Brunson outduels Obrestad as WSOPE hits home stretch

29 September 2008

Big names are making big news in all different forms and fashions as the second annual World Series of Poker Europe headed into the home stretch in London on Monday.

Brunson_obrestad

Annette Obrestad and Doyle Brunson entertained the fans at the WSOPE over the weekend by going head-to-head on the felt.

The £10,000 Main Event began Day 2 action on Monday night at the Casino at the Empire with Daniel Negreanu sitting in second place on the chip leader board, less than 5,000 chips behind leader Justin Smith of Florida, who has a stack of 158,925.

But a side show that created a lot of publicity over the weekend – other than the Phil Hellmuth Look Alike Contest – was a heads-up match between poker legend Doyle Brunson and last year's WSOPE Main Event champ Annette Obrestad, who at 18 years old is the youngest WSOP bracelet winner. Billed as "The King versus the Queen," the event was played on the Main Stage inside the Casino at the Empire and drew a large crowd of spectators just before the final table of Event #3 was played.

In a best two-out-of-three series, Brunson ended up winning the match 2-0. However, Obrestad actually started off with the best cards in both of her eventual losing hands. Her straight lost to a higher straight in the first match and then, her top pair with best kicker lost when Brunson managed to spike a second pair on the turn of the final hand.

Obrestad graciously congratulated the poker legend, while Brunson personally signed over copies of his highly-acclaimed two-book series, Super/System 1 and 2, to Obrestad, who one day later was bounced from the first day of the Main Event in her quest to defend her title.

Speaking of Event #3, it was won by veteran pro Theo Jorgensen, a 36-year-old from Copenhagen, Denmark who took home £218,626 ($402,403 in U.S. dollars) while capturing his first WSOP bracelet and fourth WSOP cash.

Jorgensen, who became the second Dane to win a 2008 WSOP bracelet after following Jesper Hougaard's victory in Event #1, has an impressive resume from his 15-year career. He won the 2004 Seven-Card Stud European championship and has two European Poker Tour final table appearances to his name. He also took eighth place at last year's WSOP Main Event in London, which paid him £85,070. Jorgensen has now made three final table appearances – all within the past two years -- and his career WSOP earnings increased to $618,953.

Jorgensen had to maneuver through a field that was 165-strong and featured 31 former WSOP bracelet winners. Erik Friberg, who is best known for making the final table in the 2006 WSOP Main Event, was eliminated in fourth place. Two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Max Pescatori finished fifth while David Penly, winner of the 2008 Norwegian Pot-Limit Omaha championship, was sixth.

Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu is hoping to become the first American player to win a WSOPE bracelet as he heads into Day 2 action of the Main Event.

Another notable final tableist was Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, who was eliminated in seventh place. The 2000 WSOP Main Event champ now ranks third all-time in WSOP cashes with 57. Only Men "The Master" Nguyen (62) and Phil Hellmuth (69) have more cashes in their career.

Jorgensen's victory means that U.S. players continue to be shutout at the WSOPE after six events (three last year, three this year). The six events have been won by players from Italy, Germany, Norway, Afghanistan and Denmark (2).

But as the Main Event began Day 2 action, there were Americans in the top four slots of the chip leader board (Smith, Negreanu, Jamie Rosen, David Benefield) while three other players from the U.S. – Andy Bloch, Marco Traniello and Yuval Bronstein – were in the Top 12.

Other notable U.S. players still alive include Mike Matusow, Jennifer Tilly and David "Chino" Rheem, who is one of nine finalists for the WSOP Main Event's final table that will be played in November.

Overall, the Main Event has 363 entrants –one player more than last year – and will award a total of $3,620,000 in prize money.


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