Nick Slade, a 45-year-old professional player from Preston, Lancashire, enjoyed the biggest win of his career over the weekend when he topped the 72-runner field at the PartyPoker.com European Open IV to lift the $200,000 first prize.
Slade, who almost quit the game in 2007 after his wife fell seriously ill and he sustained a debilitating neck injury, was a 100/1 outsider at PartyBets.com at the start of the tournament.
“This is my biggest cash by quite some way, it’s an amazing feeling,” he said after his victory. “The money will come in very handy, and I intend to take my three kids to Florida on a holiday and get back on the circuit. My wife is over the worst, I just hope this is the start of a new chapter in our lives.”
Slade started the final table fourth in chips and was up against World Series of Poker Europe winner Annette Obrestad, former European Open winner Ian Frazer, Premier League winner Juha Helppi, Josh Tyler, and professional sports-trader Craig Burgess.
Slade triumphed over Burgess when he called an all in with K-3 and found himself up against Q-Q, but a king on the turn thrust him into the lead, and a blank on the river sealed victory.
“I did a lot of work studying Annette before the tournament, because I thought that if I was to get anywhere, she would be there or thereabouts,” he explained. “I basically knew that if she got a lot of chips she would continually try and reraise me with a bag of rubbish, and it proved to be right. I knew that Frazer would try and be the table captain, Helppi would be seriously solid, and Tyler was a good player after encounters in cash games.”
Burgess, who collected $100,000 for second place, was over the moon with his payday. “I was the short-stack going into the final, so finishing second was the best I could have asked for, especially considering the quality players that made the final table.”
The $7,000 buy-in event, organised by Matchroom Sport, will be broadcast on Channel 5 in the UK later this year and distributed internationally. The winner of each of the 12 six-seater heats progressed to a semifinal stage, and, for the first time in the event's history, the runners-up battled it out for the remaining two semifinal spots in “last chance” turbo heats.
- Nick Slade — $200,000
- Craig Burgess — $100,000
- Ian Frazer — $50,000
- Annette Obrestad — $30,000
- Josh Tyler — $25,000
- Juha Helppi — $20,000
Check PartyPoker.com for online qualification to a wide variety of televised events across Europe.