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2010 World Series of Poker Europe

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 to Thursday, September 16, 2010

Event #1: £2,650 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed

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  • Buy-in: £2,650
  • Prizepool: £610,000
  • Entries: 244
  • Remaining: 34


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Thursday, September 16, 2010 2:19 PM Local Time

Under the gun, Andrew Pantling opened to 13,500, and he found calls in two places. Ilan Rouah (cutoff) and Chris Bjorin (small blind) came along to a three-handed       flop. When Bjorin checked, Pantling continued out with a bet of 23,500. Rouah wanted to play for more, and he popped it up to 52,000 straight. Bjorin ducked out of the way, but Pantling made the call to see the turn.

It was the  , and the action check-checked this time. that led them to the   river, and Pantling tapped the table again. Rouah took his cue to fire one last bet of 72,500, about half his remaining stack. Pantling called, and Rouah was befallen by that hand-caught-in-the-cookie-jar look. He sheepishly tabled his     miss, and Pantling's surprise     was plenty good enough to win that big pot.

Look out for the million mark; Andrew Pantling is getting awfully close with 952,000 now. Rouah, on the other hand, is left with just about 75,500 with which to try and mount a comeback.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 2:11 PM Local Time

Andrew Pantling came in with a raise to 13,500, and Willie Tann was the lone caller from the small blind, fresh off his double up.

The flop came out      , and Tann led out into the pot with 20,000 chips. Pantling looked a bit puzzled, but he raised it up to 46,000 all the same. Tann already had his hands behind his stack before Pantling had even made a move, and he reraised all in back to Pantling. The call came quickly, and the cards were on their backs with Tann at risk.




Tann was in bad shape, looking for a two-outer or some running straight cards to stay afloat. The turn   was close but no cigar, and so was the   river. With another heartfelt ovation, Willie Tann was ushered out the door as the first casualty of this final table. It's hard to say enough about the short-stacked performance he put on over the past three days, and it served him well all the way to a sixth-place finish. He'll take £23,900 as a reward for that effort.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 2:06 PM Local Time

Willie Tann opened the pot to 16,000 and Chris Bjorin came right back with a reraise from the next seat over. When the the table passed back to Tann, he shoved his last 55,500 chips at the pot, and Bjorin quickly called the extra few thousand to put him at risk.




Tann's kings held as the board ran down          , and he's earned a double up and a rousing ovation from the assembled cheering section.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 2:05 PM Local Time

We caught up with the action on the flop in a heads-up battle of the blinds. We couldn't tell if Phil Laak (small) or Andew Pantling (big) was the preflop raiser, but either way, the two men checked through the       flop. The   on the turn drew a leading bet from Laak, sliding out 16,000. Pantling called, and he called another 37,000-chip bet from Laak on the   river.

Laak had the goods; he tabled     for the trips and took it down.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:43 PM Local Time

Andrew Pantling is still leading the way here at the final table. He just increased his chip lead by a bit and it was all through Phil Laak is a couple back-to-back hands.

On the first hand, action folded to Laak in the cutoff seat. "Jack it up! Let's jack it up!" he said, looking over at the tournament clock before opting to raise to 15,500. Pantling was on the button and made the call while everyone else tossed their hands into the muck.

The flop came down     and Laak slowed down with a check. Pantling fired 21,000 and was Laak matched it. The turn added the   to the board and completed the possible draws. Laak passed the action to Pantling once again and he chip leader stayed aggressive with a bet of 41,500. Laak folded quickly and the chips were pushed Pantling's way.

On the very next hand, Laak opened again preflop, this time for 15,000 even. Pantling called in the cutoff seat and then Ilan Rouah called on the button. Willie Tann thought about his decision in the big blind for a bit behind his short stack. He eventually mucked and would save his chips for another spot.

The three men in the hand would have to fight over two ladies as the flop came    . Laak fired a continuation bet worth 32,000 and was called by Pantling. Rouah took his third wheel and exited the hand.

The turn brought more black paint with the  . Laak checked and Pantling tapped the table behind. The river then completed the board with the  . Laak checked and Pantling bet 42,500. Laak tanked for a couple of minutes, trying to talk a bit to Pantling who sat motionless. Eventually Laak folded and gave up the hand.

"Andrew, Andrew, Andrew," Laak said. "I just can't beat you."

Laak dropped back to 330,000 while Pantling increased to 725,000 after these two hands.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:26 PM Local Time

Under the gun, David Peters opened the pot with a raise to 9,000 straight. Phil Laak called from the button, but small blind Andrew Pantling was thinking sinister thoughts. He squeezed in a reraise to 37,000 total, and Peters just glared at the felt in front of him. After a moment, he cut out a reraise and slid it forward (~75,000), though Jack Effel didn't even have time to announce the amount before Phil Laak reraised all in back over the top! Pantling quickly folded.

