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Records fall, Juanda stands tall at WSOPE
The first event at the 2009 WSOPE set a new record for the largest tournament ever held in London at 608 players Saturday, including one trying to follow up on a magical trip to the city in 2008.
After winning the main event and banking the £868,800 first-place prize last September, Team Full Tilt pro John Juanda went on to finish runner-up in the PokerStars EPT London High Roller event for a £327,000 score less than a week later.
For this reason and more, the Indonesian-born California resident has developed quite an affinity for the British capital.
"I always like it here," Juanda told PokerListings on a break in the £1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em event's second Day 1 Saturday, the first of four bracelet events at the 2009 WSOPE.
"Win lose or draw it's a great city. It's raining a little too much this year. I don't remember that last year, but I still think it's great."
Juanda appeared particularly eager to defend his main event title at the Casino at the Empire in Leicester Square.
He'll get that chance when the event begins Saturday Sept. 26 and coming off four final table appearances at the 2009 WSOP in Las Vegas, he seems primed to do it.
"That's what I'm here for," he said.
In 2008, Juanda battled through a 21-hour final table to book the win and relishes the opportunity to play the same kind of marathon final again this year.
"I enjoy playing poker, especially at high stakes and final tables when it matters," he explained. "People get tired, but I don't. I can keep playing.
"I can't believe people complain about being tired. When you get to the final table you are so close to achieving your goal to win the tournament. It's time to give it your all, not to be tired."
PokerListings continuing coverage of the 2009 WSOPE can be found on the site's Live Tournaments page.