2009 WSOPE Event 1 round-up: £1,000 No-limit Hold'em
The first event of the 2009 World Series of Poker Europe is completed and we have crowned the first champion. He ended Day 1 as the chipleader and finished the tournament in the same vein, step forward Mr JP Kelly.
The £1,000 entry-fee appealed to pros and amateurs alike, with Day 1a attracting 295 runners including the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Roland de Wolfe and Dave 'Devilfish' Ulliot with the former being eliminated very early on into proceedings.
After raising preflop, then calling a re-raise from Eddie Hearn, Hellmuth somehow managed to get all his chips in the middle holding 5h6h which gave him an open-ended straight draw. He definitely needed to hit as Hearn held pocket kings, but a 9s turn followed by a Qc river saw 'The Poker Brat' heading for the rail.
The action was thick and fast due to the shallow starting stacks and hour long blinds and by the end of play only 41 players still had chips remaining!
Day 1b showed no signs of slowing down either, despite it been a more pro-heavy day with Phil Ivey, Chris 'Jesus' Ferguson, Annette Obrestad and 2008 WSOPE Main Event winner John Juanda taking to the tables. Out of the 313 that started, only 58 would return for Day 2.
JP Kelly was the overnight chipleader with 99,000 chips but Richard Kellet, Ian Frazer and Fabian Dunlop were all hot on his heels with stacks around the 65,000 mark. Of the 89 remaining players, only 63 would make the money, meaning 26 unlucky players would be going home empty handed.
Robert Lim was the unlucky "bubble-boy", after being eliminated by Raymond Rahme in 64th position. Rahme raised 'Under The Gun', a raise which Lim called on the button for almost one third of his stack. On a flop reading 6c9h7h Rahme open-shoved only to see Lim instantly call. Rahme showed a pair of nines for top set and was way in front of Lim's pocket aces. No help arrived on the turn or river and Lim walked away with nothing but memories whilst the rest of the 63 players would be guaranteed £2,006.
One by one the players fell by the wayside and with each elimination the dream of a WSOP bracelet came closer to reality. Eventually the 89 players who started has been whittled down to just 10 and they all gathered for the unofficial final table to play ten-handed until the final table bubble burst.
That honour went to the extremely vocal Ganesh Bathmanathan who saw his push from the hijack with As7h called by Richard Allen's AcKd. The board changed nothing and our final table was set, with Fabian Dunlop leading the way with 538,000 chips.
The remaining nine players returned to The Empire the following day but James Tomlin was soon leaving again after pushing his short-stack in the middle with Ac7s only to see William Martin re-shove and Thor Drexel call! Tomlin was in bad shape as both his opponents held Big Slick and when the board ran out JcKc4c4d8s, Tomlin was eliminated with £13,115 for his efforts.
Drexler was next to go when his queens lost a race with Adnan Alshamah's Ace-king and he was quickly joined on the rail by William Martin who's AsJs could not outrun Fabian Dunlop's pocket sevens.
Dunlop then took his stack to 985,000 when his kings triumphed over Neil Suarez's pair of fours but JP Kelly was trying his best to keep up with him when he eliminated Anthony Roux with a kings versus tens situation, all-in preflop. Play went from four-handed to heads-up in a remarkably short space of time, first Richard Allen's Ace-four came up short against Kelly's pocket nines and then Dunlop's Ah8h turned an ace to beat Alshamah's KhQs which had flopped a king.
JP Kelly started the heads-up battle with a 498,000 to 1,365,000 chip defecit but this was soon wiped out when both players were all-in preflop, Kelly holding AcTc against Dunlop's Ad5d. A flop of Td8sJd brought something for both players but the 4s and Js fell to ship the pot to Kelly.
After cracking Kelly's slowplayed aces, Dunlop then lost a huge pot when he and Kelly were all-in, both chasing diamond flush-draws, which hit on the turn but Kelly's king-high flush was much better than Dunlop's Jack-high version. This left Dunlop with just 19,000 chips, slightly over one big blind.
Obviously Dunlop was all in blind for the next couple of hands, winning them both but his luck soon ran out when his 4h9h was against Kelly's QdJh on a board reading QhQcTc6sKs. Trip Queens more than enough to beat the nine-high of Dunlop and Britain had it's first-ever WSOPE bracelet winner in JP Kelly.
This was Kelly's second bracelet after he won a $1,500 Pot-limit Hold'em Event in Las Vegas earlier in the year. The £136,803 first prize here was enough to take his career winnings to over the $800,000 mark.