Europeans dominate inaugural Caesars Cup

Caesars Cup Winners
Annette Obrestad and the rest of the Caesars Cup winning European team.

In what can only be called a sound thrashing, Europe defeated The Americas in the inaugural Caesars Cup 4 to 1 in London Friday.

"We destroyed them," said European captain Annette Obrestad. "They had no chance."

The made-for-TV tournament held at Casino at the Empire began with an odd brand of team poker where partners on either side of the table swapped control on each street.

The first match saw Finns Patrik Antonius and Ilari "ziigmund" Sahamies make quick work of Americans Phil Ivey and Huck Seed.

Americas Captain Daniel Negreanu joined with 11-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth to take on Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Betfair Poker qualifier John Harvey in the next match.

Europe grabbed a 2-0 lead when they got it in with ace-three against pocket aces and managed to suck out a straight.

The Americas fought back in the third match when Doyle Brunson and Jennifer Harman made a miraculous comeback to defeat Dario Minieri and Obrestad.

However, the European team took a commanding 3 to 1 lead when Denmark's Gus Hansen and Peter Eastgate beat John Juanda and Barry Greenstein, the latter running king-jack into ace-ten and failing to improve.

The format moved to heads-up next with Obrestad taking on Seed.

Daniel Negreanu
Better luck next year Kid.

The young Norwegian took control after getting it all in with middle-pair-top-kicker against Seed's pair and a flush draw and managed to hold.

The match and the event were over soon after when Seed found himself all in with a dominated ace.

An ecstatic Obrestad said her decision to value youth over experience in choosing teammates for the event proved the right one.

"I would say that we outplayed them for the most part," she said. "We didn't make that many mistakes at all and we didn't get that lucky.

"The thing is in Europe there are not that many professional poker players like they have in the States. We don't have any Doyle Brunsons in Europe. Most of the guys who are experienced are young."

Negreanu saw things a little differently.

"Two things," he said. "First of all, in all the key situations, whether it was an ace versus an ace or whatever, they won every one of those. A lot of the key hands we just got unlucky in.

"Secondly, the specific format really didn't allow players, like Phil Ivey for example, to exhibit his strengths. It was all-in poker."

Coverage of the event will air on ESPN in the new year.

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About Martin Derbyshire

Martin grew up around gaming culture spending a good portion of his high school years hustling pool in billiard halls around the City of Toronto. Saturday nights meant mixed poker games in smoky basements with the boys and a life-long love for the game ensued. His interest in the world of high stakes poker was spurred on by the success of a player Martin went to high school with who played snooker in the same pool halls around the city. That player is none other than Daniel Negreanu.

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