Commentary

Phil Laak wins Event 1 at 2010 WSOPE

Updated: September 16, 2010, 5:58 PM ET
By Andrew Feldman | ESPN.com

The 2010 World Series of Poker Europe began on Sept. 14 with a capacity field of 244 in Event 1, six-handed no-limit hold 'em. The buy-in wasn't the biggest we'll see in London (£2,650), but the field was one of the most impressive we've seen with the true stars of the game coming out to play. One of those stars, Phil Laak, was able to finish the job to finally earn the title he's been chasing and finally become a WSOP bracelet winner.

Phil Laak
WSOPPhotos.com Phil Laak, sporting a cast after his ATV accident, won his first bracelet in Event 1 of the 2010 WSOP Europe.

Laak faced off heads-up against Canadian Andrew Pantling, who entered the six-handed final table with a significant chip lead. Pantling, who won the 5,000 euro buy-in heads-up event at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, played an amazing tournament and at one point amassed more than half the chips in play, but Laak was focused and came from behind to emerge victorious. The matchup came down to two key hands at the end when Laak doubled up while holding two pair to Pantling's bottom pair and monster draw (with straight and flush outs, which Laak avoided). Laak finally knocked Pantling out with K-5 to A-9.

The victory earned Laak £170,802 and his first bracelet just months after an ATV accident that left him in the hospital. This was Laak's third final table and ninth WSOP cash. It was Laak's third cash in September, which has made this a month to remember. It is also his second-largest tournament cash in his career. Of course, with the bracelet on his wrist, it'll be his most memorable.

The final table included two other bracelet winners, Chris Bjorin and Willie Tann. Bjorin, a two-time bracelet winner, was eliminated in third place after running his pocket queens into the pocket kings of Laak. This was Bjorin's seventh WSOP cash of the year and his second final table. He has cashed in five WSOPE events out of the 12 that have been offered since the stop's inception. Out of those five cashes, he has three final tables. His legendary career has included $4.7 million in earnings and at least six-figures in tournament winnings in 17 of the past 22 years.

Laak kept his fans up to speed with constant posts during the action on Twitter, which included photos of his chips or the felt. After his win, in true Laak terminology, he only had one thing to say:

"Maximum cheeze shippage. £170,802 ($267,010). Plus some gold! Holla!! http://twitpic.com/2p1mpp."

Other notable finishers included Praz Bansi (11th), Chris Moorman (12th) and Liv Boeree (19th).

Below are the complete results of WSOPE Event 1:

Event 1: Six-handed no-limit hold 'em
Buy-in: £2,650
Entries: 244
Prize pool: £610,000
Players in the money: 24

1. Phil Laak (£170,802)
2. Andrew Pantling (£105,506)
3. Chris Bjorin (£70,473)
4. David Peters (£48,202)
5. Ilan Rouah (£33,617)
6. Willie Tann (£23,900)
7. John Tabatabai (£17,318)
8. Vincent Dalet (£17,318)
9. Manig Loeser (£12,902)
10. Lawrie Inman (£12,902)
11. Praz Bansi (£9,608)
12. Chris Moorman (£9,608)
13. Peter Wood (£7,350)
14. Daniel Colman (£7,350)
15. Nathan Lee (£7,350)
16. Tai Tran (£7,350)
17. Nicola Pero (£7,350)
18. Eli Heath (£7,350)
19. Liv Boeree (£5,624)
20. Arto Loikkanen (£5,624)
21. Ilari Tahkokallio (£5,624)
22. Francois de Quidt (£5,624)
23. Kayvan Payman (£5,624)
24. Thorsten Schafer (£5,624)

Andrew Feldman is ESPN.com's Poker Editor. He is the host of the Poker Edge Podcast and co-host of ESPN Inside Deal. Andrew has covered the poker industry for ESPN since 2004.

ALSO SEE