BORD IDENTITY. ENGLAND'S JAMES BORD CAPTURES WSOP EUROPE MAIN EVENT CROWN

September 28, 2010 - 08:39:02 PM EST  | 

BORD IDENTITY.  ENGLAND
2010 World Series of Poker Europe
Casino at the Empire
London, UK

Official Report
Event #5
Main Event Championship
Buy-In:  ₤10,000
Number of Entries:  346
Total Net Prize Pool:  ₤3,460,000
Number of Places Paid:  36
First Place Prize:  ₤830,401
September 23-28, 2010

TOURNAMENT HEADLINES

The King James Version:  Bord Wins 

James Bord Wins WSOP Europe Championship!

British Poker Pro Becomes First WSOP Europe Main Event Champion

Great Brit James Bord Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet

Hometown Fans Cheer Local Londoner to Victory 

Italian Pro Fabrizio Baldassari Falls Just Short in First WSOP Appearance

2010 Edition of WSOP Europe in London the Biggest Yet

OVERVIEW

The 2010 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event Champion is James Bord, from Stanmore, UK.  He is a 29-year-old professional poker player.  Bord was cheered to victory by a boisterous crowd packed around center stage at the Empire Casino in London.

Prior to playing for a living, Bord worked for international banking giant Citigroup.  He decided to leave his conventional job to focus instead on playing poker for a living.  He is close friends and strategic allies with top British poker pro Sam Trickett, who was present during the finale.

This was only the second WSOP Europe event Bard had ever entered.  But he certainly made this one count.  This turned out to be his best tournament finish ever.  Bord has now cashed seven times at the WSOP, including a sixth-place finish in Las Vegas earlier this year in the Deuce-to-Seven Lowball championship.  Until this victory, Bord had been far better known among his peers as a cash-game player.  When in Las Vegas, he routinely plays $300-600 and $400-800 stakes in the biggest poker rooms in the city.  However, with this victory Bord is most certainly going to be seen more on the international tournament circuit. 

Bord was behind in chips during most of the final day, until he was heads-up against Italian-born Monte Carlo resident Fabrizio Baldassari.  Bord won a huge pot late to take a slight chip advantage and closed out his dramatic victory a short time later when his pocket tens defeated Baldassari’s pocket fives.  

Bord collected £830,401 for first place, equal to about $1,316,550 (USD).  He was also presented with his first WSOP gold bracelet.

The final table players and top nine tournament finishers were as follows:

1st – James Bard (London, UK)
2nd – Fabrizio Baldassari (Monte Carlo, Monaco)
3rd – Ronald Lee (Jericho, NY – USA)
4th – Roland de Wolfe (London, UK)
5th – Nicholas Levi (London, UK)
6th – Danny Steinberg (Fairfield, IA – USA)
7th – Dan Fleyshman (San Diego, CA – USA)
8th – Brian Powell (Louisville, KY)
9th – Marc Inizan (Pluguffen, France)

The top 36 finishers collected prize money.  There were six former WSOP gold bracelet winners who cashed in this event – including Roland de Wolfe (4th), Hoyt Corkins (15th), Phil Ivey (19th), Greg Mueller (22nd), Barry Greenstein (23rd) and Freddy Deeb (30th).

This was the fifth and final WSOP gold bracelet tournament played this year in London.  Recapping all five events which are now complete, the winners were:

EVENT #1:  Phil Laak -- (£2,500 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em) – won £170,802
EVENT #2:  Jeffrey Lisandro -- (£5,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha) – won £159,000
EVENT #3:  Scott Shelley -- (£1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em) – won £133,857
EVENT #4:  Gus Hansen -- (£10,000 buy-in High-Roller Heads-Up Championship) – won £288,409
EVENT #5:  James Bard -- (£10,000 buy-in Main Event Championship – won £830,401
 
This was the most successful of the four years that WSOP Europe has been played in London.  The total prize pool and total number of entrants for 2010 exceeded all other years.  

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

The winner of the ₤10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Main Event Championship (WSOP Europe Event #5), was James Bord, from Stanmore, UK – which is northwest of central London.

Bord is a 29-year-old professional poker player.  He has been playing poker seriously since the age of 24.

Bord previously worked for banking giant Citigroup before deciding to focus full time on playing poker.

Bord calls himself a “professional gambler.”  However, he makes most of his money by playing poker (a skill game).

Bord says he does not like to drive.  In fact, he says he is a “terrible driver.”  He owns an expensive Mercedes automobile, but insists he is giving the car away to his brother.  “I can’t park it, so I’ve just given it all up,” Bord said.

