Nick Slade wins European Open IV

Nick Slade
Nick Slade begins a poker comeback at the PartyPoker European Open IV.

For a couple years now, Nick Slade has had a case of "close but not quite" when it came to poker tournaments. Last week he broke that pattern by winning the PartyPoker European Open IV in London.

The 45-year-old pro from Preston, Lancashire in the United Kingdom, walked away with $200,000 at the event after besting a final table that included Annette Obrestad, Juha Helppi, Craig Burgess, Ian Frazer and Josh Tyler.

"I did a lot of work studying Annette before the tournament because I thought that if I was to get anywhere she would be there or thereabouts. I basically knew that if she got a lot of chips she would continually try and re-raise me with a bag of rubbish and it proved to be right," Slade said.

"I knew that Frazer would try and be the table captain, Helppi would be seriously solid and Tyler was a good player after encounters in cash games."

The players carried their chips through from the semi-finals and Slade was fourth at that stage with 124,000. Frazer was the chip leader with 469,000, Tyler had 351,000, Obrestad 235,000, Helppi 114,000 and Burgess 107,000.

The balance of power swung dramatically between Tyler, Obrestad and Frazer, but Slade made his move when Burgess went all-in with a pair of queens and Slade called with K-3 off-suit.


The flop brought another king for Slade, and his top pair survived the turn and river.

Helppi was the first player to bust out when his big slick failed to overcome Obrestad's pocket nines. Tyler followed him to the rail when his pocket queens were busted by Slade's A-8 suited when an ace hit on the turn.

Slade's analysis of Obrestad paid off when she made a move with J-7 off-suit and Slade held firm with A-K. The flop brought Slade another King and Obrestad busted out.

Slade took out Frazer next. He had T-9 off-suit to Frazer's K-Q off-suit, but a nine on the flop was all it took to send Frazer packing in third place.

That left Slade and Burgess to battle it out heads-up, and Burgess had a sizeable lead with more than 90% of the chips on the table. In the end, Slade battled back from the chip deficit and his own always-a-bridesmaid-never-the-bride reputation to win the tournament.

"This is my biggest cash by quite some way, it's an amazing feeling," said Slade. "The money will come in very handy and I intend to take my three kids to Florida on a holiday and get back on the circuit. My wife is over the worst, I just hope this is the start of a new chapter in our lives."

Slade's family has seen some hardship the last few years. In 2006, Slade was considered one of the European circuit's rising stars, but his wife Jane came down with a serious illness and then Slade had a serious water skiing accident that shattered his neck in 2007.

He had to quit the game for a while and almost gave up hope of regaining his status in the poker world again, according to a PartyPoker press release.

"There is little doubt that Nick Slade was amongst the outsiders at the start of the tournament and at the start of the final table," said a PartyPoker spokesperson. "We congratulate him on his win and after all he has been through we hope this is a new dawn for him and his family."

The final-table results were as follows:

Nick Slade
Craig Burgess
Ian Frazer
Annette Obrestad
Josh Tyler
Juha Helppi

According to PartyPoker, Slade now has his eye on the PartyPoker European Challenge in Vienna in March and a variety of other tournaments.

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