It was a novel approach for an online tournament. Paradise Poker's first Million Dollar Freeroll Tournament was a huge success for the online poker room, drawing thousands of players battling for the right to take the first million dollar prize in online poker history. After 3,900 players earned the right to compete for the top prize, Costa Rica was the host of the final table and the Paradise Poker tournament was completed.
Nine Americans and one Britain squared off on the felt, with the ninth place finisher assured of walking away with at least $10,000 and a nice story about their summer vacation. The battle was intense throughout the event and came down to one of the Americans and the Brit battling it out for the top prize. After seven hours of play, one man would walk away from the table in the Caribbean with the top prize.
Lee Biddulph, a 28 year old chef from Blackpool, England, was able to take the championship over Mike Darweesh, a software engineer who processes images from Mars and lives in Tempe, AZ. To the cheers of the crows and the tears of his girlfriend, Debbie, Biddulph was able to capture the championship. "Even my teeth are shaking," Biddulph confessed after taking the title.
The final two hands were what spelled Darweesh's doom. On a board of four diamonds, Mike led out with $200,000 on the river. After some contemplation, Lee raised the bet to $600K. Darweesh called and flipped up the nine of diamonds to complete the flush, only to see Biddulph trump him by turning up the ten of diamonds. Biddulph dominated the final hand as both got their money in the middle. With A-10, Lee was a sizeable leader over Mike's Q-9 and, once an Ace appeared on the flop and the board blanked for Darweesh, Biddulph could add his name to the millionaire's list.
"ParadisePoker.com is a great experience at the best of times, but throw $1 million in to the pot and make it a freeroll for amateurs and you discover a whole new crowd able to challenge the best of the pros", said Bruce Stubbs, the marketing director for ParadisePoker.com. "Lee played brilliantly, he started the final table with less chips ($1.58 million to Mike's $2.72 million) and came out a winner."
"In the end, the Million Dollar Freeroll Tournament has been a historic event, lots of fun and ample opportunity for online poker players who want to try out their skills with the best of amateurs. Our second Million Dollar Freeroll Tournament is already in progress," Stubbs added. With the success of the first Million Dollar Freeroll, the swarm of players to compete in the second should be huge. Get your name in on the second tournament by visiting ParadisePoker.com!
Ed Note: Paradise Poker is the place with million dollar freerolls.