Bord does not enter many poker tournaments, opting instead for cash games.  He played some WSOP events earlier this year.  But he did not fare particularly well, “going out near the bubble” a few times as he recalls.  He did finish in sixth place in the $1,500 buy-in Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball event.  This is his third WSOP cash in 2010.

Bord spends up to half the year in Las Vegas playing poker.  He plays in many of the biggest cash games in the city.  His usual game is $300-600 and $400-800 limit mixed.  

Bord won £830,401 for first place, equal to about $1,316,550 (USD).

Bord now has 1 win, 2 final table appearances and 6 WSOP cashes.  His careers WSOP earnings total $1,366,054.

Moments after his victory, Bord saw British poker pro Sam Trickett in the crowd.  He announced to everyone, “Sam’s the one who taught me how to play!”

Bord was cheered to victory by a huge crowd of British friends.  His brother was also present to witness the victory.

James Bord becomes the first WSOP Europe Main Event champion.  He is the third British player to win a gold bracelet in London.  J.P. Kelly was the first to accomplish the feat, in 2009 and Scott Shelley won Event#3 this year.

Bord was the sixth British player to win a WSOP gold bracelet in 2010.  This is the most wins ever by any non-US contingent in a single year.  

WINNER QUOTES 

On his feelings immediately after winning a WSOP gold bracelet:  “I never thought I would win a bracelet.  Being so close, you just never know when it’s going to come again.  And it’s even more special to win it in my hometown.  It’s just something very special.”

On being the first British player to win the WSOP Europe Main Event:  “It means everything.”

On making adjustments from cash games to tournament play:  “I am a Mixed Games cash player.  For the past four years, I have been playing high-low games.  No-Limit Hold’em has moved on a lot (the players have gotten much better).  I was a pretty awful tournament player.  Sam (Trickett) being one of my best mates and being one of the best tournament players in all of England gave me some coaching over the last year and now the result is, I got a bracelet!  I can’t complain.  Thank you Sam!”

On this victory possibly changing his focus in poker:  “I will play in some more tournaments.  But on a daily basis, cash games are my thing.”

On the WSOP versus other major poker tournaments:  “It’s a fantastic structure.  The World Series of Poker Europe and the structure here suited the cash game players.  The structure is so good.  You’ve got a lot of play.  There’s not that hope and shove like you see.  You really get a lot of play.”

On his future plans:  “More of the same, and hopefully more wins.”

THE FINAL TABLE 

For the purposes of WSOP record-keeping, the final table is comprised of the final nine players.

There was only one former WSOP gold bracelet winner at the final table – Roland ce Wolfe (1 previous win).

Four different nations were represented at the final table – including France, Great Britain, Monaco and the United States.  However, one player was also Italian-born. 

Eight of the nine final table players were poker pros.  The lone exception was Dan Fleyshman, who works full-time as the CEO of an online poker company.

The ages of the final nine were as follows – 22, 22, 24, 26, 38, 29, 29, 31 and 32.  This was the youngest final table of any WSOP Europe event in history, by far.

Three of the top five finishers were British.

Winner James Bord arrived at the final table ranked fifth in chips.

The runner up was Fabrizio Baldassari.  He is an Italian-born poker pro who now resides in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  He came close to achieving a breakthrough victory.  He previously had several cashes in major tournaments throughout Europe over the past three years.  But this was his first cash ever in a WSOP tournament.  Baldassari plays in the highest-stakes cash games online and is mostly known in the poker world for his online play.  For Baldassari, the critical hand of the tournament took place when play was at three-handed.  Baldassari was outchipped by about 3 to 1 and was all-in with A-4 versus A-K, held by Ronald Lee.  Baldasaari was completely dominated.  But he caught a miracle four on the flop and doubled up.  A short time later, Baldassari seized the chip lead.  But he was ultimately defeated by British poker pro James Bord in the heads-up duel.  Baldassari earned £513,049 in prize money.

Second-place finisher Baldassari arrived at the final table ranked seventh in chips.

Moments after finishing second, Baldassari had the following remarks (Note:  English is not Baldassari’s first language):  “I feel very bad.  When heads up began I had a big advantage, because I had a tell on (Bord).  The first hand where I had him all in, I had Q-8 suited.  I pushed all in.  I thought he had maybe pocket 7s or king-jack….he had ace-king and he called.  The second big hand was when I had pocket fives.  I expected that I would be a 55 percent favorite because he might have (two overcards).  He ended up having pocket tens….I thought I had the advantage at the final table.  I feel very bad that I did not win.” 

