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World Series of Poker Europe

Big Names Bag Bracelets

by Ryan Lucchesi |  Published: Nov 01, 2010

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Event No. 1 — €2,650 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em

The first bracelet event at the 2010 World Series of Poker Europe was given a shot of adrenaline by a marquee champion in London. Phil Laak broke from the ranks of best-player-to-never-win a bracelet by topping 243 competitors in the €2,650 six-handed no-limit hold’em event.

The toughest test for Laak came at the end of the tournament when he battled heads up with Andrew Pantling. The poker professional from Malta came into the final day with the chip lead and he fought with Laak for three hours before the Unabomber picked up his first bracelet.

In addition to the coveted golden prize, Laak also took home €170,802 to add to his $1,119,480 in career prize money.

Here is a look at the chip counts when the final table began:
Andrew Pantling 627,500
Chris Bjorin 368,500
Phil Laak 317,000
David Peters 251,500
Ilan Rouah 200,000
Willie Tann 72,000

The short stack of Willie Tann was in jeopardy from the beginning of the final table. He was able to double up with pocket kings, but the second time he moved all in things did not go as well.

Tann committed the last of his chips with pocket sevens on a 4-3-3 rainbow flop. Pantling made the call with pocket nines and after he faded the 4 and 6 on the turn and river, he grew his chip lead while Tann hit the rail in sixth place (€23,900). Laak scored his first elimination of the day when Ilan Rouah decided to move all-in an hour later with A-10. Laak made the call with J-9 and he came from behind to win the hand on a J-7-3-6-Q board. Rouah was awarded €33,617 for his fifth-place finish.

The next elimination came quickly. All the chips went in on the river of a K♥ Q♠ 2♠ 4♠ 2♣ board after David Peters and Pantling had battled back and forth with a skirmish of bets and raises. Pantling moved all in on the river with K♣ J♦ and Peters made the all-in call with two red eights. Pantling scored a second elimination while Peters took home €48,202 in fourth place.

The battle between Pantling and Laak began to take shape during three-handed play. Pantling won the first battle to reduce Laak’s stack to 255,000, but he rallied back with a bluff. Laak was able to extract 70,000 from Pantling when he bet 110,000 on a J♦ 6♣ 4♥ 7♣ Q♦ board. Pantling mucked and Laak flipped over 10♦ 8♣ as he collected the pot. Even though the battled raged between Laak and Pantling the other player in the three-handed battle was not one to be trifled with either. Londoner Chris Bjorin has some of the most consistent tournament results in the world during the last couple of years and he was on his home turf as well. He was set back by a short stack, but he was able to double up and extend his campaign.

After an hour and a half of three-handed play Bjorin made his final stand. He picked an unfortunate time to make the move and his pocket queens ran into the pocket kings of Laak. The kings made a set and Bjorin was eliminated in third place, which was good for €70,473.

The heads-up chip counts were:
Andrew Pantling: 1,078,000
Phil Laak: 759,000

Instead of minding the gap, as the underground Tube reminds you in London, Laak closed the gap against Pantling during the first half hour of heads-up play. He briefly took the lead and then Pantling stole it back. Laak pulled ahead next and then Pantling fought back to the front once again. They switched places once more time and just to clarify, that made for six lead changes after two-and-a-half hours of heads-up play.
The seventh lead change was the final one, with Laak pulling out in front and holding the lead all the way to the bracelet. On the final hand Pantling raised to 33,000 preflop on the button and Laak reraised all in. Pantling made the all-in call and they flipped over their cards:
Laak: K♦ 5♣
Pantling: A♥ 9♥
Board: 7♥ 4♥ 4♣ 5♦ Q♣

Pantling was eliminated in second place after the hand and he took home €105,506 for his solid runner-up effort. Laak took home the gold bracelet and top prize money of €170,802.
The final table results were:
First Phil Laak €170,802
Second Andrew Pantling €105,506
Third Chris Bjorin €70,473
Fourth David Peters €48,202
Fifth Ilan Rouah €33,617
Sixth Willie Tann €23,900

See the next issue of Card Player for an interview with Phil Laak.

Event No. 2 — €5,250 Pot-Limit Omaha

The hot start at the 2010 World Series of Poker Europe continued in event two when Jeffrey Lisandro topped 119 opponents to win event the €5,250 pot-limit Omaha tournament. He was awarded €159,514 in prize money, but more importantly he added to his impressive gold bracelet collection, claiming a fourth in just over a year, and five for his career. Lisandro took home three bracelets last summer in Las Vegas en route to winning WSOP Player of the Year and he won his first bracelet in 2007. He joins poker legend Stu Ungar and contemporary stars like Ted Forrest, Allen Cunningham, and Chris Ferguson in the five-bracelet club.

