Monday, September 10, 2007 6:51:37 AM PT
Italy’s Dario Alioto Wins European Record £234,390 Pot-Limit Omaha Prize at World Series of Poker® Europe Presented by Betfair.com
LONDON – September 10, 2007 – European players continued their dominance at the first annual World Series of Poker Europe Presented by Betfair.com, as 23-year-old Dario Alioto of Palermo, Italy, won the Pot-Limit Omaha Championship, £234,390 in cash and the second WSOP gold bracelet ever awarded outside the United States.
Although an all-star contingent of poker professionals from the United States entered the £5,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha event, only two – Andy Bloch and Ted Forrest – made the final two tables. The remaining players, all of whom cashed, continued the strong showing by Europe’s young lions that began with the first WSOP Europe event, a HORSE tournament won by Thomas Bihl of Germany just 24 hours earlier.
“It’s as though we’ve picked up where we left off at the Final Table of the 2007 Main Event in Las Vegas,” said WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack. “That was the most international of tables and affirmed the global appeal of poker. Results here in London further suggest that the rest of the world has caught up to American poker professionals. This bodes well for the continued international growth of the game.”
Alioto won the final hand of the Pot-Limit Omaha championship at 4:50 a,m. GMT today at The Casino at The Empire in London from second-place finisher Istvan Novak of Hungary, who took home the consolation prize of £137,280, or about $280,000.
Lithuanian native and current Australian resident Tony G finished third, winning £94,380, following a seesaw battle for the chip lead with Alioto, losing a couple of critical hands to the Italian player and to Novak.
Ireland’s David Callaghan finished fourth with £65,520, Antoine Arnault of Paris wound up in fifth place with £49,530, Afghani Sherkhan Farnood finished sixth for £38,220, Helsinki’s Sampo Lopponen ended in seventh for £30,420, multiple WSOP final-table player Andy Bloch of Las Vegas finished eighth for £22,620 and Joseph Aval won £16,380 for ninth place.
Roland de Wolfe, Jan Persson and Ted Lawson collected £11,700 apiece for finishing 10th through 12, respectively; John duthie, Andrew Hagen and Rupert Housden won £10,140 each for finishing 13th through 15th, and Dan Bitsch Pedersen, Rafi Amit and Ted Forrest got £8,580 each for their 16th to 18th place finishes.
A total of 156 of the world’s top poker players anted up £5,000 each to play in the second WSOP Europe event, building a prize pool of £780,000. Both the WSOP Europe HORSE and Pot-Limit Omaha tournaments established record prize purses.
Later today, the first round of the £10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’Em Main Event will get under way at three casinos operated by London Clubs International – Fifty on St. James Street, The Casino at the Empire on Leicester Square and The Sportsman at Marble Arch.
Additional information about the WSOP Europe can be found at www.worldseriesofpoker.com.
The WSOP brand is owned by Harrah’s License Company, LLC an affiliate of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:HET), the world’s largest provider of branded casino entertainment through its operating subsidiaries. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, nearly 70 years ago, Harrah’s has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions, and now owns or manages casinos on four continents. The company’s properties operate primarily under the Harrah’s®, Caesars® and Horseshoe® brand names; Harrah’s also owns the London Clubs International family of casinos. Harrah’s Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership.
More information about Harrah’s is available at its Web site — www.harrahs.com