPE schedule.
• In 10 years of the World Poker Tour, no female player has won an open event. Cecilia Pescaglini looked set to put that statistic right as she took the chip lead into the final day of the WPT Malta Main Event at The Casino at Portomaso.
She led the field when the TV final table kicked off and was still in front when she sat down to face Matt Gianetti heads-up for the first prize of €200,000. The young Italian player won the first five hands but any chances of being the first ever-female WPT Champion were dashed after she called an all-in holding Qs Td on a Tc 8h 2c board.
Giannetti was holding 9c 7d for the open ended straight draw and the Js on the river sent Giannetti into exultation and Pescaglini into a floods of tears.
WPT Malta Main Event
1 Matt Giannetti (USA) €200,000
2 Cecilia Pescaglini (Italy) €116,700
3 Filippo Bianchini (Italy) €76,820
4 Simon Trumper (UK) €53,430
5 Tristan Clemencon (France) €39,810
6 Fabien Sartoris (France) €30,730
• There’s a sure way to win a No Limit Hold’em title, and that’s never to have your entire stack in play. That’s exactly how Bahbak “Bobby” Oboodi cruised to victory in the WPT Borgata Poker Open. While the players around him at the Season X Borgata Poker Open final table were forced to repeatedly put their tournament life at risk, Oboodi made it through the entire final table ever being all-in and outchipped. He cruised to his first WPT title as well as a $922,441 payday.
Jin Hwang actually took the chip lead early on in heads-up play and was neck and neck with Oboodi until the sudden end to the tournament. All the chips were in the middle on a board of 7s 6s 6c Js board. Hwang moved all-in with Kc Jh for jacks and sixes while Oboodi called with Qs 2s for a flush. Hwang did not fill up with the 3s on the river.
WPT Borgata Poker Open
1 Bobby Oboodi (USA) $922,441
2 Jin Hwang (USA) $554,303
3 Daniel Buzgon (USA) $335,433
4 Fred Goldberg (USA) $280,925
5 Darren Elias (USA) $230,610
6 Ricky Hale (UK) $186,585
• Things started out with a bang at Horseshoe Southern Indiana as Mark “Pegasus” Smith captured his fifth Circuit gold ring. He surpassed Men “The Master” Nguyen and Chris Reslock and now stands alone in the history books as the all-time Circuit ring winner.
In April 2007, Nguyen set the bar at four rings with his Circuit victory at Caesars Indiana. Four years later Smith found himself at the very same venue (renamed Horseshoe Southern Indiana) three-handed with a colossal chip lead. Playing out the tournament was merely a formality as Smith muscled his way through the remaining two players to take home the gold ring.
A close relative of the coveted WSOP gold bracelet, the WSOP Circuit gold ring is the most prestigious prize awarded on the World Series of Poker Circuit. To earn one, players must navigate their way through large fields of battle-tested opponents. Smith’s victory came after two days of gruelling poker that included a nine-hour final table.