Here is how the impressive lineup stacked up when play began at the official final table:
Seat 1 Jeff Madsen
Seat 2 Felipe Ramos
Seat 3 Joseph Serock
Seat 4 John Racener
Seat 5 Jeff Kimber
Seat 6 Willie Tann
Seat 7 Jeff Lisandro
Seat 8 Karl Mahrenholz

Jeff Kimber was the first player to fall from the final eight when he moved all in on a J-5-4 flop with two diamonds. Lisandro moved all in over the top of him and everyone else mucked.
Their cards were:
Kimber: J♣ 10♥ 8♦ 7♥
Lisandro: A♦ A♣ 5♥ 5♣
Turn and River: 8♣ and 7♦

Kimber took home €18,564 in eighth place and Willie Tann doubled up after that to cripple Felipe Ramos. It was then Ramos’ turn to double up, twice, and he survived until the dinner break. Ramos had made it past the dinner with some flair, but his flame burned out shortly after the final seven players returned from the break and he busted in seventh place (€23,478). He ran into a boat that Joseph Serock filled up on the river after the two players got all of their chips in on the flop. The elimination gave Serock 345,000 in chips, but he was in a distant second to Lisandro, who had begun to pull away from the field with 580,000.

Sixth place was a short matter to resolve, with Karl Mahrenholz taking home €30,192 after busting. Serock closed the gap against Lisandro on the hand, scoring a second elimination, this time with trip nines. His stack grew to 640,000 at one point during his reign as the chip leader during a lengthy five-handed battle. That reign came to an end when November Nine member John Racener doubled up through Serock with a full house and restored parity amongst the final-five contenders.

After another flurry of skirmishes Racener busted out of the tournament in fifth place (€39,486). He builds momentum towards November with the final table appearance, but he missed his first gold bracelet by a few spots. Lisandro was the grim reaper for Racener and he took back the chip lead with 670,000 thanks to a pair of kings.

Another big-name fell next, when former WSOP Player of the Year Jeff Madsen took a stand with 10♠ 8♣ 7♥ 6♣ on a Q♣ 8♦ 2♦ flop. Serock made the call with K♥ K♠ 7♣ 4♣ and after that the turn and river fell 3♣ and J♦. Madsen was awarded €52,542 in fourth place.
Tann has had an impressive first week at the 2010 WSOP Europe. He took sixth place in event No. 1 (€2,650 six-handed no-limit hold’em) and won €23,900. He added another €71,184 by taking place third place on Saturday. On his final hand, Tann was all in preflop against Lisandro.
Their cards:
Tann: A♥ K♥ K♦ 6♥
Lisandro: A♣ 10♣ 7♦ 5♥
Board: Q♦ 7♣ 5♦ 3♠ 7♠

Tann exited the field and a heads-up showdown between Serock and Lisandro delivered high drama early when the two got it all in and they each made a Broadway straight on the river to chop a huge pot. Lisandro took the lead a short time later, only to fall behind again. He then doubled up and it was Serock who then found himself on the wrong side of the 1.36 million-to-440,000 score board. He didn’t wait too long to try and change things and when he moved all in preflop Lisandro was waiting to make the call.
Their cards:
Lisandro: A♠ Q♠ 6♠ 2♣
Serock: K♠ 7♠ 6♥ 5♥
Board: J♥ 9♠ 8♦ 2♦ J♠

Serock took home €98,262 in prize money as the runner up and Lisandro won €159,514 and his fifth gold bracelet.
The final table results were:
First Jeffrey Lisandro €159,514
Second Joseph Serock €98,262
Third Willie Tann €71,184
Fourth Jeff Madsen €52,542
Fifth John Racener €39,486
Sixth Karl Mahrenholz €30,192
Seventh Felipe Ramos €23,478
Eighth Jeff Kimber €18,564

Event No. 3 — €1,075 No-Limit Hold’em

After Phil Laak and Jeff Lisandro captured gold bracelets in the first two events at the 2010 World Series of Poker Europe respectively, event No. 3 (€1,075 no-limit hold’em) was looking to be just as historic. However, Scott Shelley put an end to defending champion J.P. Kelly’s chance to repeat. Shelley won his first bracelet and took home €133,857 in prize money. The 24-year-old British pro was looking to shatter Phil Ivey’s mark of 26 years of age.
Here is how the final table looked at the start of play:
Seat 1 Karim Jomeen 109,000
Seat 2 Scott Shelley 148,000
Seat 3 Nicky Katz 150,000
Seat 4 Paul Pitchford 77,000
Seat 5 Jeppe Brisgaard 171,000
Seat 6 Mehdi Senhaji 369,000
Seat 7 Kaveh Payman 434,000
Seat 8 JP Kelly 242,000
Seat 9 Jack Lyman 55,000

