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Premier League III - Part II

by Warren Lush |  Published: Mar 02, 2009


November 26, 2008

Tom Dwan, Nenad Medic, J.C. Tran, and Peter EastgateThis evening I went out for a meal with Tom "Durrrr" Dwan, Nenad Medic, and event organizer Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport. The location is Nobu in Berkeley Square. Dwan orders randomly from the menu and I soon find myself with a glass of red and white wine, a mixing trick I don't like to do. The Devilfish soon arrives and Dwan just keeps ordering even though the Fish has eaten and everyone says they don't want anything. Durrrr took the aggression he usually shows on the poker table to high end restaurant ordering - no surprise there. The night before he wanted to go to a club but had no shoes only "sneakers." Luckily, I was able to lend him mine as we were around the same size. Hellmuth had to lend his to Nenad Medic but the 11-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner didn't want them back because that would be unlucky. I wasn't so fussy but perhaps if Dwan was in my shoes I could be in his the next time I play online. I would settle with winning just one pot of $700,000. That would do!

November 27

The tournament so far has really been about two men - J.C. Tran and Peter Eastgate. The new $9 million world champion is a great guy, as is his brother Casper. The debate is raging in the green room - all the usual stuff about catching cards etc... A few times commentator Jesse May exclaims, "Welcome to the world of Peter Eastgate," but there is no doubting the ability of the guy. The other players are finding it so hard to read him and he looks a certainty for the final table. He's been a great addition to the Premier League and in him, Dwan, and Devilfish, the Hellmuth-baiters are out in major force.

It wasn't a great week for the Devilfish, so many times he had the cards on their backs in a race, but he wasn't getting the rub of the green at all. There is little doubt that he was one of the most dangerous players in the League and quite frankly he deserves a break in this format. Nenad Medic also fell victim to misfortune at the wrong times. As the winner of a bracelet at one of the strongest final tables at the WSOP in 2008, and with a huge World Poker Tour championship in the bag, he was one of the favourites. It just didn't fall right for 'the Serb' this time around though.

This evening I sat down with Jesse May, his wife Mickey the official photographer, Hellmuth, and Nenad. Phil orders us a glass of the most expensive brandy in the house which certainly has a warming effect. Luckily, I wasn't paying.

November 28

The day of the final and it turned into a deserving victory for J.C. Tran. After his performances all week he deserved it. Tony G finishes runner-up after progressing through the heads-up play-offs and he is in great form as he accumulates a massive stack. He sings, "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands." Tony G is always great value, particularly when he has chips and the verbals start flying. He got close, but you always felt that the cool presence of Tran was likely to eventually strike, and it did. Surprisingly, Eastgate went out first.

That night Tran throws a winning party at a local nightclub. Hellmuth has his iPod in case the music doesn't meet his satisfaction, and U.S. star Kid Rock and the Australian Rugby Union team are on the tables either side of us. J.C. is a great guy - if you look at his tournament record, it is amazing. It is scary the amount of times he came close with huge cashes before nailing his WSOP bracelet and WPT titles. For Tony G, the second place goes with his third place in season two. Next time, he has to be favourite to triumph. There will be some amazing sequences to watch on television - keep your eyes out in particular for a heads-up battle between Tran and Hellmuth in the heat stages. It is must see television!