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Metsas wins Betfair's $1 million freeroll
Anestis Metsas took the $1 million first-place prize at Betfair's Free Million Dollar Game Thursday, beating out 17 other Betfair qualifiers at the Casino at the Empire in Leicester Square.
"It's unbelievable to have won," he said. "This amazing win has given me the confidence to believe I can compete against the best players in Europe and the rest of the World."
The 23-year-old from Greece qualified for the event through a series of online freerolls and a live regional qualifier.
The road to Betfair's Free Million Dollar Game started in April 2009 with online freerolls leading to regional qualifiers with 18 winners descending upon London to play out the live final Thursday.
With a rather lively crowd in attendance, Metsas outlasted the other regional qualifier winners over a grueling 10 hours.
The final hand saw France's Kevin Michoud get it all in with a flush draw against Metsas' top pair-top kicker.
Top pair held, Metsas booked the win and told reporters he intends to share his $1 million prize with friends and family, starting with a holiday in Phuket, Thailand.
"Coming into the final table I knew I was up against 17 tough players and was hoping I could stay with the British and Scandinavian guys," he said.
"The early stages were frustrating. Every time I had good cards, people didn't want to go in and when I had bad cards everyone wanted to get involved in the big stacks.
"Having won, I'm now going to buy my way into the £1,000 No Limit Hold'em [Friday], and after that who knows."