Nicky Katz was the first casualty of the day when he fell in ninth place for a payday of £10,633. It was the man with history on the line who made the elimination. Katz raised to 21,000 from middle position, and Kelly called from the big blind. The flop came A♠ Q♣ 8♥, and Kelly checked. Katz bet 25,000, and Kelly raised to 63,000. Katz decided to move all in for not much more. Kelly made the call and exposed the J♦ 10♦ for a straight draw. Katz was in the lead with the A♥ 3♥. However, the 9♠ fell on the turn, giving Kelly the nuts and a lock on the hand. Kelly had over 300,000 after scooping the pot.

Kelly had a hiccup shortly after when he moved all in with the A♥ 2♥ into the short stack of Jack Lyman. Lyman had Kelly’s ace dominated, and it held, dropping Kelly to 240,000. While Kelly was heading in the wrong direction after the early knockout, Shelley was short stacked and ready for a double up. He found it in an unlikely way.
Karim Jomeen had the button and raised to 25,000. Shelley moved all in from the small blind for 165,000. Paul Pitchford folded in the big blind, and Jomeen called with the As Ad. Shelley tabled the 7♠ 4♣.

The flop came J♥ 5♣ 4♠, giving Shelley a pair and some hope. He caught the miracle when the 4♦ fell on the turn, giving him trips and putting him in great shape to double up. The 7h improved Shelley’s hand, and he was back in the mix. Jomeen was crippled with just 6,000 chips and was eliminated shortly thereafter in eighth for a payday of €13,694.
After Shelley’s double up, Kelly found one of his own.

The hand began when Shelley raised to 29,000, and Kelly made the call from the small blind. Lyman called from the big blind. The flop came Q♥ 8♦ 4♦, and Kelly and Lyman were able to get all the chips in the middle, with Shelley ducking out of the way.
Kelly tabled the 8♠ 8♥ for middle set and was all in for about 250,000 total. Lyman exposed the A♦ 7♦ for a flush draw. The turn and river bricked for Lyman, and Kelly doubled to 515,000, good for the chip lead at the time.

Lyman was in free-fall and eventually hit the rail when his A♦ Q♣ was unable to hold up versus the Ac Jd of Shelley. Lyman finished in seventh place for a payday of €17,768.
After starting the final table with a short stack Shelley was on a roll. Not too long after eliminating Lyman, Shelley knocked off Mehdi Senhaji by winning a coin flip. Senhaji, who finished in sixth place and took home €23,239 for his efforts, gave Shelley 870,000 in ammunition.

Kelly continued to do the work at the final table as well. He finished off Kaveh Payman when his A♥ K♦ held against his opponent’s inferior ace. Payman was gone in fifth for a score of €30,666. Shortly after, Kelly eliminated the 11,000-chip short stack of Pitchford. Pitchford took home £40,862 for his fourth-place finish. And yet another elimination occurred at the hands of the defending champion. Kelly eliminated Jeppe Bisgaard in third place. Bisgaard was rewarded with €55,063 for his deep run.
The back-to-back-to-back knockouts for Kelly gave him the chip lead with 1,030,000 to Shelley’s 720,000 when heads-up play began.

The pair went back and forth for a while playing small pots, with Shelley winning a majority of the confrontations. Although Kelly was able to double up once and get back in the lead, he wasn’t able to overcome the momentum of Shelley.

The final confrontation began when Shelley raised to 47,000 on the button, and Kelly deliberated briefly before moving all in. Shelley made the call and exposed the 3♣ 3♥. Kelly was racing for his tournament life with the Q♦ J♥.

The flop came 8♣ 5♥ 3♦, giving Shelley a set and a strangle-hold on the hand. The 7♥ on the turn made it so Kelly was drawing dead for his third bracelet. The meaningless 10♦ fell on the river, making it official. Kelly took home €82,854 in prize money as the runner up and Shelley won €133,857 and his first gold bracelet.
The final table results were:
1 Scott Shelley €133,857
2 J.P. Kelly €82,854
3 Jeppe Bisgaard €55,063
4 Paul Pitchford €40,862
5 Kaveh Payman €30,666
6 Mehdi Senhaji €23,239
7 Jack Lyman €17,768
8 Karim Jomeen €13,694
9 Nicky Katz €10,633

In the next issue of Card Player we’ll feature event no. 4, the €10,350 no-limit hold’em high roller heads-up tournament and event no. 5, the €10,350 no-limit hold’em main event. ♠