The third-place finisher was Ronald Lee, from Jericho, NY (USA).  He is a 24-year-old professional poker player.  Lee was a college student before turning pro.  Lee’s first big cash took place at the 2008 EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo.  He also cashed in the 2009 WSOP Main Event as well as finished in-the-money in the Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em championship, earlier this year in Las Vegas.  Lee arrived at the final table ranked second in chips and took the lead early.  He then suffered several brutal setbacks, including a few losses when he held a dominant hand.  Lee’s final hand was pocket 5s, which lost to James Bord’s A-K after a king flopped.  Lee collected £365,829 in prize money.

The fourth-place finisher was Roland de Wolfe, from London, UK.  He is a 31-year-old professional poker player.  He was the only former WSOP gold bracelet winner among the nine finalists.  He was victorious in the $5,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha championship in Las Vegas, in 2009.  De Wolfe started out at a poker writer and enjoyed his first big in-the-money finish back in 2005.  Since then, he has cashed in numerous big tournaments around the world and has earned $2.5 million during his poker career.  In fact, de Wolfe is one of a very select group who has won in tournament poker what is often referred to as poker’s Triple Crown – with wins at the WSOP, WPT and EPT.  He went bust with K-Q, which lost against A-8 when the flop brought both an ace and an eight, de Wolfe received £278,945.

The fifth-place finisher was Nicholas Levi, from London, UK.  He is a 27-year-old poker pro.  Levi has numerous cashes over the past five years in just about every major tour stop in Europe.  He also cashed in the 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event.  Levi final tabled the $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Shootout earlier this year in Las Vegas, where he finished fifth.  He was eliminated when he lost a race holding pocket 9s against K-Q.  A king came on the turn.  Levi collected £208,119 in prize money.

The sixth-place finisher was Danny Steinberg, from Fairfield, IA (USA).  He is a 22-year-old professional poker player.  Steinberg cashed twice at this year’s WSOP in Las Vegas, including an in-the-money finish in the Main Event.  He began the final table ranked third in chips but went out when he was low on chips and took A-J suited up against pocket 4s.  Steinberg failed to make a pair and ended up receiving £156,530.

The seventh-place finisher was Dan Fleyshman, from San Diego, CA (USA).  He came into the final table as chip leader.  Fleyshman is a 29-year-old executive for an online poker company.  This marked his first time to cash in a WSOP event.  He has previously cashed numerous times in other smaller tournaments.  Prior to joining the poker industry, Fleyshman was the founder of a multi-million dollar company which produced the energy drink called “Who’s Your Daddy.”  When he had his own enterprise, at the time he was the youngest owner of a publicly-traded company at the age of 23.  Fleyshman was the aggressor during the early rounds but saw his stack gradually dwindle.  He went out holding J-T suited versus K-5.  A king flopped, putting Fleyshman out of the tournament.  He collected £118,643 in prize money.

The eighth-place finisher was Brian Powell, from Louisville, KY (USA).  He is a 28-year-old poker player.  This marked his fifth cash at the WSOP.  His best previous finish was 13th place in the $10,000 buy-in Mixed event two years ago.  Powell also cashed in the 2009 WSOP Main Event, finishing in 66th place out of more than 6,000 players.  Powell was eliminated on the same hand with Marc Inizan (ninth place).  He was also holding pocket 8s, which lost to A-K.  Powell received £90,617.

The ninth-place finisher was Marc Inizan, from Pluguffen, France.  He is a 24-year old former student who is now a professional poker player.  He is enjoying a very big year in tournament poker.  He has achieved six major cashes, including a third place finish in the EPT Berlin Main Event.  But this marked his first time to appear at a WSOP final table.  He did take 13th place in this year's $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha championship.  Inizan was eliminated holding pocket 8s, which lost to A-K after a king fell on the turn.  Inizan collected £69,754 in prize money.

There were 232 hands played at the final table.  The duration lasted 11 hours and 40 minutes.  The 90-minute dinner break was not included.

The all-time leader in WSOP Europe final table appearances is Chris Bjorin (London, UK), with four premium finishes.
 
OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS 

There were several former WSOP gold bracelet winners who cashed in this event – including Roland de Wolfe (4th), Hoyt Corkins (15th), Phil Ivey (19th), Greg Mueller (22nd), Barry Greenstein (23rd) and Freddy Deeb (30th).

With his 23rd-place finish in this event, Barry Greenstein now has 47 WSOP career cashes.  He is currently tied for 13th place on the all-time list, along with David Chiu.
 