Peters, though, was facing a big decision apparently. He and Laak began the hand with similar stacks, and Peters was considering a call for his tournament life. Cue the banter from Laak.

"Put it in there, David! Come on, you have like a million dollars in the closet at home." Our photographer stepped in to snap a couple pictures, and Laak caught her eye. "It's really exciting, isn't it? I know, my heart is like pounding. I mean, it's not like speeded up, it's just going like boooom... boooom... " Laak grabbed Andrew Pantling's hand and pulled it up to his chest so Pantling could nod in affirmation. "I haven't seen three million hands yet so I still get the excitement."

After about three minutes, Peters finally spoke one word: "Show?"

Laak's reply: "Okay, the talking is over now." And with that, he sat more or less quietly while Peters made his decision. The decision was a fold, and Peters will save his remainder for a better spot.

Laak slid his cards toward the muck. "This will be an unshown hand to the poker world," he said. "Just private in my mind."

Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:17 PM Local Time

The announcements and introductions are all out of the way, and it's down to business. David Peters has the button to begin play, and the cards are in the air here at the final table.

The bracelet looms...

Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:07 PM Local Time

David Peters may not be that well known of a face in the live poker realm, but he has plenty of accolades on his resume to prove that he's one of the game's brightest young stars.

Hailing from Toledo, Ohio, Peters holds some big live titles. In April of 2008, he won a WSOP Circuit gold ring after he took down the $1,060 No-Limit Hold'em event at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. That win was worth $86,908. Later that same year, Peters won a Heartland Poker Tour event in Michigan for $130,178 and a Festa al Lago event for $63,295. In 2009, he went back to the Festa al Lago series and won another event for $104,760.

In other live results, Peters cashed three times at the 2010 WSOP to put his total WSOP cashes at seven. One of those in-the-money finishes this year was a second place in a $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event for a cool $350,803. His final cash came in the Main Event, where he took 136th place for nearly $60,000 to cap off a very solid summer.

Peters is also known very well for his play online, where he plays under the names "dpeters17" and "Davidp18" mainly. Peters has well over $2 million in online winnings and has become one of the most respected players on the virtual felt. A lot of the young players know his face when they see it, but to much of these older, live veterans of the game he's just another young, aggressive online kid with a dream.

Although Peters couldn't get pass the one last person he needed to in order to claim a bracelet this year, he has a great shot at wrapping some gold around his wrist here in London. He comes into the final table of the first event with 251,500 chips and sits in fourth position of the remaining six.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:07 PM Local Time

Ilan Rouah will be the sole player representing the French at this final table. Rouah did well to build his stack up towards the top of the leader board on Day 2, but when it was time to bag and tag for the day with the final table set, Rouah sat in fifth place out of the six players left with 200,000 in chips.

Checking Rouah's live poker resume, we find two results. He first result came in May of 2008 and it was a nice score worth €101,000, or about $156,000 at the time. He pocketed that prize for taking down the €1,300 No-Limit Hold'em event at the Planet 50 Cercle Gaillon Tournament in Paris. His other result didn't come until just recently, more than two years later. He cashed in the €2,700 No Limit Hold'em Heads-Up event at the Partouche Poker Tour, taking fourth place for €9,944.

With some recent heads-up success under his belt, it'll be interesting to see how Rouah navigates this final table. Short-handed play requires players to be a lot more aggressive and take the initiative. Not so much as heads-up play does, but Rouah may just have what it takes to walk away with the bracelet.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:07 PM Local Time

If you're still unfamiliar with the name Andrew Pantling, it's probably a good time to start paying attention. You WSOP followers don't really know him because he has just one cash out of something like 40 events. Don't be fooled, though, Pantling is a force at the table.

Originally from Canada, Pantling now resides in Malta where he runs his own gaming business by day. By night, though, he travels the world, abusing tournament players on the continent of his choosing. His first big result was a runner-up finish in a $1,000 tournament in Las Vegas. He bounced over to the APPT circuit thereafter and racked up two cashes, including a 12th-place showing in Auckland. Immediately thereafter, he finished 4th in the High Rollers event in Sydney, then followed that up with a third-place at the Irish Open in April 2009. Pantling's most recent trophy is from the EPT Grand Final where he took down the €5,000 Heads-Up event for a cool €120,000.

Pantling is looking for his first bracelet today, and he's put himself well on the way to achieving that. He comes into the day with a commanding chip lead and holding more than one third of the total chips in play.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:07 PM Local Time

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Phil Laak learned to play cards while growing up, but the game wouldn't become his profession until later on in his life. Before professional poker, Laak came to the United States and attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he obtained a degree in mechanical engineering. After college, Laak tried out various career paths including an engineer, a day trader, and investing.

