The first-ever European Open Deaf Poker Championship took place Nov. 4 at the Grand casino Helsinki in Finland with Swedish player Erik Akervall winning the No-Limit Texas Hold'em Freezeout to claim the champion title.
Though the playing field was relatively small with 47 poker players showing up to compete, they came from six different countries - Denmark, France, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden - to pay the €50 buy-in compete for the Deaf Poker Championship title. Akervall walked away the winner with a €940 prize.
"Of course, we could have hoped for a little bit better attendance for the tournament, but you have to accept the fact that the first ones are always the toughest," said Jukka Rasanen, Grand Casino Helsinki poker manager. "When the word gets round, I'm sure it will be a completely different story next year."
According to the casino, the spirit of this tournament was completely different from the usual international tournaments because the camaraderie between players was distinct. While the players were there to play for money and glory, it was still a warm-hearted, very social event.
"I'm also happy with the tournament arrangements and especially with the cooperation with sign language interpreters," Rasanen said. "Everything went smoothly and the players were satisfied with the tournament and that is what really matters."
The top players were as follows: