Photo Note: Latest gold bracelet winner shows off his prize after winning the latest WSOP Europe event, held at Hotel Majestic Barriere, in Cannes, France.
2011 World Series of Poker Europe
Hotel Majestic Barriere / Le Croisette Casino Barriere
Buy-In: 1000 + 90 (Euros)
Number of Entries: 771
Total Prize Pool: 740,160 (Euros)
Number of Places Paid: 81
First Place Prize: 148,030 (Euros)
October 8-11, 2011
Andrew Hinrichsen Wins Gold Bracelet at Cannes
23-Year-Old Australian Poker Pro Wins 2011 WSOP Europe’s Second Event
Hinrichsen Makes Huge Comeback Versus two Italians, Becomes Sixth Aussie Gold Bracelet Champion in History
2011 WSOP Europe Continues to Smash Records – Attendance Up 37 Percent, So Far
Second Tournament on French Riviera Attracts Biggest Turnout in WSOP Europe History
Cannes, France (October 11, 2011) -- The second tournament on this year’s schedule shattered the record for the largest turnout ever in the five-year history of World Series of Poker Europe.
A tidal wave of 771 poker players from dozens of nations jammed into the uber-chic Hotel Majestic Barriere for the 1000 (Euro) buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament, officially classified as Event #2.
The turnout at sunny Cannes obliterated the previous record turnout for WSOP gold bracelet events held in Europe. The previous high mark was 608 players who turned out for the 2009 opener, held in London. The 771-player figure at Cannes represents a 27-percent increase over the old high mark. No doubt, wherever it’s held -- the WSOP continues to surpass all expectations and overcome every challenge, no matter how daunting.
As predicted, this tournament turned out to be a showcase for the host nation. There were 30 players from France who cashed in this tournament. That number represents most French players ever to cash in any WSOP tournament, in history. By contrast, 23 French players cashed in this year’s WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas. However, it was an Australian player who was the star of the three-day battle.
Andrew Hinrichsen, a 23-year-old poker pro from Melbourne, Australia won his first gold bracelet. He may have had to travel 16,000 miles on the other side of the world to make poker history, but the trip was certainly worth it, for Hinrichsen.
The Aussie, who is currently traveling around the international poker circuit with a group of friends, made a stellar comeback run and spoiled what seemed to be a sure-victory for one of two Italian players. At one point when play was three-handed, Hinrichsen was down to a single stack and seemed destined for third place. But the Australian stormed back and eliminated both Tarcisio Bruno (third) and Gianluca Speranza (second) in what can only be considered to be a staggering turn of events.
Hinrichsen collected 148,030 (Euros) in prize money, which is equal to about $202,386 (USD).
The tournament was played over four consecutive days and nights, ending on a warm Tuesday evening along the Mediterranean Sea. The world’s most exciting and prestigious poker series still has five WSOP gold bracelets at stake.
Furthermore, the 2011 WSOP “Player of the Year” race remains very much undecided. Many players are theoretically still alive for the top honor. However, the final stage of the race is coming down to a possible showdown between poker icon Phil Hellmuth and November Niner Ben Lamb. Hellmuth needs to post another deep run or two in Cannes in order to surpass Lamb, who is destined to bask in the glory of what has been a breakout year on the poker scene.
For more information about the WSOP and WSOP Europe, please visit the portal page at wsop.com.
THE WINNER – ANDREW HINRICHSEN
The winner of the 1000 (Euro) No-Limit Hold’em tournament (WSOP Europe -- Event #2) was Andrew Hinrichsen. He currently resides in Melbourne, Australia.
Hinrichsen is a 23-year-old professional poker player. He was a college student and hopes to return to earn his degree. However, Hinrichsen has been traveling around the international poker circuit for the past six months.
Hinrichsen was born in Melbourne, Australia.
Hinrichsen is single.
Hinrichsen is a vegan. He enjoys working in his tomato garden.
Prior to playing poker, Hinrichsen hoped to play professionally in the Aussie Rules Football League (AFL). However, he was not able to achieve his dream. So, he turned to playing poker, instead.
