Moments after his epic victory, John Juanda walked over and gave a hug to Masa Kagawa, one of the players who railbirded him all night and all morning long. Roland de Wolfe is here as well. He played in the PokerStars.com EPT London last night across town at the Vic. De Wolfe went to bed, woke up, and arrived in time at the Empire Casino to see Juanda take it down.
Juanda began the day as the chipleader. He slipped below 1 million in chips several times, but managed to gut out the win.
"This is the longest final table that I have ever played," said Juanda in a post-victory interview.
When asked about his opponent, Stanislav Alekhin, Juanda remarked, "He had me down a couple of times. I was pretty sure and confident that I was going to win. I didn't give up. I have to give the last two players a lot of credit."
When Juanda started out playing professional poker, he picked up several bracelets and held the most out of his core group of friends that included Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, and Allen Cunningham.
"It's so long ago when I won my last bracelet, I can't remember. It's embarrassing. Some people have to keep up with the Joneses. I have to keep up with the Iveys and Cunninghams and Negreanus," he joked. "I wondered if I will ever win again. Today there are so many young excellent tournament players from all over the world. Like the two young Russians and the Scandis. Much more than it used to be. Daniel Negreanu said that we have to step up our game."