The Pink Bunny has done it! Ben Bensimhon, draped in his trusted bunny hood throughout the tournament, has become the first ever World Series of Poker International Circuit Main Event winner in Holland Casino Rotterdam! Bensimhon cashed an astonishing €94,349 for his first place prize. Runner-up was Jakob Miegel of Germany, who won €58,308. Belgian MTT-star Bart Lybaert finished in 3rd place for €42,308, Dutch high roller Govert Metaal ended up in 9th for €8,657.
Bensimhon held a commanding chip lead throughout the day and was responsible for six out of eight eliminations at the final table. After losing a 5:1 chip lead heads-up, Bensimhon fought back into it and eventually won it all. The 33-year old Swiss, country manager for 888poker in daily life, was all smiles after capturing the coveted WSOP Circuit ring.
"I never ever dreamed of it,"Bensimhon said after the biggest poker achievement of his career. "Three to four years ago, I started playing professionally a bit more, but this is something I've never even dreamed of.
"It's an amazing thing," a twinkly-eyed Bensimoud added. "It's not about the money, actually, it's about the title."
Bensimhon captured the attention with his inseparable, fluffy pink bunny hood. One would suspect a lost prop bet would've forced Bensimhon to wear such a headpiece but nothing could be farther from the truth. "It's custom for me to wear something like this. This is my lucky hat. I like having fun on the table, people are much more happy. And also, when people like you, it's to your advantage. But mostly, I like just bringing fun."
The good-spirited nature of Bensimhon clearly showed after the heads-up, when he hugged his opponent Jakob Miegel in consolidation. Shortly before, though, the Swiss nearly missed out on the biggest achievement of his poker career. Holding pocket jacks, he three-bet preflop, and Miegel just elected to flat-call with pocket kings. An ace on the flop killed much of the postflop action and saved Bensimhon from certain doom, escaping the setup with 30 big blinds left in his stack and able to continue the heads-up match.
"I got very lucky there," Bensimhon admitted afterward. "I was very lucky he didn't shove. I would've snap-called with pocket jacks." The story for Bensimhon didn't end there, and he was able to turn it around to capture €94,349 and the first ever WSOPC Main Event Circuit ring awarded on Dutch soil.
|Position||Player||Country||Prize in €||Prize in $|
|6||Lawrence Bayley||United Kingdom||€17,840||$21,162|
Nine players returned for the final table at 2 p.m. local time to contest for WSOP Circuit glory. Perhaps the most crucial hand at the final table happened in the early stages, when Bensimhon cracked Lybaert's pocket aces with pocket nines. Bensimhon grabbed a big chip lead while one of his strongest opponents tumbled down the leaderboard. The Swiss maintained the chip lead for nearly the entirety of the final table, eliminating six out of eight of his opponents on his way to the eventual victory.
Bensimhon scored his first elimination of the day by sending Govert Metaal to the rail in 9th place (€8,657). Metaal got it in with pocket fours against Bensimhon's ace-nine, and the latter made a four-flush with the nine to win. Paul Gresel (8th - €10,850) was the next to go. Gresel got it in with pocket queens against Bensimhon's pocket aces to become the Swiss's second victim.
A short stacked Dwayne Sluis finished in 7th place (€13,806) after losing ace-seven against Teun Mulder's ace-ten. Lawrence Bayley ended in 6th place (€17,840) shortly after, when he lost pocket nines against Bensimhon's queen-eight. A queen on the river ended it for the last Brit in the tournament.
After Bayley's elimination, Bensimhon went on a rampage and knocked out Micha Hoedemaker (5th - €23,410) and Teun Mulder (4th - €31,214) in quick succession. It was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it phase, as Bart Lybaert (3rd - €42,308) busted in the hand after Mulder. This time, it was Jakob Miegel who was responsible, sending the Belgian star home with pocket tens against ace-six.
Bensimhon started the heads-up with a five-to-one chip lead over his German adversary. However, the German grinded quickly back to even stacks and grabbed the chip lead at one point. Holding pocket kings, Miegel called a three-bet from Bensimhon, who turned out to have pocket jacks. An ace on the flop killed any subsequent action, where if Miegel would've four-bet shoved, he would've won it all, as Bensimhon said afterwards he would've called in a heartbeat.
Instead, Bensimhon was left with 30 big blinds, and he turned it around in two big hands. In the first hand, Bensimhon won with ace-jack against pocket sixes when he spiked an ace. Then, all the money went in again with Bensimhon's queen-jack against Miegel's ace-seven. Bensimhon improved to Broadway on the river to win it all and become the first ever WSOPC International Main Event winner on Dutch soil.
That's all from PokerNews at the beautiful Holland Casino Rotterdam, where an exciting nine-day poker festival came to an end with Ben Bensimhon crowned as a brand new WSOP Circuit winner.