World Series of Poker Europe Irish Poker Open, Final Table: Johansson Upends Scott, Pantling Irish Poker Open, Final Table: Johansson Upends Scott, Pantling 0001

After three long days of tournament poker, the Irish Poker Open concluded in a rapid-fire final table that saw Andrew Pantling come into Day 4 with a massive chip lead but bust in third place as EPT Live presenter Kara Scott made a deep run at her first major tournament title. Alas for Scott, it was not to be as she fell in a heads-up duel to Christer Johansson, who emerged from the 700-player field clutching the trophy and the €600,000 top prize.

Andy Bradshaw came to the table ready for action after going AWOL before the beginning of the final table. When Bradshaw finally arrived, he called Atanas Gueorguiev's all-in move on the first hand with {a-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds}. Gueorguiev showed {k-Hearts}{k-Diamonds}, and when the board ran out {10-Spades}{6-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{10-Clubs}{4-Spades} Bradshaw was eliminated. His exceptionally short final-table appearance was worth €56,000 for eighth spot.

Bradshaw's early exit set the pace for much of the final table, and Bradley Verburg followed right along when he busted in seventh place (€74,600) just moments later. Verburg moved all in with {a-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds} and found a call from chip leader Andrew Pantling. Pantling made top pair on the {j-Spades}{2-Clubs}{7-Diamonds} flop, but Verburg made bottom pair to pick up additional outs. The {4-Diamonds} turn added a flush draw for Verburg, but despite all his outs, the {6-Hearts} river sent him packing.

Atanas Gueorguiev claimed another victim when he busted William Kassouf in sixth place (€100,900). Gueorguiev raised preflop with {q-Hearts}{q-Clubs}, and Kassouf moved all in over the top with pocket jacks. Gueorguiev quickly called, and the board ran out {6-Spades}{10-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{a-Diamonds} to give Gueorguiev the pot and send Kassouf to the rail. Next, Lee Brooke-Pearce found himself short-stacked and made a move with {8-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}. Andrew Pantling called with {k-Hearts}{10-Spades}, and Brooke-Pearce was drawing dead by the {k-Clubs} turn. He picked up €130,600 for his fifth-place showing.

As the day wore on, the chip lead passed back and forth between Gueorguiev, Andrew Pantling and Kara Scott. Scott went on a tear in the middle of the final table, and capped a hot streak by busting Gueorguiev in fourth place (€163,300). Scott raised preflop with {a-Hearts}{q-Clubs}, and Gueorguiev re-raised. Scott quickly four-bet, and Gueorguiev moved all in with pocket kings. Scott called, and needed help to bust Gueorguiev and maintain her chip lead. The {3-Hearts}{5-Clubs}{3-Diamonds} flop was no good for Scott, and the {8-Hearts} on the turn kept Gueorguiev in the lead. However, the {a-Diamonds} on the river gave Scott the bigger two pair as Gueorguiev headed to the rail with a fourth-place finish to his credit.

Andrew Pantling hovered at or near the chip lead for much of the tournament. His aggressive style bulldozed opponents and carried him all the way to the final table, but he ran out of steam just before the finish line, busting to eventual champion Christer Johansson in third place (€205,200). After several preflop raises, all of Pantling's chips went in the middle preflop with {7-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}. Johansson called with {k-Spades}{q-Spades}, and won his coin flip on the river when the final board read {6-Clubs}{8-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{q-Hearts}. Pantling headed off to collect over €200,000 as Johansson readied for a heads-up match with Kara Scott for the title.

Heads-up play lasted for nearly an hour before Johansson was able to finally put away Scott. Scott raised the final hand preflop with J-9, and Johansson called. Johansson checked the {j-Diamonds}{7-Spades}{k-Diamonds} flop, and Scott led out. Johansson raised, Scott moved all in and Johansson called. When all the chips were in the middle Johansson was ahead, showing K-3 for top pair to Scott's middle pair. The queen on the turn helped no one, and when the {a-Diamonds} hit the river, Kara Scott's extraordinary run was over in second place (€312,600). Christer Johansson collected €600,000 for his victory as the 2009 Irish Poker Open Champion.

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