Hinrichsen stated that if it were not for poker, he would probably be getting his business degree in college, if not having earned it already. He says he hopes to return someday to college and finish his studies. But he also plans to pursue playing for a time, as long as he enjoys success.
Hinrichsen previously attended Monash University, which has the largest student body of any school in Australia.
Hinrichsen started playing poker seriously about three years ago. He watched the WSOP Main Event on television, which promoted him to want to play more and one day attend the WSOP in Las Vegas.
Hinrichsen enjoyed substantial success in tournaments prior to his victory at Cannes. He won two previous major tournaments – at the Asian-Pacific Poker Tour and the Aussie Millions, both in 2009. He also has four runner-up finishes in major events over the past three years.
Hinrichsen is currently traveling around Europe playing in major poker tournaments. He is being accompanied by four friends, who share on expenses. The poker group usually rents and shares a large apartment for the duration of various tournament series. Hinrichsen and his four colleagues rented an apartment in Cannes for the duration of 2011 WSOP Europe.
Hinrichsen finished 23rd in the 2011 WSOP Main Event. He earned $302,005 in prize money for that effort, competing against 6,865 entries.
Hinrichsen arrived at the final table (of nine players) ranked second in chips, about 2 to 1 behind Gianluca Speanza, from Italy. The same two players would ultimately play heads up for the championship.
Hinrichsen collected 148,030 (Euros) for first place. The payout is equal to about $202,386 (USD).
With his victory, Hinrichsen now has one win, one final table appearance, and two cashes at the WSOP. Despite achieving only two cashes, they have each taken place in the two largest events of each WSOP segment – finishing 23rd in the Main Event and 1st in the 1,000 (Euro) No-Limit tournament. His career WSOP earnings now total $504,391 (USD).
With his victory, Hinrichsen became the sixth Australian poker player in history to win a WSOP gold bracelet. He joins previous champions from “Down Under” – including Gary Benson, Joe Hachem, Mel Judah, Jeffrey Lisandro and Mark Vos in what is Australia’s most exclusive poker cub. (Note: Some of these Australian winners have duel nationalities). The entire bracelet cache for Australia currently stands at 11 wins – 5-Lisandro, 2-Judah, 1-Benson, 1-Hachem, 1-Vos, 1-Hinrichsen.
Hinrichsen is to be classified as a professional poker, since he has been playing seriously for two years and has been traveling around the poker circuit for at least six-months.
On his feelings immediately after winning a WSOP gold bracelet: “It’s a significant achievement, for sure. I am pretty speechless at the moment, to be honest. I have not even had much time to think about it. These kinds of things are always so unrealistic when you think about it. You just don’t think about it much until it actually happens. So, now I guess I will have the next few days to think about this and enjoy it.”
On how he felt finishing 23rd in this year’s WSOP Main Event: “I was really shattered afterwards. To get there is such an unbelievable result. But I was shattered for weeks. You go so deep, and then….”
On winning a gold bracelet and the so-called “validation” factor in deciding to play poker seriously: “I think I felt that my extended friends and family did not know that much about poker. But they had the live stream (last summer) on ESPN. I started getting all these messages from cousins and everyone saying they were watching me on TV. It was a pretty wired feeling to experience that. But I have not really spoken to anyone back home (in Australia) in a while. So, I am not even sure if they know what’s happened yet.”
On his success as a tournament player, including making two big scores in two WSOP events in 2011: “This year has been really amazing. I had a bit of an up and down year last year. I spent some time away from poker. But this year has been really good for me and I have done really well.”
On how things went during Day One and Day Two: “I got a bigger stack early, so I was never really in jeopardy, until the second day. On Day Two, the key hand for me was when I got into a big hand against Vanessa Selbst. I four-bet called with ace-ten. It was for like 40 big blinds. She had ace-eight, so I was fortunate to run into the bottom end of her range….my read was right on the hand but I was also a bit lucky since she could have had a better hand than me at that point.”
