Could the World Series of Poker Europe have had a better finish to it than this? Annette Obrestad has been crowned the first champion of Europe in what has been a compelling final day’s play at the Casino at the Empire.
Tears of joy were shed after confirmation that ‘Annette_15’ had indeed deprived John Tabatabai of the remainder of his chips, to crown her the new ‘Queen of Europe’. Our new champion was speechless as she was awarded the much coveted WSOP bracelet and a life-changing £1 million, and was honourably humble of her victory.
That this victory will do an immense amount of good for the game on an international level may not have registered with the 18-year old just yet, but hers is a triumph that will boost the status of women poker players throughout the world, and bring home the reality to those so far unaware, that poker is a universal game.
Just soaking up the atmosphere in the casino, you can tell that Annette is as popular a winner as the World Series has had for a long time, and that she will take some shifting from that position.
So there we have it. After all of the build up, all of the hype, and all of the debate, the World Series of Poker Europe has finally been laid to rest after 10 days of poker fanfare here in the heart of London.
There can be little argument that this extension of the world’s most important poker brand has been anything but a roaring success, and Annette’s compelling display and victory has gone some lengths to endorsing that fact.
London has proved itself to be a fine host, and has enhanced its reputation as the ‘poker capital of Europe’. The venues at Fifty, The Sportsman, and here at the Casino at the Empire, have all played their parts not only in housing the events and players themselves, but also us media types, who have set up camp here over the last week and a half, and have generally made a mess of the place.
The event has proved beyond doubt that poker’s global status is in fine health, and tonight’s result will have made all the right noises around the community at large.
Congratulations to Annette Obrestad, and a sincere ‘well played’ to John Tabatabai, who was a fine runner-up.
So until next year...