The 16th-place finisher was Viktor Blom, from Sweden.  He is alleged to be the mysterious high-stakes online cash game player known as “Isildur1,” who became one of poker’s biggest stories over the past year.  However, Blom has yet to actually confirm his identity as “Isildur1.”

The defending champion was Barry Shulman (Las Vegas, NV).  Shulman posted a solid performance on Day One.  He was ranked in the top ten at one point during midday.  However, Shulman slid on Day Two and was eliminated with about 40 percent of the field remaining.

The 2008 champion John Juanda survived Day One, but was short-stacked.  He was eliminated early on Day Two.

The 2007 champion Annette Obrestad was eliminated early on Day One.

Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler (Las Vegas, NV) had an opportunity to tie Nikolay Evdakov (Moscow, Russia) for the most WSOP cashes in a single year, with ten.  Kessler had nine cashes in 2010 coming into the Main Event.  He entered, but did not cash.  Evdakov’s record remains intact.

The all-time leader in WSOP Europe cashes is Chris Bjorin, with six.
 
ODDS AND ENDS

This is the fifth of five events on the 2010 WSOP Europe schedule.  It is the 62nd gold bracelet event played in 2010, when combined with the 57 events which took place in Las Vegas, held a few months ago.

This is the 889th 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 16 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 (all events in history) amounts to $1,232,505,244. 

The official WSOP gold bracelet ceremony for Gus Hansen, winner of WSOP Europe Event #4, took place immediately prior to the start of the final table.  Hansen graciously accepted is first career gold bracelet and received nice ovation from the players and spectators.

For the first time, the final two days were broadcast over the Internet with streaming video and commentary.  Players’ hole cards were shown to the audience.  The broadcast was relayed globally with a five-hour delay.  The delay was mandated because of concerns that showing players hole cards could potentially provide an advantage to player(s) who had access to opponent(s) playing tendencies.   

The final two playing days of the tournament were filmed for later broadcast to a potential viewing audience of up to 300 million worldwide.  ESPN will show four hours of original content in the United States.  These programs are expected to air in early 2011.  The programs will be shown in other nations on various networks, to be announced later. 

With the conclusion of this tournament, the only remaining WSOP gold bracelet event still to be played in calendar year 2010 is the WSOP Main Event, final table.  The world championship will take place at the Rio in Las Vegas in November.

THE TOURNAMENT 

The ₤10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 346 entries.  The total prize pool amounted to ₤3,460,000.  The top 36 finishers collected prize money.

The tournament attracted a star-studded field of the world’s best poker players.  Among them were five past world champions – including Phil Hellmuth (1989), Huck Seed (1996), Noel Furlong (1999), Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (2000), and Carlos Morstensen (2001).  

This year’s WSOP Europe Main Event attracted one player who had pretty much disappeared from the poker scene for the past decade.  Noel Furlong, the 1999 world champion, was a surprise late entry.  During a break in the action, Furlong explained he had been staying in London while WSOP Europe was being played.  When he learned his flight back home to Dublin was delayed, he decided to “kill some time” and plucked down the £10,000 fee to enter.  Furlong walked around the Empire Casino virtually unrecognized.  Now age 73, the mystery man who has become a Howard Hughes-like figure in the poker world, has not entered a WSOP event since 2000.  The silver-haired Irishman now spends most of his time running a successful carpeting business which he has turned into a multi-million dollar enterprise.  He also continues to dabble in horseracing during his free time.  Furlong was eliminated late on Day One.

There were 57 former gold bracelet winners who entered.  They had a combined 131 gold bracelet wins between them – which represents about 15 percent of all the WSOP gold bracelets awarded in history.  These players were as follows:

Chris Bjorin (2)
Farzad Bonyadi (3)
Brandon Cantu (1)
“Miami” John Cernuto (3)
Hoyt Corkins (2)
Allen Cunningham (5)
James Dempsey (1)
Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (5)
Scott Fischman (2)
Phil Hellmuth (11)
John Juanda (4)
Alexander Kravchenko (1)
Ted Lawson (1)
Howard Lederer (2)
Pascal LeFrancois (1)
Jason Lester (1)
Jeffrey Lisandro (5)
Vitaly Lunkin (2)
Jason Mercier (1)
Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi (1)
Scott Montgomery (1)
Annette Obrestad (1)
Nick Schulman (1)
Huck Seed (4)
Erik Seidel (8)
Vanessa Selbst (1)
Justin Smith (1)
Praz Bansi (2)
David Benyamine (1)
Erik Cajelais (1)
Roland De Wolfe (1)
Freddy Deeb (2)
Eli Elezra (1)
Antonio Esfandiari (1)
Noel Furlong (1)
Barry Greenstein (3)
Gus Hansen (1)
Dan Heimiller (1)
Phil Ivey (8)
Frank Kassela (2)
J.P. Kelly (2)
Phil Laak (1)
Kathy Liebert (1)
Jeff Madsen (2)
Mike Matusow (3)
Nenad Medic (1)
Robert Mizrachi (1)
Carlos Mortensen (2)
Greg Mueller (2)
Daniel Negreanu (4)
Max Pescatori (2)
Barry Shulman (2)
Kevan Stammen (1)
Jennifer Tilly (1)
J.C. Tran (2)
David “Devilfish” Ulliott (1)
Men “the Master” Nguyen (7)

