IT'S SHELLEY NOT KELLY WHO CAPTURES WSOP GOLD IN WSOPE EVENT 3

September 21, 2010 - 10:52:13 AM EST  | 

IT

2010 World Series of Poker Europe
Casino at the Empire
London, UK

Official Report
Event #3
No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In:  ₤1,000 (+75)
Number of Entries:  582
Total Net Prize Pool:  ₤582,000
Number of Places Paid:  54
First Place Prize:  ₤133,857
September 17-21, 2010

Tournament Headlines

It’s Shelley, Not Kelly!

Stunning Upset in London:  Scott Shelley Slays J.P. Kelly at WSOP Europe

British Amateur Poker Player Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet

Huge Crowd Cheers London Local to Victory

J.P. Kelly’s Bid to Set Several New Records Falls Short

Third Gold Bracelet Event at 2010 WSOP Europe Draws Big Field

OVERVIEW

It was the most stunning upset in the history of WSOP Europe.

The winner of the ₤1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em championship was Scott Shelley, from London, UK.  He won a memorable first tournament victory.  Shelley earned ₤133,857 for first place, equal to about $208,060.  He was also presented with his first WSOP gold bracelet.

“No doubt about it, this is life-changing money,” Shelley said in a nearly exasperated state only moments after winning the most exiting finale of this year’s series.  “The money is huge for me.  But what really means more than I can say is getting the gold bracelet.  I really am at a loss for words.”

Shelley, age 24, works full-time for an online poker site called PKR Poker.  His victory was particularly sweet for at least two reasons.  Shelley finished just one spot out of the money in this same event held last year.  He also managed to defeat the defending champion this time, two-time gold bracelet winner J.P. Kelly when play went to heads-up.  Shelley earned his way into this tournament via a private satellite played by several staff members at his company.  Many of those players were in attendance to cheer Shelley on to an exciting victory.
 
Well-known and widely-respected poker pro J.P. Kelly took second place, worth £82,854 (approximately $128,781 USD).  The defeat was difficult to take for the champion from Aylesbury, UK.  Kelly’s bid to become the first three-time WSOP gold bracelet winner from the UK was cut short by the upstart Shelley, who overtook his more accomplished rival when play became short-handed.  Kelly also missed a chance to become the youngest three-time winner in WSOP history, at age 24.  The current record set by Phil Ivey in 1993 (at age 25) remains intact.

Immediately following the conclusion of the final hand, when Kelly lost a classic race – two overcards versus an underpair – he dashed away from the table in obvious disappointment.  Initally, Kelly reached over, shook the hand of Shelley, congratulated his opponent, and then darted through the crowd and headed for the exit.  Kelly was understandably disappointed not to win a third title.

The five-day tournament was played at Casino at the Empire in London.  This was the third of five events scheduled this year at World Series of Poker Europe. 
 
The final table included several notable personalities and storylines.  In addition to Shelley’s stunning upset victory and J.P. Kelly’s potential record-setting win, players from Morocco and Canada made it into the final nine.  Had Mehdi Senhaji (from Casablanca) won, he would have become the first player in history from the continent of Africa to win a gold bracelet.  He finished fifth.  Kaveh Payman (from Vancouver) had an opportunity to become the first Canadian to win at WSOP Europe, but ended up finishing fifth instead.
 
The total prize pool amounted to ₤582,000.  The top 54 finishers collected prize money.  Among those who cashed was Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler (Las Vegas, NV).  He was eliminated in 38th place.  When combined with his eight cashes earlier in Las Vegas, this marked his ninth overall in-the-money finish at this year’s WSOP.  Kessler has a chance to tie (or break) the all-time record for most WSOP cashes in a single year set by Nikolay Evdakov in 2008 as two more gold bracelet events remain at the time of this writing.

Also of note -- two-time gold bracelet winner Chris Bjorin played in the event, but did not cash.  That would otherwise not be of consequence.  However, Bjorin was shooting for a fourth-consecutive final table appearance at WSOP Europe, dating back to last year’s Main Event championship.  Nevertheless, he maintains the record for most cashes (6) and final table appearances (4).

For more information about the WSOP and WSOP Europe, please click HERE.
 
THE WINNER

The winner of the ₤1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament, WSOP Europe Event #3, is was Scott Shelley, from London, UK.

Shelley is an only child.

Shelley is a 24-year-old part-time poker player.  He works full-time for an online poker site called PKR Poker.  He primarily works in online customer support.  He normally assists players/customers via online chat help.

Shelley grew up in and around northwest London, mainly in the well-known poker enclave called Hendon.  He played tennis when he was a student attending school.  Shelley learned how to play poker at a tennis club.  On rainy days – a common occurrence in London -- many tennis players at the club played No-Limit Hold’em for small stakes.  He joined the game regularly and later began playing poker online.

