Bookmaker wins World Open

A 45-year-old former betting shop owner defeated a strong playing field of 72 poker players to win the PartyPoker World Open III in London last week and take home $200,000.

The playing field included poker pros such as Roland De Wolfe, Juha Helppi, David Ulliott, Liz Lieu, Ian Frazer, Thomas Wahlroos and members of the Hendon Mob.

But it was Anthony "The Booky" Hardy who bested them all to take home the top prize.

"It is a dream to win the tournament. I'm so chuffed," Hardy said. "I didn't hit many cards in the semi-finals or finals, but I just continued to hang in there."

Hardy, whose nickname is spelled like it is on his personalized car registration plate, has been a pro for eight years. He also has won two Poker Den shows in one season.

The final table of the World Open III brought him back up against a familiar nemesis - Ian Woodley.

Both men are London pros and it was Woodley who kept Hardy from a third Poker Den win in 2005.

Woodley was the favorite to win the World Open III almost immediately after play commenced at the final table. He entered the table as chip leader and when play got down to three he had 859,000 of the 1.2 million chips in play.

"When it was just Ian, and I kept telling him I would win, it is sweet revenge for when he beat me in the Poker Den a couple years ago," Hardy said.

A spokesman said, "Anthony's patience and never say die approach made him a deserved winner."

Final table results for the World Open III are:

1stAnthony Hardy$200,000
2nd Ian Woodley $100,000
3rd Ian Cox $50,000
4th Ram Vaswani $40,000
5th Ian Frazer $30,000
6th David Rudling $20,000

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