The European Poker Tour (EPT) London Poker Festival has come to a tumultuous climax with the two biggest prizes being dished out to a Dutchman and an Englishman. Ruben Visser taking down the EPT Main Event for £595,000 and Talal Shakerchi doing likewise in the £10,000 High Roller for £436,330.
It was a two finger salute of epic proportions as Ruben Visser showed PokerStars just what he was capable of, after the largest online poker room in the world, dropped Visser from their team roster last year. Interestingly, after the axe fell, Visser went on the best run of his career. A run that saw him pick up six figure scores at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, the WSOP Main Event, the PCA Main Event and the EPT Deauville High Roller. But none of those takedowns will feel quite as sweet as this little bit of honey.
It was a feast of flips at a final table that heralded the likes of Theo Jorgensen, Chris Moorman and last seasons EPT London runner-up Steve O’Dwyer. Visser taking £595,000 after cutting a three way deal with Mantas Visockis & Olof Haglund.
“The table was really difficult, with a stacked final table. The key hands for me was the big flip against Christopher Frank when we were six-handed: his nines versus my ace-king, and another big flip against Theo Jorgensen…again on the river: A8 v 44. I rivered an ace and that sent him home and me into the chip lead three handed.” Visser told PokerNews sideline reporter Sarah Grant shortly after his win.
“It means a lot…a lot…a lot. I looked at my own Hendon Mob results the other day. I have a lot of firsts but they are all in smaller tournaments. In my deep runs of the major tournaments I have always come up short of the real big money, and also the recognition. It’s just awesome to finally win an EPT.”
So what next for Visser?
“Getting the second EPT title sounds really cool.”
A much shorter field of 127-players pulled £10,000 out of their deep pockets to enter the High Roller event, and in the end it was a less than familiar name that was holding the trophy aloft after three days of action.
Talal Shakerchi, is not a household name, but he is a man that can afford a $1 million buy-in, as he proved, after entering the 2012 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Big One for One Drop. The CEO of Meditor, a hedge fund management company based in the city, didn’t cash in Vegas, but he did walk away with £436,330 and all the plaudits that come with the fact that he defeated such an elite field. Not bad when you consider that Shakerchi views poker as nothing more than just a hobby.
“My work easily comes first compared to poker, but I like the game as something to pursue in my spare time because it is challenging to do well and requires development of a wide range of skills. I think everyone can learn from competitive games like this. I also think it helps give insights into certain aspects of my work,” Shakerchi told me short after his victory.