On the Australian poker scene and how it’s changed in recent years. “Joe Hachem (and his win) was a little before my time, but before he won it the poker rooms had few players. The rooms were tiny. I don’t even think they were running No-Limit Hold’em at the time. But after he won, there was a massive boom. I’ve been lucky to be a part of it a guess. Now, there are tournaments in Australia and they all do well.”
On traveling around the world playing poker for a living: “There are four of us traveling around. So, we decided to make a trip of it (to Cannes.). We were already here for some EPT events. We spent a week in London. Then, we all came here. Next, we are off to San Remo for a bit longer. Some poker trips are usually not as good because you end up staying at the casino, you play all the time, and then you drink in the bar and that’s it. But here on this trip, there is so much more to do because we are in Europe. We try to do some touristy things, as well.”
On how his family and friends back home will react to his WSOP victory: “I have not spoken to them in a few weeks. So, when they find out, it will be a great surprise for them – that’s for sure.”
THE FINAL TABLE
For the purposes of WSOP record-keeping, the final table was comprised of only the final nine players (top nine finishers).
The final table included no former WSOP gold bracelet winners, which guaranteed a first-time champion. This was the second consecutive finale which featured no former winners. Event #1 was also void of any former WSOP victors.
Five different nations were represented at the final table – including France (3), Great Britain (2), Italy (2), Australia (1), and the United States (1).
The runner up was Gianluca Speranza, from L’Aquila, Italy. He is a 26-year-old professional poker player. Speranza has enjoyed tournament success at various tournaments, held mostly in Italy. He also cashed in the 2010 WSOP Main Event, finishing 197th. Speranza was the chip leader during most of the later stages of this tournament. But he ran very bad late against the eventual-winner Hinrichsen, losing two races in all-in situations and his chance at victory. The consolation prize for Speranza amounted to 91,262 (Euros).
The third-place finisher was Tarcisio Bruno, from Torino, Italy. He is a 61-year-old pawn broker. Bruno was in second place when play was at three-handed and looked to make the heads-up match an all-Italian final. But he ran poorly late in the tournament and fizzled out in third place. Nevertheless, Bruno could take pride in receiving 67,281 (Euros) for a fine effort. His only two previous tournament cashes both took place in Italy.
The fourth-place finisher was Bernard Guigon, from Dakar, France. He is a 63-year-old pharmacist. This was Guigon’s best major tournament performance ever, after making two previous final tables, including the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, last year. Guigon collected 50,146 (Euros), his best career payout, to date.
The fifth-place finisher was Roberto Romanello, from Swansea (Wales), UK. He is a 35-year-old professional poker player. Romanello was shooting for the so-called “Triple Crown,” which means earning victories at WSOP/WSOP Europe, the European Poker Tour (EPT), and the World Poker Tour (WPT). He came up short by finishing fifth, but still managed to collect a nice payout totaling 37,874 (Euros). Romanello’s previous victories within the past year took place at EPT Prague (Czech Republic) and WPT Bratislava (Slovakia).
The sixth-place finisher was Eric Baudry, from Los Angeles, CA (USA). He is a 33-year-old handyman. Baudry enjoyed a fourth-place finish in a $1,000 buy-in event held earlier this year at the WSOP (good for $143,991). Baudry hoped to add to his poker resume in this event, and did so with another nice showing in what was his first-ever tournament at WSOP Europe. Baudry collected 28,977 (Euros) in prize money.
The seventh-place finisher was John Eames, from Southport, UK. He is a 23-year-old professional poker player. Eames had four cashes at this year’s WSOP in Las Vegas (best showing – 15th place). He has numerous cashes in major poker events, including a third-place showing in a European Poker Tour Main Event, held in Copenhagen. Eames added to what has been a breakthrough year in tournament poker, with his best WSOP-related finish in this event. Eames earned 22,449 (Euros).
The eighth-place finisher was Nabil Nedjai, from Herrlisheim, France. He is a 31-year-old part-time poker player. Nedjai has one previous major tournament cash, at an event held last year in Spain. This was his first occasion to cash in a WSOP event. Eighth place paid 17,608 (Euros).
