POKER

Poker: APPT Melbourne, IPT San Remo, EPT Tallinn, EMOP Dublin, PPT Barcelona

TAGs: Asian Pacific Poker Tour, European Masters of Poker, European Poker Tour, Italian poker tour, Paradise Poker Tour

EPT-IPT-APPT-EMOP-PPTWhat? You say live poker exists outside the Rio in Las Vegas? Go on…

Leo Boxell, a 69-year-old Aussie mechanic who carries around a stuffed mascot named Wally the Wombat, has taken the Asia Pacific Poker Tour Melbourne main event title, earning AUD $330k. The APPT’s first visit to Melbourne’s Crown Poker Room (home of the Aussie Millions) convinced 260 entrants to part with their $5k buy-in, including Chris Moneymaker, Joe and Tony Hachem, David Gorr and Bryan Huang. Following his victory, Boxell claimed to be “happy as a pig in mud,” so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that he plans to use his winnings to pay off the mortgage on his farm, where both pigs and mud are presumably abundant. Kiwi Phillip Willcocks was runner-up, earning $207k, while Steve Bouya finished third, earning $116k. Next up for the APPT is a stop in Queenstown from Aug. 23-28.

Luca Pagano has won the San Remo stop on the Italian Poker Tour. Pagano, who has cashed 18 times over seven seasons of the European Poker Tour, outlasted a 426-strong field at Casino Sanremo to earn €210k and the sense of enormous well being that comes from having won a big one on one’s home soil. Romania’s Dan Morariu was runner-up, earning €131k, while another Italian, Matteo Fratello, took third and €82k. Next stop for the IPT is at Nova Gorica’s Perla Casino, Sept. 1-5.

Denmark’s Søren T. Larsen has triumphed at the European Masters of Poker stop in Dublin, earning €71k. From a field of 303 entrants, Larsen needed just 12 hands of heads-up play against local lad Dara O’Kearney to seal the victory. Kearney earned almost €43k while Finland’s Jukka Nybäck took third and just shy of €28k.

Aleksandar Abutovic closed out the second season of the Paradise Poker Tour by taking the PPT Barcelona main event title. The German native beat out 310 competitors to win top honors and €27k, which, owing to a side bet with eventual runner-up Jose Maria Felices, was €1k less than Felices’ take-home pay packet. Still, that’s a minor quibble on an otherwise banner day for Abutovic, whose son was born one hour before play began. Quoth the proud papa: “I had a good feeling when [his newborn son] arrived and I told him I was going to do well.” No word on what Abutovic Jr. might have said in response. (‘Don’t make that side bet?’)

Finally, the European Poker Tour’s stop in Tallinn, Estonia has seen 282 players take their seats over Days 1a and 1b, creating a prize pool of €1,071,600, with €275k of that going to the eventual winner. Of the 198 survivors who will take the field Thursday for Day 2, Oscar Lima, a 23-year old from Spain making his EPT debut, currently holds the lead with 132k chips, with Finnish pro Jani Sointula not far off the pace with just under 124k.

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