2010 WSOPE: Laak, Bjorin, Pantling Headline Six-Max Final

Phil Laak
Phil Laak is looking for his first WSOP bracelet heading into Thursday's Six-Max final in London.

A final table featuring three veteran stars and three others on the rise was set at the 2010 WSOP Europe’s £2,500 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event in London Wednesday.

Headlining the final six is the frenetic Phil “The Unabomber” Laak, who appears to have turned an ATV accident and a record-breaking marathon poker session into a new lease on his poker life.

After breaking the world record for the longest cash-game poker session this summer, Laak was on vacation in Oregon when the ATV accident left him with a cast on his arm and more than a few cuts and bruises.

Perhaps better known for his often wild antics at the table than his more than $2 million in career earnings, since the accident, Laak appears to be on a major upswing.

He narrowly missed the final table at the Partouche Poker Tour final in Cannes earlier this month before an 18th place finish at the English Poker Open here in London just a few days ago.

Now with a shot at his first WSOP bracelet here in London and the Union Jack plastered on his cast, Laak says these two major events have altered him as a person and a player.

“That enduro-session changed me in a lot of ways,” he said. “The version of me now would have significant edge. I would take me over that guy.”

And, he’s hoping a bracelet win will help quiet his harshest critic and best friend.

“The bracelet symbolizes two things,” he said. “One: more money than the rest of these guys got and two: The end of Antonio (Esfandiari) jiving ‘Hey Phil what’s it like to be with a girl who has a bracelet when you don’t.’ All that stuff. That will end that and that’ll be nice.”

When the money bubble burst Wednesday, Chris Bjorin recorded his record fifth WSOPE cash.

But he’ll be solely focused on winning his third WSOP bracelet and recording his biggest cash since his 2009 WSOPE main event final table appearance when play resumes tomorrow.

Finally, the third veteran star at in the final is 2005 WSOP bracelet winner and UK poker Legend Willie Tann.

Tann is short, however, and as experienced as all three are, they will be looking at an uphill climb Thursday.

Canadian Andrew Pantling made third at the Irish Open last year and booked a win in a Heads-Up side event at the EPT Grand Final in April making up most of his $540k in career tournament earnings.

Thanks to a massive pot he raked in at the final two tables, he’ll walk into Thursday’s final with a huge lead and an even bigger desire to win WSOP gold.

“I’m excited about the opportunity, especially the bracelet itself,” he said. “I’ve come close in the past and I’ve made some really bad mistakes. Hopefully I don’t go to bed feeling the same way I did the last few times.”

Bjorin and Laak sit within striking distance, with Ohio online pro David “Davidp18” Peters, who booked a $150k score with a second-place finish in an FTOPS event this summer, close behind them.

The final six finishes up with Frenchman Ilan Rouah looking to build on his more than $150k in French tournament earnings followed by the very short stacked Tann.

The final table will play out at 2 p.m. local time in London’s Empire Casino with a £170,802 first-place prize on the line.

To catch all the action tune in to PokerListings WSOPE Live Updates.

Here's how the stacks look heading in to the final six:

1 Andrew Pantling 627,500

2 Chris Bjorin 368,500

3 Phil Laak 317,000

4 David Peters 251,500

5 Ilan Rouah 200,000

6 Willie Tann 72,000

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