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News, Reviews and Interviews From Around The Poker World

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Jan 01, 2010


Joe Cada
Joe Cada Claims World Series Victory
Darvin Moon was seven outs from winning the_ World Series of Poker_ main event championship, but it wasn’t meant to be for the 46-year-old everyman from Maryland.

Instead, the title belongs to 21-year-old online professional Joseph Cada, who eclipsed Peter Eastgate’s record for youngest main event winner in poker history.

The win was anything but easy for the Michigan native, who at times seemed resigned to his fate of finishing runner-up to the more inexperienced Moon.
But experience ultimately prevailed and it was Cada’s calm under pressure that allowed him to keep a level head and eventually take it down.

Europe’s hopes were riding on James Akenhead from the UK who was first out and Antoine Saout from France who came third.

The final table payouts were:
First Joseph Cada $8,546,435
Second Darvin Moon $5,182,601
Third Antoine Saout $3,479,485
Fourth Eric Buchman $2,502,787
Fifth Jeff Shulman $1,953,395
Sixth Steven Begleiter $1,587,133
Seventh Phil Ivey $1,404,002
Eighth Kevin Schaffel $1,300,228
Ninth James Akenhead $1,263,602

See the feature in this issue on how the final table of the World Series of Poker main event played out in all its drama. Spade Suit

German Wins International Poker Open
This year’s International Poker Open saw an even bigger field of 1,440, meaning it once again broke the record for the biggest poker tournament ever held outside of America. With many big names in attendance such as Padraig Parkinson, Marty Smyth, and Surinder Sunar, scattered among players of all levels from all over the world, it was German Markus Sippe who scooped the top prize in the end.
Markus Sippe
Heads up versus Irishman Jaye Renehan, Sippe’s victory was soon to come as less than 10 minutes into play, he found himself calling Renehan’s all in with A-4. Renehan held 5-4 and after the five cards dropped, the big cheque was handed to Sippe to bring home to his current residence in Luxembourg. He earned $62,250 from the $350,000 prize pool, while Renehan picked up $47,490 for his runner-up finish.

The final table payouts were:
First Markus Sippe $62,250
Second Jaye Renehan $47,490
Third Mark Troy $33,208
Fourth Cat O’Neill $24,736
Fifth Gary Cavazza $19,425
Sixth Colin Rutherford $16,187
Seventh Stephen Egan $12,950
Eighth Sean Venny $9,712
Ninth Martin Dunne $6,335

The $225 + $25 buy-in event took place in the Regency Hotel in Dublin, Ireland from Oct. 16-18. added $27,000 to the prize pool. See the feature on the event in this issue. Spade Suit

Bambos Beats Heads-Up Competition
The Littlewoods Poker World Heads-Up Poker Championship title this year goes to Cyprus with Bambos Xanthos easing his way to victory at the end of October. The £3,000 buy-in event attracted 42 players, creating a prize pool of £126,000 and in the end the Cypriot pro outshone his opponents and took home the £65,000 top prize.

The final payouts were:
Bambos Xanthos (Cyprus) £65,000
James Mitchell (England) £30,000
Victor V. Ilyukhin (Russia) £15,500
Laurence Houghton (England) £15,500
See feature in this issue for a full report. Spade Suit

France Takes Down Warsaw
Christophe Benzimra from France took just under eight hours to win the 2009 PokerStars European Poker Tour Warsaw main event final table, and he was awarded €358,644 in prize money. He came into the final table sixth in chips and outlasted the competition, including Team PokerStars pro Luca Pagano (who Benzimra busted in fourth place). The tournament win was a first for Benzimra, who took out four of his opponents at the final table, and it was just the fourth cash in his poker career.
Christophe Benzimra
Pagano added to a few of his records at this final table. It was his 12th EPT cash and his fifth EPT final table, both of which are the most ever.

The final table payouts were:
First Christophe Benzimra €358,644
Second Alfio Battisti €200,520
Third Oleksandr Vaserfirer €120,311
Fourth Luca Pagano €85,938
Fifth Ruslan Prydryk €71,041
Sixth Clayton Mozdzen €56,144
Seventh Alexander Klimashin €44,687
Eighth Anatoly Gurtovoy €32,082

Phil Laak Licks World Open Field
Phil “The Unabomber” Laak has been crowned champion of the World Open V after beating 47 opponents including a tough final table. The event ran from Oct. 11-15 and saw many big names and familiar faces such as Tom “Durrrr” Dwan, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, J.P. Kelly, Teddy Sheringham, Andrew Feldman, Roland De Wolfe, and Marty Smyth.