The ninth-place finisher was Gregory Lejolivet, from Nice, France. He is a 37-year-old shop owner. Lejolivet arrived at the final table with the lowest stack size and was able to survive only a few hands before being eliminated. This was his first WSOP-related in-the money finish. Ninth place paid 13,982 (Euros).
This year for the first time in history, WSOP Europe final table action is being shown on live streaming video over the Internet. Poker fans from all over the world are able to log in to wsop.com and watch all the action live. All final table events at this year’s WSOP Europe will be broadcast live.
The chip leader coming into the finale was Gianluca Speranza. He was up 3 to 2 in chips over his closest threat when play began, and nearly 3 to 1 (or greater) over the remaining seven players.
The final showdown between Hinrichsen and Speranza was similar to the previous gold bracelet event, with a player from Australasia facing a European. In Event #1, a Swiss player defeated a player from Japan. However, this time the Australia came back and won against an Italian. Both heads-up matches began with the eventual winner initially being behind my at least a 2 to 1 margin in chips.
Heads-up play began with Gianluca Speranza holding nearly a 3 to 1 chip lead over Andrew Hinrichsen. However, the Australian soon-t-be champ slowly grinded his way back and seized the chip lead at one point. If there was a turning point, it came when Hinrichsen won a critical hand holding ten-eight suited (he moved all-in hoping to steal a round of blinds and antes), which topped Speranza’s pocket fives after a ten flopped. About ten hands later the last hand of the tournament was dealt. Both players flopped top pair – kings. With top pair, Speranza’s remaining chips were committed to the pot. But Hinrichsen ended up scooping the final prize holding a better kicker (A-K). Hinrichsen was declared the winner with Speranza finishing as runner up.
Final table play began at 2:35 pm. Play ended at 10 pm. The total duration was 7 hours, 25 minutes (minus a one-hour dinner break).
OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS
There were only three former WSOP gold bracelet winners who cashed in this event – including Erik Cajelais (20th), Vanessa Selbst (32nd), and Dan Kelly (39th).
There were 30 players from France that cashed in this tournament. That number is most French players ever to cash in any WSOP tournament in history. By contrast, 23 French players cashed in this year’s WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas.
Vanessa Selbst has now made two deep runs in the first two gold bracelet events. She missed making the money in Event #1, but was eliminated with a lot of chips when she lost a big hand during the middle of Day Two. Selbst bounced back in this event in went even deeper, taking 32nd place.
Barriere Poker is the official partner-sponsor of WSOP Europe. There were 59 players in the field (out of 771) which qualified via Barriere.
The defending champion from 2010 (which was played in London) was Scott Shelley, from the UK. He did not participate in this year’s tournament.
ODDS AND ENDS
This was the largest WSOP Europe event in history. There have been 18 tournaments played since its inception in 2007. The previous high mark was 608 players set in 2009 for a similar buy-in event held in London.
This is the second of seven events on the 2011 WSOP Europe schedule. It is the 61st gold bracelet event played in 2011, when combined with the 58 premium events which took place in Las Vegas, plus the WSOP Circuit National Championship, held a few months ago.
This is the third year a 1,000 buy-in tournament has been part of the WSOP Europe schedule. The previous two years, the 1,000 buy-in was in English Pounds. This year’s denomination is set in Euros. The Euro-GBP exchange rate is about 1.15 to 1. Hence, the buy-in this year is equal to about 870 GBP.
The 1,000 Euro buy-in is equal to about $1,357 (USD).
Last year’s 1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament was the third (of five) tournaments on the schedule at WSOP Europe (London). It attracted 582 entries. Hence, the turnout this year represented an increase of 32 percent. The first event at Cannes was up 47 percent over last year.
The average age of players who played in this event was 34.8 years.
The average age of players that played and cashed at WSOP Europe (so far) is about on par with the figures from WSOP Las Vegas. Through the first two events, the average age of entrants is about 33 years.
This is the 952nd gold bracelet event in World Series of Poker history. Note: This figure includes every official WSOP event ever played, including tournaments during the early years when there were no actual gold bracelets awarded. It also includes all WSOP Europe gold bracelet event completed, to date.
This is the18th gold bracelet awarded at WSOP Europe since its inception, in 2007.
