POKER

WPT Venice; Eastgate’s return; Duhamel loses hockey prop bet

TAGs: November Nine, Peter Eastgate, WPT Venice

It seems 2011 is the year of home advantage. Following Parisian Lucien Cohen’s triumph last week at the EPT Deauville, Italian Alessio Isaia has taken the World Poker Tour Venice title. The €3k buy-in main event drew 523 entrants, providing a healthy €380k for Isaia’s first major tournament championship title. Isaia also set a WPT record for the longest heads-up play (eight hours, twenty minutes) against runner-up Szabolcs Mayer, who despite starting with a four-fold chip advantage had to settle for second and €229k.

duhamel-loses-hockey-propIn Atlantic City, Brooklyn native Vadim Shlez took the Borgata Winter Poker Open last week. The Ukrainian-born Shlez outlasted a field of 718 at the US $3,500 Main Event, then defeated LJ Sande heads-up to win $523k. Down under, Austrian Octvian Voegele took down the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour Adelaide Main Event, after finishing third the previous year. Voegele collected AUD $149k for defeating Jesse McKenzie in heads-up play.

Despite announcing his retirement from competitive poker last summer, Peter Eastgate has evidently had a change of heart. With his eligibility already assured, the 64-player National Heads-Up Poker Championship (March 3-6 at Caesars Palace) may prove too tempting a target. Eastgate finished fifth at the NHPC in 2010, but this is his last year of eligibility, so use it or lose it…

Finally, the 2010 November Nine’s reunion at the Foxwoods Mega Stack Challenge XIX has been won by Ben Hopkins, one of 18 randomly selected amateurs who took on the pros (plus three other people, including Foxwoods spokesman Bernard Lee) in a 30-man tourney in Connecticut this week. Three of the nine (champ Jonathan Duhamel, fellow Canuck Matt Jarvis and Michael Mizrachi) made it to the final table, as did Lee, but it was Hopkins who emerged triumphant.

Sadly, Hopkins’ take is a mere $5k, which is $2k more than runner-up Jarvis took home, but Jarvis earned $45k from various side bets made during the event, so… Jarvis also won a non-monetary prop in which he exacted a particularly Canadian form of pwnage on Duhamel. Because Duhamel was eliminated before Jarvis, the Montrealer is now obligated to wear a Vancouver Canucks NHL jersey at no less than three events in 2011’s WSOP. Quel dommage…

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