Jesper Hougaard, a 24-year-old professional poker player from Copenhagen, Denmark, claimed his second WSOP gold bracelet of the year with a win in the ₤1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event that kicked off this year's WSOPE.
This summer, Hougaard also conquered the field in Event 38, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em, at the WSOP in Las Vegas. His victory in London makes him the first player to win WSOP bracelets in both America and Europe.
WSOPE Event 1 drew a total of 410 players, making it the largest poker tournament ever held in the United Kingdom's capital. The field was replete with famous faces from the world of poker, including Phil Hellmuth, Erik Seidel, Barry Greenstein, Phil Ivey, Mike Matusow, John Phan, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson and 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event winner Annette Obrestad.
The 410 buy-ins for Event 1 built a prize pool of ₤615,000 that would be paid out among the top 45 finishers. Thirty-six of those would claim their cash on Day 2, leaving the final nine to come back on Day 3 to fight it out over the top prize of £144,218.
As the final table began, 20-year-old American Adam Junglen held the chip lead at a stack of $795,000, nearly one-third of the total chips in play. Junglen had also been the chip leader at the end of the first day's play.
Sitting at the back of the pack, amazingly, were the two men who would end up facing each other for the bracelet: Hougaard in eighth place with $89,000 in chips, and Fuad Serhan with just $61,000.
After the opening eliminations of Daniel Nutt, Ian Woodley and Linda Lee, the next to go would be incoming chip leader Junglen. Having seen his once-massive stack dwindle thanks to being on the losing end of several coin flips, Junglen shoved all-in with A-5 only to find himself up against Ireland's John Dwyer and a pair of fives.
Junglen managed to catch an ace before his tournament fate was sealed by the case five appearing on the board. His disappointment may have been soothed by a £28,598 payday and the knowledge that he'll soon be old enough to play live tournaments in his own home country.
The pocket fives that treated Dwyer so well against Junglen would be his demise in fifth place when they ran into Yevgeniy Timoshenko's pocket kings. Neil Channing, winner of the Irish Open earlier in the year, would hit the rail in fourth place as Timoshenko's next victim despite getting his chips in with 8-8 against the young American's A-6.
Timoshenko was looking for his second tournament victory in less than a month after claiming victory at the APT's main event in Macau. His dreams of another title were dashed, however, when his pocket fours fell to Hougaard's ace-jack of diamonds thanks to an ace on the flop.
Heads-up play began with Hougaard holding a chip lead of better than 4-1 over his rival Serhan. Only a few hands into their match, Serhad managed to get his stack in the middle with a dominant chance to double up, holding ace-king of clubs to Hougaard's ace-jack of diamonds.
The poker gods had a cruel finish in the cards, though, as the dealer put out an all-diamond flop to seal the win for the Dane.
|Place ||Name ||Hometown ||Prize |
|1st ||Jesper Hougaard ||Copenhagen, Denmark ||£144,218 |
|2nd ||Fuad Serhan ||Cobham, England ||£89,175 |
|3rd ||Yevgeniy Timoshenko ||Mukilteo, Wash. ||£55,300 |
|4th ||Neil Channing ||London, England ||£44,588 |
|5th ||John Dwyer ||Dundalk, Ireland ||£36,285 |
|6th ||Adam Junglen ||Stow, Ohio ||£28,598 |
|7th ||Linda Lee ||Las Vegas, Nev. ||£22,448 |
|8th ||Ian Woodley ||London, England ||£17,835 |
|9th ||Daniel Nutt ||Byfleet, England ||£13,222 |
WSOP Europe's second event is already under way and PokerListings.com is on the scene. Be sure to join our coverage team and follow all the action from "shuffle up and deal" to the bracelet presentation in the Live Tournaments section.