In the end it was Laak who walked away with the lion’s share of the prize pool, taking home $250,000 from the Palm Beach Casino in Mayfair, London. He beat Austrian computer science student Jan Veit heads up when after crippling him with A-8 versus A-4, Laak raised with Q-9, Veit moved all in with J-7, and Laak called. Nothing came for anyone on the board and Laak’s queen-high gave him the victory.

Laak, who made a successful comeback after getting shortstacked early on in the event, said, “This was a wild roller coaster ride and I am proud to have shared it with this amazing cast of characters. They were a tough bunch. Wow — what an honor.”
Phil Laak
The final table payouts were:
First Phil Laak $250,000
Second Jan Veit $100,000
Third Luke Schwartz $40,000
Fourth Bodo Sbrzesny $30,000
Fifth Jennifer Tilly $25,000
Sixth Mike Sexton $20,000
Seventh Andy Black $15,000

The World Open IV champion was Marty Smyth after he beat a 72-strong field to lift the trophy and $250,000 last year. Spade Suit

Local Lifts Irish Winter Festival Title
The Irish Winter Festival drew the best of Irish talent and indeed a good sprinkling of international flair to the Citywest Hotel in Dublin at the end of October. The all-important Irish Masters played out over three days and saw 398 players taking part in the €1,650 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event.

In the early hours of the morning, it was Michael O’Sullivan who took home the top prize of €143,000 from the total prize pool of €597,000. The young student beat Michael Murphy heads-up when his A-K dominated Murphy’s pocket jacks with an ace on the river.

Murphy took home €88,500 for his second place finish.

The final table payouts were:
First Michael O’Sullivan €143,000
Second Michael Murphy €88,500
Third Gary Mealy €55,300
Fourth Matej Kokalj €44,800
Fifth Igor Kurganov €35,900
Sixth Stephen Devlin €28,400
Seventh Paul Dooley €22,400
Eighth Graham Masters €17,900
Ninth John Cassidy €13,500

The seventh place finisher was also the IWF Sole Survivor. Paul Dooley outlasted 61 other online qualifiers and became the new owner of a sponsorship package worth €20,000. Spade Suit

PokerStars Signs Pro, Announces Tour Dates
PokerStars has signed Irishman Jude “J. Thaddeus” Ainsworth as its latest Team PRO. He now becomes part of its expanding UK and Ireland PRO’s team and will be playing in the new UK and Ireland Poker Tour comprising nine events over 11 months.

In 2008, he won the Irish Poker Championship for a nice payday of €145,000 and then did one better this year by taking down the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker main event for a whopping $963,338.

Elsewhere in PokerStars land, chief executive of the European Poker Tour, John Duthie, recently announced the second half of the tour schedule for EPT season six. The events include well-loved stops such as Copenhagen, Prague, and of course the grand final in Monte Carlo, but the new addition of EPT Snowfest in the Austrian Alps should provoke even more interest in the increasingly popular tour.
Jude Ainsworth
The new event will take place in Saalbach-Hinterglemm from Mar. 21-26.

The schedule for the rest of the season:
Jan. 4-14 — PokerStars Caribbean Adventure
Jan. 20-25 — EPT Deauville
Feb. 16-21 — EPT Copenhagen
Mar. 2-7 — EPT Germany
Mar. 21-26 — EPT Snowfest
Apr. 15-21 — EPT San Remo
Apr. 25-30 — EPT Grand Final Monte Carlo

Savary Savours World Poker Tour Triumph
The third and final day of play at the World Poker Tour Marrakech €4,500 no-limit hold’em championship saw 17 players return to action from the original field of 416. The top prize was €377,262.

With players of the caliber of Ludovic Lacay and Benny Spindler dispatched, Christophe Savary increased his chip lead heading into heads-up play against Eoghan O’Dea (the son of famous poker player Donnacha O’Dea) at the final table.

The heads-up chip counts were:
Savary: 5,060,000
O’Dea: 3,260,000

The final match lasted a half hour. O’Dea won the first hand of consequence between the two, but he was never able to get anything going before the fatal blow. On the final hand, Savary made it 160,000 to go from the button, and O’Dea reraised to 420,000 from the big blind. The flop was dealt ADiamond Suit 9Spade Suit 6Diamond Suit, and O’Dea bet 400,000. Savary raised all in, and O’Dea made the call. Savary flipped over 8Club Suit 7Club Suit, and O’Dea showed down AClub Suit 3Club Suit. The turn and river fell 10Club Suit and QClub Suit, and Savary won the tournament with a straight while O’Dea was eliminated in second place (€262,446). Savary was awarded €377,262 as the champion of the event, and he took home his first major tournament win.

The final table payouts were:
First Christophe Savary €377,262
Second Eoghan O’Dea €262,446
Third Ludovic Lacay €164,182
Fourth Julien Arneodo €105,077
Fifth Adrian Marin €72,240
Sixth Benjamin Spindler €55,828