The first four years of WSOP Europe were played in London, UK at Casino at the Empire.
The official WSOP gold bracelet ceremony will take place at Hotel Majestic Barriere in Cannes prior to the start of the Main Event. The presentation is open to public and media. Video and photography is permitted by both media and the public.
MORE ABOUT 2011 WSOP EUROPE
Three countries have now hosted WSOP gold bracelet events – the United States, Great Britain, and France.
In its 42-year history, WSOP gold bracelet tournament action has taken place at only five venues. They are Binion’s Horseshoe (1970-2003), Rio Las Vegas (2004-present), Casino at the Empire (2007-2010), Caesars Palace Las Vegas (one event in 2011), and now Barriere Cannes (2011). Note: During the 1980s, as few other Downtown Las Vegas casinos also hosted limited portions of the WSOP.
This marks the first time that a WSOP tournament has ever been played in a non-English speaking nation.
This is the first time that any WSOP gold bracelet event has been hosted at a non-owned venue. In other words, Barriere is not a Caesars Entertainment property.
One of the official sponsors of 2011 WSOP Europe is luxury carmaker, Mercedes Benz. Many players are shuttled to and from the nearby Nice airport (about 30 miles away) via Mercedes Benz chauffeur-driven cars.
The 2011 WSOP Europe Staff includes longtime Tournament Director Jack Effel, who has overseen all tournament operations since 2006. He and his staff are present in Cannes. However, much of the set-up and actual operations have been conducted by Barriere’s excellent poker staff. This group includes – Eric Cavillon (Head of Poker Operations), Alain Fabre (Casino General Manager), Jean Etienne Bouedec (Vice President of Operations), Gregory Chochon (Barriere Poker France), and Lucille Denos (Tournament Director) and many other fine industry professionals.
Official WSOP rules typically specify an “English Only” rule, which means all table discussion relating to play must be conducted in English. However, at WSOP Europe (Cannes), there is a duel “English or French Only” rule, which means players can communicate in either language at any time.
Tournament play is split between two first-class venues – Le Croisette Casino Barriere and Hotel Majestic Barriere. The casino and hotel are nestled neck-a-neck along the coastal esplanade facing the Mediterranean Sea. Tournament Day Ones and final table action are played at the hotel. Restarts (Day Twos, Day Threes, etc.) are played inside the casino.
The two poker venues are unquestionably the most glamorous settings for any poker tournament ever held. Poker action takes place inside the same ballrooms which host the world-famous Cannes Film Festival, held annually every May. Many of Hollywood’s most-famous movie stars have stayed at the Majestic Barriere. The hallways are filled with photographs of Hollywood royalty from the 1930s to the present day. The hotel also hosts various global economic summits, which attract many of the world’s leaders.
2011 is shaping up to be a banner year for the French poker scene. Not only is France hosting its first WSOP Europe tournament ever, French players also won four gold bracelets at this year’s WSOP, so far.
The 1,000 (Euro) buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 771 entries. This figure represents a 32 percent increase over the same event held at WSOP Europe last year, held in London.
The total prize pool amounted to 740,160 (Euros). At the present-day exchange rate, this is equal to $1,005,095 (USD).
The top 81 finishers collected prize money. This is the most players ever paid out at any WSOP Europe event in history.
The tournament attracted a highly-competitive field, including most of Europe’s top poker players. Events in Cannes are unquestionably the most internationally diverse fields in WSOP history.
Through two events, the highest finish by any player from the host nation is Bernard Guigon, from Dakar, France. He finished fourth in this tournament.
The tournament officially began at noon on Saturday, October 8th. The tournament officially ended on Tuesday, October 11th at 10 pm (Cannes time).
WSOP AND WSOP EUROPE NOTES
Through Las Vegas Event #58 and Cannes Event #2 (all gold bracelet events), WSOP events have attracted 76,803 combined total entries, to date.
Through Cannes Event #2, 2011 WSOP Europe events have attracted 1,141 combined total entries (360 + 771). Five more events are still to be played.