After those forays, Laak became immersed in poker with both high stakes cash games and tournaments. Laak took sixth in the Legends of Poker in 2003 and made himself over $50,000. Later that year, he also made a deep run at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic. In February of 2004, he won the WPT Invitational event. In other WPT success, Laak has final tabled two other events. One of those was the Five Diamond World Poker Classic in 2005 where he placed sixth for over $160,000.

In 2005, Laak made a final table at the WSOP. The event was a $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em event and the only thing that stood between Laak and his first bracelet after hours of play was seasoned champion Johnny Chan. Chan defeated Laak and went on to win his tenth bracelet, leaving Laak with second place and nearly $160,000. That same year he also made the money in a second WSOP event.

At the William Hill Poker Grand Prix, Laak would get another chance at a big win when he got heads up with Ram Vaswani for the £150,000 first-place prize. Laak proved better than Vaswani and took down the event. He also won Poker After Dark for $120,000 once, defeating a table stacked with Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Erik Seidel, Jennifer Harman and good friend Antonio Esfandiari.

Outside of tournament poker, Laak regularly plays cash games and is considered one of the best players around, participating in the highest limits around. He's also appeared on High Stakes Poker multiple times. Just recently, Laak set the world record for longest cash game session, playing for 115 hours straight at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Laak earned the nickname "Unabomber" because he usually can be found wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses at the table. The look makes him look like the police sketch of Theodore Kaczynski. He also acts out a lot at the table. Running around to get a better look at the deal of the cards, pushups, and tightly wrapping himself up in his sweatshirt are all antics put on by Laak. At the WSOP in 2008, Laak went one step further and disguised himself as an older man, complete with a latex mask, wig, and make up.

Also recently, Laak found himself mangled up quite a bit thanks for an ATV accident. He spent a good amount of time wearing an eye patch and still sports a hard cast on his arm with a colorful drawing of the British flag.

The show "I Bet You" also starred Laak alongside Esfandiari. The show is a reality show where Laak and Esfandiari expose their degenerate side with bets on anything and everything. Laak also actively contributes to various poker publications.

Laak comes into the day third in chips out of the final six with 317,000.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:05 PM Local Time

Ladies and gentlemen, meet your all-time leading WSOPE casher. Chris Bjorin is a Swedish transplant who now makes his home here in London, and this performance is his fifth cash finish over the four seasons. That puts him in the lead now, one ahead of Daniel Negreanu.

Oh yeah, and did we mention Bjorin has more than $4.5 million in career cashes? He is, in fact, the all-time leading Swedish money winner, and he's seventh among all Europeans. Scouring his stat sheet is a time-consuming task as his record spans more than 20 years. This summer in Las Vegas, Bjorin notched an impressive six WSOP cashes, including a final table in a Stud event. He's already tallied two gold bracelets as well, and a third one here would put him in some elite company in the poker world.

Bjorin is in good shape to capture that title, beginning the final table in second place overall.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:05 PM Local Time

The short stack of the final table is none other than WSOP gold bracelet winner Willie "The Dice Man" Tann. He'll enter the final table as the only player not with a stack over 200,000 chips. Heck, his stack isn't even over 100,000, sitting at just 72,000 in chips, but that's not going to prevent Tann from going deeper in this event. Tann's been riding the short stack for most of the tournament and we're beginning to wonder how in the world he does it.

Tann was born in Singapore, but now resides in England. He's got a laundry list full of cashes that amount to nearly $1.5 million in career tournament winnings. The one result that stands out the most is Tann's largest and most prestigious. He won a WSOP gold bracelet in 2005 after he defeated a field of 758 entrnts in the $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event. That win was worth $188,335. Two years later, Tann cashed in the WSOP Main Event for $106,382. He holds three other WSOP cashes to his name, but only one of thoe came from the WSOP Europe. This marks his second and he's surely making the most of it.

With so many good, solid European players out there in the poker world today, it's hard to break into the top 100 on the European All-Time Money List. Tann sits in 91st on that list. He is also ranked 26th on the England All-Time Money List. Depending on how he does at this final table, he could see his name jump up a few spots on those lists. Moving up the lists will be the least of his worries tomorrow, as Tann will need to find some spots to get some chips and do it early. Six-handed events don't favor the patient ones.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:00 PM Local Time

The first event of the 2010 WSOP Europe is about to kick off its final table. It's going to be an exciting one and is packed full of talent. Young superstar David Peters, Phil Laak, Chris Bjorin and chip leader Andrew Pantling headline the final table. Both Bjorin and short stack Willie Tann have WSOP bracelet, while Peters holds a WSOP Circuit gold ring.

With this final table, Bjorin now ties Howard Lederer for the most final tables in WSOP Europe events and also has taken the lead for most WSOP Europe cashes, surpassing his tie with Daniel Negreanu.

Play kicks off shortly and we'll have bios on each player posted in just a minute so you can get more familiar with each player.