After he finished school, Shelley was working in a supermarket.  He played poker online, mostly for small stakes.  He learned about a position with the online site PKR Poker

Shelley entered this event because he won a private satellite tournament held at his company.  Ten employees each posted a £100 entry fee and played a single-table satellite.  Shelley managed to win the satellite entry.  The second-place finisher in the satellite was guaranteed twenty percent of Shelley’s winnings, which amounts to £26.772 (about $41,612).

Shelley says he expect to collect about £90,000 of his winnings, after paying out what he owes to his partners.  He says he expects to pay off a few debts and then give his mother some of the money.  He also plans to buy a car with some of the prize money.

Shelley’s mother followed the final table action from her home.  Shelley sent text messages to his mother during the breaks.  At one point, Shelley sent his mother a text which stated he was guaranteed a payout of at least £40,000.  He received a humorous reply.  “Oh my goodness, I need a drink!“ she wrote back.  Later, when he was playing heads-up and informed his mother that he was now guaranteed twice that amount, there was no reply.  “She’s probably got a bottle of scotch out, by then,” Shelley joked. 

Shelley prefers playing in online tournaments.  The normal buy-in for these events is $50-100.  He stated he plays in many $22 Sit-and-Goes.

Shelley says he does not like playing in cash games.  He claims he plays too many hands, which hurts his chances to win.

Shelley entered this same event last year.  He finished on the bubble, which is the worst position possible.  There was some poetic justice in the fact he not only overcame a 1 in 10 chance of entering this year’s tournament (via the satellite) but then also managed to overcome 582 players and win the victory. 

That marked Shelley’s first time to cash in a WSOP event of any kind.  How now has one win, one final table appearance, and one cash.  His career WSOP earnings now total £133, 857, which is equal to about $208,060 (USD) 

On Day Three, Scott Shelley enjoyed the largest cheering section of any player sitting at the final table.  Despite many local players who were present and the presence of bona fide star Kelly, Shelley’s fans overwhelmed the other sections.  An estimated two dozen fans and supporters, many of them co-workers from his company, turnout out to watch the finale and were thrilled with the outcome.

WINNER QUOTES

On his feelings immediately after winning a WSOP gold bracelet:  “Words can’t describe it.  I’m excited.  I’m happy.  I don’t know, I feel really weird inside.” 

On gaining his tournament entry fee via a small private qualifying tournament which was played at his company:  “We all played a single-table Sit-and-Go between the ten of us.  I managed to take out eight of the nine players.  I do not think I have ever run that good in a single-table Sit-and Go.”

On running good at the perfect moment, which was late in the tournament:  “I ran very well at the final table.  It seemed that every time I put a chip in the pot, I won.”

On defeating J.P. Kelly heads up:  “I do not know J.P. Kelly well.  But I certainly know of him.  I respect him a lot.  To me, he is one of the best British players.  Of all the players at the table, he was by far the best -- by a country mile.  I said to myself that if I got heads up that I did not want it to be against him.  And sure enough, we ended heads up and he was going for back-to back titles.  And he had the chip lead on me.  But somehow I managed to win.”

On tournament strategizing:  “I talked to my friends.  They told me to relax and play my game.  Just take things slowly.  Then, I picked up good hands in good spots.  I thought I had a good read for the game and what was going on.  Everything went according to plan, really.”

On working in the poker industry and becoming involved with an online site:  “It was perfect timing for me.  I was working in a supermarket and playing a bit of poker in my spare time to keep things going.  I found out about this job and two days later I was hired.  It was perfect for me to work in an industry that I love.”

On his love for poker:  “I love the game.  I love learning new things about it.  I hope I can learn and get better at it.”

On his prior tournament experience:  “This tournament is by far the largest one I have ever played in.  Apart from these two tournaments (this year, and last year), I’ve never played anything with a buy-in this high before.”

On the support he received from friends and co-workers, including many who were cheering for him in the audience:  “The last few days I have had so many messages.  Everyone is calling me, texting me.  I can’t believe all the people that were here to support me.  It’s ridiculous.”

On the significance of winning a WSOP gold bracelet in his hometown:  “I wouldn’t say it means more to win it here (in London) versus Las Vegas.  But it is nice to be able to go right home tonight and say, ‘I’ve just won a bracelet!”

On his plans to play in other WSOP events and beyond:  “I will not play the Main Event.  For someone of my standard, I think it would be a waste of money.  It’s the toughest tournament of the year.  I would be throwing £10,000 away.  But I will be playing more for sure.  I will be sensible with my money.”

On how he expects his mother will react when she learns her son won a WSOP gold bracelet and £133,857:  “She’ll be over the moon for this.”

THE FINAL TABLE

The final table contained only one former WSOP gold bracelet winner – J.P. Kelly (2 wins).