Through Las Vegas Event #58 and Cannes Event #2 (all gold bracelet events), WSOP events have paid out a combined $193,296,441 – the most of any single year in history.
Through Cannes Event #2, 2011 WSOP Europe events have paid out 1,586,100 (Euros) in prize money. This is equal to about $2,162,016 (USD).
Through the conclusion of Cannes Event #2, the breakdown of nationalities of gold bracelet winners has been:
Through the conclusion of Event #57 (WSOP Las Vegas) and Event #2 (WSOP Europe), the breakdown of nationalities of gold bracelet winners this year has been as follows:
(Note that 2011 WSOP Main Event is still pending):
United States (35)
Great Britain (3)
Through the conclusion of Event #57 (WSOP Las Vegas) and Event #2 (WSOP Europe), the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been as follows:
United States (31)
Great Britain (3)
Through the conclusion of Event #57 (WSOP Las Vegas) and Event #2 (WSOP Europe), the breakdown of professional poker players to semi-pros and
amateurs who won gold bracelets has been as follows:
Professional Players (45): Jake Cody, Cheech Barbaro, Eugene Katchalov, Allen Bari, Harrison Wilder, Matt Perrins, Sean Getzwiller, Viacheslav Zhukov, David Diaz, Andrew Badecker, Tyler Bonkowski, Brian Rast (2 wins), John Juanda, Aaron Steury, Darren Woods, Jason Somerville, Bertrand Grospellier, John Monnette, Elie Payan, Mark Radoja, Chris Viox, Dan Idema, Andy Frankenberger, Chris Lee, Sam Stein, Mark Schmid, Jason Mercier, Mikhail Lakhitov, Fabrice Soulier, Mitch Schock, Matt Jarvis, Justin Pechie, Ben Lamb, Rep Porter, Andre Akkari, Joe Ebanks, Lenny Martin, Athanasios Polychronopoulos, Antonin Teisseire, Matt Matros, Marsha Wolak. Maxim Lykov, Nick Binger, Andrew Hinrichsen
Semi-Pros (6): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii Kovalchuk, Eric Rosawig, Arkadiy Tsinis, Alexander Anter
Amateurs (8): Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, James Hess, Kirk Caldwell, Ken Griffin, Owais Ahmed, David Singontiko, Guillaume Humbert
Since tracking first started in 2005, this year’s WSOP/WSOP Europe has the greatest disparity of professionals winning over semi-pros and amateurs than any year recorded, so far – with 51 out of 59 events being won by pros or semi-pros.
Through the conclusion of this tournament, the victories of 13 of the 59 winners (23 percent) marked the first time the new champion had ever cashed at the WSOP.
The streak of consecutive male WSOP gold bracelet winners is currently at 214 consecutive events. Aside from the annual Ladies Poker Championship, the last female player to win a WSOP tournament open to both sexes was Vanessa Selbst, in 2008. The longest “cold” streak for female players occurred between years 1982 and 1996, when 221 consecutive open events passed without a female champion.
The highest finish by any female (open events) at this year’s WSOP was accomplished by two players. Maria Ho finished second ($5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em). Kim Nguyen also finished as the runner up ($1,500 buy-in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em).
The highest finish by any defending champion at this year’s WSOP was by David Baker, who after winning the previous $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball World Championship finished in sixth place in defense of his title.
Defending world champion Jonathan Duhamel has not been spotted yet at WSOP Europe. Reigning world poker champions rarely perform well the following year after their victory. Chris “Jesus” Ferguson was the last world champion to win a gold bracelet the next year, which happened in 2001. Perhaps it’s due to the increasing size of the fields. But there’s also great pressure on the champions to perform well. What follows is a list of the only world champions in history to win a gold bracelet after winning the
World championship during the previous year:
Johnny Moss (1975)
Doyle Brunson (1977)
Bobby Baldwin (1979)
Stu Ungar (1981)
Johnny Chan (1988)
Hamid Dastmalchi (1993)
Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (2001)
New tournament records set at 2011 WSOP Europe:
First WSOP winner in history from Switzerland – Guillaume Humbert
Largest tournament attendance in WSOP Europe history – 771 entrants (Event #2)