There were eight members of the 2010 WSOP Main Event “November Nine” who entered this tournament. The only player who did not enter was Soi Nguyen.  The eight who played were as follows:

Filippo Candio
Joseph Cheong
John Dolan
Matthew Jarvis
John Racener
Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi
Jason Senti
Jonathan Duhamel

No one in the 2010 “November Nine” cashed.  Unlike the last two years when Ivan Demidov (2008) and James Akenhead and Antoine Saout (2009) final tabled both WSOP and WSOPE, no one from this year’s final nine made much of an impact in London’s Main Event. 

Both players in the running for 2010 “WSOP Player of the Year” participated in the Main Event.  Frank Kassela and Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi entered but did not cash.

The tournament was played over six consecutive days.  Due to the large number of entries and limited number of tables and seats, there were two starting days, designated at 1-A and 1-B. 

Levels were 90 minutes long.  Players began the tournament with 30,000 in chips. 

All the end of day chips leaders ended up finishing in-the-money.

The end of Day One chip leader (1-A and 1-B combined) was James Mitchell (Wimbledon, UK).  He ended up finishing in 31st place.

The end of Day Two chip leader was Viktor Blom (Gotheberg, Sweden).  He ended up finishing in 16th place.

The end of Day Three chip leader was Ronald Lee (Jericho, NY).  He ended up finishing third.

The end of Day Four chip leader -- coming into the final table -- was Dan Fleyshman (San Diego, CA).  He ended up finishing in 7th place.

Players reached the money midway through Day Three.  The unfortunate “bubble” finisher was Randy Blondeau (Canada), who suffered the cruelty of finishing 37th – exactly one place out of the money.  Finishing one spot higher would have paid £21,106, which is about $33,370.

The final hand of the tournament took place when both players were close in chips, but Bord enjoyed a slight advantage.  Baldassari was all-in holding    .  He was covered by Bord holding    .  The final board showed          .  Bord’s pair of Ts won the pot.  Baldassari finished second and Bord was declared the winner.

Bord was presented with his first WSOP gold bracelet by the Managing Director of London Clubs International, Michael Silberling and WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel.

The tournament officially began at 12:35 pm on Thursday, September 23rd.  The tournament officially ended on Tuesday, September 29th at 1:15 am (London time).

MORE ABOUT WSOP EUROPE

All WSOPE events this year were played at Casino at the Empire, located in Leicester Square in central London.  Leicester Square is best known as the theatre district of the city.  Casino at the Empire is part of London Clubs, International, which is owned by Harrah's Entertainment. 

The overall numbers from WSOP Europe were up from last year.  Although five events were played in 2010 -- up from four in 2009 -- the total prize pool increased, even when omitting the new Heads-Up event which was introduced this year.  The total amount of prize money awarded in 2010 amounts to £6,282,000.  Note that a 2010 to 2009 comparison shows that £5,252,000 was awarded for four events (omitting this year's Heads-Up championship, a new addition to the schedule) versus £5,113,000 last year.

All WSOP Europe statistics are counted towards official WSOP records.

No poker player has ever won more than one gold bracelet at WSOP Europe.

Players from the following nations have won gold bracelets at WSOP Europe (2007-2010):

United States (3)
Denmark (3)
Italy (2)
Great Britain (3)
Germany (1)
Norway (1)
Finland (1)
Afghanistan (1)
Canada (1)

The first player ever to win a gold bracelet outside of Las Vegas was Thomas Bihl (from Germany), at 2007 WSOP Europe.

The longest final table in WSOP history took place in the WSOP Europe Main Event, in 2008.  Measured in time from start to finish, the duration lasted 19 hours and 10 minutes, which shattered the previous record by three hours and ten minutes. 

There have now been 16 gold bracelet events held in the U.K. (2007-2010)

September has become “London month” for most serious poker tournament players and media.  There are three major tournaments held in the city during this time, each hoping to attract players from other venues. 

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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