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Tuesday, October 6, 2009 | Francis Lee


The World Series of Poker Europe main event was held Empire Casino in London where 334 players started out in the £10,000 tournament.  The event was scheduled to be played over four days to find the 2009 WSOPE champion.  The field was packed full of poker pro’s from around the world which made this a very tough event to negotiate.

Once the event reached the final table stage Jason Mercier was leading the chip rankings on just over 3 million in chips, almost 2 million more than his nearest rival James Akenhead.  Akenhead who will appear on the WSOP main event final table in November was also joined by his fellow Novermber nine opponent Antoine Saout. Daniel Negreanu was the short stacked player on the final table with 438,000 in chips.  Here is how the rest of the final table line up looked at the start of play on the final day.

Final Table Chip Rankings

  • 1st Jason Mercier 3,198,000
  • 2nd James Akenhead 1,398,000
  • 3rd Praz Bansi 1,160,000
  • 4th Barry Shulman 1,090,000
  • 5th Markus Ristola 784,000
  • 6th Antoine Saout 701,000
  • 7th Matt Hawrilenko 674,000
  • 8th Chris Bjorin 518,000
  • 9th Daniel Negreanu 438,000

It took quite a while for the first elimination to come about as everyone was not committing too much to each pot.  Daniel Negreanu made the best start increasing his chips stack up and then eliminating James Akenhead into 9th place.  All the chips went in pre flop with Akenhead having :as :qh up against pocket Kings.  The Kings held up handing Negreanu the pot leaving Akenhead to collect £66,533 in prize money.

Soon after short stacked Matt Hawrilenko was next to fall when he moved all in with :jd :7h and was called by Barry Shulman with :ad :qc Neither player hit any piece of the board meaning Shulman’s Ace high was enough to win the pot.

On the very next hand the last remaining November Nine player Antoine Saout moved all in with pocket Fives and found some action with Negreanu calling with :as :qs Negreanu managed to river a nut spade flush eliminating Saout in 7th place.

Negreanu then went onto take the overall chip lead when eliminating Chris Bjorin dominating :as :jh with :ad :qc Bjorin had a chance after the flop gave him a straight draw but this didn’t materialize on the turn or river.  Negreanu then struck again when he eliminated Markus Ristola out into 5th place.  Negreanu raised under the gun to £100,000 and quickly called Ristola when he moved all in holding :ac :5c He was in the lead when Ristola showed :kd :10d until the turn paired his King.  Negreanu called for an Ace and got his wish as the :ah came down on the river.

Four handed play lasted for quite a while and when the players went for a break Praz Bansi has the chip lead with 2.9 million just ahead of Negreanu on 2.8 million.  Mercier was on 2.3 million followed by Shulman in last place on 1.9 million.

Mercier had the best of it after the restart but was then pegged back by Negreanu.  The two clashed again which would be the end for Mercier. All the chips went in pre flop with Mercier needing help having pocket Sevens against Negreanu’s pocket Nines.  No Seven came to rescue Mercier who picked up £267,267 finishing in 4th place.

Praz Bansi was next to go when first being crippled by Shulman and then going out against Negreanu when his :qh :2h was dominated by :as :qd The crowd watching along the rail was rooting for Bansi to hit a two but this never came to leave Negreanu heads up against Shulman.

Negreanu held a big chip lead over Shulman at the start and it was almost over in the early exchanges.  On a flop showing :6h :8h :kd all the chips went in the middle with Negreanu having pocket Aces but was up against Shulman’s :ah :5h looking to hit a flush.  The :2h on the turn left Negreanu drawing dead handing Shulman the chip lead.

Negreanu fought back and again nearly won the event when he was ahead after the turn holding :qc :jd against pocket Aces on the board showing :5d :8d :jc :jh The dealer then brought the hammer blow when the :ad came down on the River leaving Negreanu with just 2 million in chips.

Negreanu never recovered from this beat and the event was finally over when his pocket four’s was beaten by pocket tens when a ten made Shulman a set on the flop. This meant Shulman was the 2009 WSOPE champion picking up the £801,603 first place prize and the WSOPE bracelet to go with it

Final Standings

  • 1st Barry Shulman £801,603
  • 2nd Daniel Negreanu £495,589
  • 3rd Praz Bansi £360,887
  • 4th Jason Mercier £267,267
  • 5th Markus Ristola £200,367
  • 6th Chris Bjorin £150,267
  • 7th Antoine Saout £114,228
  • 8th Matt Hawrilenko £87,074
  • 9th James Akenhead £66,533



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