Four different nations were represented at the final table – including Canada, Denmark, England, and Morocco.

The final table included five players from the London area.  Last year, there were six London locals present – the most ever for any WSOP-related tournament.

This was only the second WSOP final table in history not to include at least one American player.  This same event held last year also did not include any Americans which is the first time that has ever happened in any WSOP event.

When final table play began, the starting chip counts were as follows:
 
SEAT 1:  Karim Jomeen (London, UK) -- 109,000 in chips
SEAT 2:  Scott Shelley (London, UK) -- 148,000 in chips
SEAT 3:  Nickey Katz (London, UK) -- 150,000 in chips
SEAT 4:  Paul Pitchford (Sutton-on-Ashfield, UK) -- 77,000 in chips
SEAT 5:  Jeppe Bisgaard (Copenhagen, Denmark) -- 171,000 in chips
SEAT 6:  Mehdi Senhaji (Casablanca, Morocco) -- 369,000 in chips
SEAT 7:  Kevah Payman (Vancouver, BC Canada) -- 434,000 in chips
SEAT 8:  J.P. Kelly (Aylesbury, UK) -- 242,000 in chips
SEAT 9:  Jack Lyman (London, UK) -- 55,000 in chips

The runner up was J.P. Kelly, from Aylesbury, UK.  The two-time WSOP gold bracelet champion won this same event last year.  He could have become the first player to successfully defend a WSOP title since Thang Luu won back-to-back Omaha High-Low Split gold bracelets in 2007 and 2008.  The last player to accomplish consecutive wins in the game Hold’em was Phil Hellmuth, who won back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993 ($5,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em).  In fact, the list of Hold'em back-to-back winners is a very short one, consisting of Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, Stu Ungar, and Doyle Brunson.
 
Kelly also missed a chance at becoming the first British player ever to win three WSOP gold bracelets.  He is currently tied with Chris Bjorin and Praz Bansi in wins with two. 

Had he won, Kelly would have become the youngest three-time gold bracelet winner in WSOP history -- at 24 years, 7 months, and 11 days.  That would have eclipsed the “Youngest to Win Three” mark set by Phil Ivey in 1993.

The third-place finisher was Jeppe Bisgaard, from Copenhagen, Denmark.  He works in shipping.  This was his first recorded cash in a major poker tournament.

The fourth-place finisher Paul Ian Pitchford, from Sutton Ashfield, UK.  He won a paid seat into this event at the Amateur Poker Tour Association and Tour (APAT) world championship.  This was his first year to play in a WSOP tournament.  He enjoyed a remarkable showing, and collected £40,862 for fourth place.

The fifth-place finisher was Kevah Payman, from Vancouver, BC (Canada).  He previously cashed in the first event held at WSOP Europe held one week earlier.  Payman took 23th place in the Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em championship.  He works as a home theatre installer, but plays poker seriously part-time.

The sixth-place finisher was Mehdi Senhaji, from Casablanca, Morocco.  He arrived at the final table ranked second in chips.  Senhaji is a student who was playing in his first WSOP tournament ever.  He entered this event by winning a single-table satellite.  He could have become the first Moroccan champion in history, but instead went out in sixth place.

The seventh-place finisher was Jack Lyman, from London, UK.  He works as a security engineer.  Lyman gained his entry into this tournament by winning a £100 buy-in satellite.  This was his first time to cash in a WSOP event.

The eighth-place finisher was Karim Jomeen, from London, UK.  This marked Jomeen’s tenth major tournament cash, and second time in-the-money at the WSOP.  His previous finish took place in 2008.

The ninth-place finisher was Nicholas Katz, from London, UK.  He works as a marine explorer.  Katz hoped to go much deeper in the finale, but ended up as the first player to be eliminated.  This was his 11th major cash, and first time to cash in a WSOP event.  Katz won a major tournament called the Springfest back in 2002.

OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS

There were no former WSOP gold bracelet winners who cashed in this event, other than J.P. Kelly.

Allen Kessler, from Las Vegas, NV finished in 38th place.  When combined with his eight cashes earlier in Las Vegas, this marked his ninth overall in-the-money finish at this year’s WSOP.  At the point this tournament concluded, Kessler had a chance to tie (or break) the all-time record for most WSOP cashes in a single year set by Nikolay Evdakov in 2008.  Two more gold bracelet events were still to be played.

Matthew Jarvis, from Surrey, BC (Canada) finished in 40th place.  He is one of the 2010 “November Nine.”  Jarvis will return to Las Vegas in six weeks to compete at the WSOP Main Event finale table.  Last month, he won $100,000 in the Heads-Up event at the Canadian Open Poker Championship.

Two-time gold bracelet winner Chris Bjorin played in the event, but did not cash.  Bjorin was shooting for a fourth-consecutive final table appearance at WSOP Europe, dating back to last year’s Main Event championship when he finished fifth.  Nevertheless, he currently holds the record for most cashes (6) and final table appearances (4) in the four-year history of the London series.

The defending champion from 2009 was J.P. Kelly.  He finished as the runner up.

ODDS AND ENDS

This is the third of five events on the 2010 WSOP Europe schedule.  It is the 60th gold bracelet event played in 2010, when combined with the 57 events which took place in Las Vegas a few months ago.

The £1,000 championship has been part of WSOP Europe since last year.  In 2008, the lowest buy-in No-Limit Hold’em competition was £1,500.  There was only one No-Limit Hold’em tournament played the first year in 2007, which was the £10,000 buy-in Main Event.

This is the 8878h gold bracelet event in World Series of Poker history. Note: This figure includes every official WSOP event played, including tournaments during the early years when there were no actual gold bracelets awarded.  It also includes the 14 gold bracelets awarded at WSOP Europe, to date.

In the 41-year history of the WSOP, the total combined amount of prize money that has been awarded amounts to $1,230,158,694.

The official WSOP gold bracelet ceremony will take place at Casino at the Empire on Thursday, September 23rd at approximately 2:15 pm.  It will occur following the first break of the Main Event championship.  The entire presentation is open to public and media.  Video and photography is permitted by both media and the public.

THE TOURNAMENT

The ₤1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 582 entries.  The total prize pool amounted to ₤582,000.  This figure was down slightly from last year when there were 608 entries.  The top 54 finishers collected prize money.

The tournament was played over three consecutive days.  Turnout was so large that three starting days were necessary to accommodate the field.  Day 1-A was played on Friday.  Day 1-B was played on Saturday.  Day 1-C was completed on Sunday.  The 80 survivors from the three starting days combined into a single field for the first time and played down to the final nine.

The end of Day One chip leader was Wes Pantling, from Canada.  He cashed in 21st place.

The eventual winner Scott Shelley was never all-in at any point on the first day.  He grinded his way along and managed to survive.  He ended Day One slightly below average in chips.

On Day Two, Shelley suffered a scare and was nearly eliminated from the tournament.  He was all-in holding pocket 9s versus an opponent with pocket 8s.  He enjoyed a significant advantage.  However, an 8 flopped -- giving his opponent a set of 8s.  Fortunately, Shelley managed to make a set as well, catching a 9 and doubled up.

With about 15 players remaining, Shelley had another scare when he was all-in with Q-J versus his opponent’s pocket 6s.  Shelley managed to catch a Q on the river and survived.  That put him above the chip average for the first time.

Coming into the final table, the chip leader was Kaveh Payman, from London.  He ended up finishing in fifth place.

Scott Shelley was ranked sixth in chips out of nine players at the start of play at the final table.

One of Shelley’s biggest hands took place when he was dealt 7-4 and was caught in a bad situation versus his opponent’s pocket As.  The flop gave Shelley some hope with a 4.  Then, another 4 came on the turn.  The river brought a 7, giving Shelley a full house.  That hand seemed to illustrate Shelley’s day and experience at the final table.

J.P. Kelly maintained his position within the top three chip leaders at the final table from start to finish.  However, he traded the chip lead back and forth with Shelley four times before finally ending as the runner up.

On the final hand, Shelley had his opponent covered by about 2 to 1.  He was dealt     against J.P. Kelly’s    .  The flop all but ended Kelly’s hopes of winning a third gold bracelet.  Shelley flopped a three, making a set.  That ended up as the winning hand.  The final board of the tournament showed           giving Shelley the victory. 

The tournament officially began at noon on Friday, September 17th.  The tournament officially ended on Tuesday, September 21st at 9:35 pm (London time).

MORE ABOUT WSOP EUROPE

This is the fourth year of WSOP Europe.  All events have been played at Casino at the Empire, located in Leicester Square in Central London.  There have now been 14 gold bracelet events held in the U.K.  Two more events are scheduled to be played this year.

Casino at the Empire has a poker room which regularly hosts cash games and tournaments.  Due to the size of the WSOP, the tournament area was expanded to include about half of the available casino floor space.  This year, there are 34 active poker tables available for use at WSOP Europe – the largest ever.

Note:  All results are now official and may be reprinted by media.  We would appreciate if you are posting these on a website, you provide a link back to www.wsop.com Thank you. 


 
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Nolan Dalla – WSOP.com Senior Writer


About the author: Nolan Dalla's work is found all over WSOP.com, as he is the Senior Writer for poker's longest-running poker series and has contributed to the site since 2005.

He is also the longtime Media Director of the World Series of Poker. He's become the lone link from poker's modern age back to the old days when the WSOP was played at Binion's Horseshoe – where Dalla served as the casino's Director of Public Relations.
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