WSOPE, Event 3 - £10,000 NLHE Final Table: Annette Obrestad Makes History
Norway's Annette 'Annette_15' Obrestad became both the youngest person to ever win a World Series bracelet and the first woman to ever win a WSOP Main Event title when she finished atop a field of 362 entrants in the first-ever World Series of Poker Europe £10,000 Main Event tournament. In winning the WSOP Europe bracelet, Obrestad not only won the largest buy-in Main Event in WSOP history, she also bested a field larger than all pre-1999 Main Event fields. The 19-year-old Norwegian truly earned the right to call herself a World Champion when she came out on top of a grueling final table that lasted even longer than the 2007 Main Event final table in Las Vegas.
Obrestad started the day in the middle of the pack, with starting chip stacks for the finalists as follows:
Seat 1: Johannes Korsar - 1,134,000
Seat 2: Oyvind Riisem - 664,000
Seat 3: John Tabatabai - 982,000
Seat 4: Annette Obrestad - 697,000
Seat 5: Dominic Kay - 490,000
Seat 6: Matthew McCullough - 1,278,000
Seat 7: Theo Jorgensen - 605,000
Seat 8: Magnus Persson - 1,231,000
Seat 9: James Keys - 172,000
James Keys started the day on the short stack, and got all his chips in the middle on the third hand of the day, moving all in from the small blind with . Magnus Persson called with , and when the board came down , Keys was eliminated. The 21-year-old Englishman took home £61,540 for his ninth-place finish.
Theo Jorgensen came to the final table with more major tournament experience than his tablemates, having a WSOP final table under his belt ($5,000 Stud in 2007) and an EPT final table as well (Copenhagen). The oldest member of the final table at 35, Jorgensen went to the rail in eighth after being crippled by John Tabatabai. On hand #38, Jorgensen shoved all in over the top of Tabatabai's reraise with pocket tens and Tabatabai quickly called with kings. No help arrived for Jorgensen, and he was left with an extremely short stack. He got the rest of his chips in the middle three hands later against Betfair Sponsored Pro Obrestad and was eliminated in eighth (£85,070).
After starting the day second in chips, Magnus Persson saw his stack slowly disintegrate over the first few levels. He found himself on a short stack in hand #59, and pushed all in pre-flop with , only to find himself called by Tabatabai, who once again held pocket kings. The final board was , and Persson picked up £114,030 as he departed.
It only took a few minutes for Dominic Kay to follow Persson to the rail after tangling with Matthew McCullough in hand #67. Kay shoved all in from the big blind with , and McCullough called with . The flop of brought a set for McCullough, and no help materialized on the turn or river for Kay. He was eliminated in sixth place for £154,040.
The pace slowed after Kay's elimination, with almost two orbits passing before the next knockout. After Ovyind Riisem raised preflop and both Tabatabai and McCullough called, Johannes Korsar pushed all in over the top. Tabatabai called, and the players showed:
The flop brought a set for Tabatabai, and Korsar was eliminated in fifth (£191,860).
Riisem was the next to fall when he called McCullough's all in with pocket nines. McCullough showed , and Riisem got no help from the deck. The 22-year-old Norwegian picked up £257,020 for his fourth-place finish.
After players came back from dinner, play remained three-handed for a while before McCullough got all his chips in ahead of Tabatabai. On a flop of , McCullough and Tabatabai got into a raising war that culminated with McCullough all in with versus Tabatabai's . An ace on the turn sealed McCullough's fate, and the last American standing was eliminated in third for £381,910.
After an arduous heads-up match that lasted almost as many hands as the rest of the final table, Obrestad got all the chips in the middle with Tabatabai drawing all but dead. On a flop of , Obrestad led out and Tabatabai raised. Obrestad pushed all in with , and Tabatabai called with . Obrestad's top set was good all the way and she became the first winner of the WSOP Europe Main Event, the first woman to win a WSOP tournament with a buy-in over $10,000, and the youngest player (by far) ever to win a WSOP bracelet. The 19-year-old Betfair Sponsored Pro Obrestad can't even play in the 2008 WSOP, because she's too young. Betfair Sponsored Pro Obrestad had long ago proven herself in online poker circles, but this win catapulted her into the upper reaches of live-tournament poker stardom.
Here are the final-table finishes and the amount won:
1. Annette Obrestad - 1,000,000
2. John Tabatabai - 570,150
3. Matthew McCullough - 381,910
4. Oyvind Riisem - 257,020
5. Johannes Korsar - 191,860
6. Dominic Kay - 152,040
7. Magnus Persson - 114,030
8. Theo Jorgensen - 85,070
9. James Keys - £61,540