November 13th-19th 2000 : Hilton Hotel Casino, Isle of Man
Players put up £6000 each for the privilage of
fighting the best people in the world to see who lifts the title and the
biggest cheque in poker history.
|Results and happenings from the big tournament.
around Britain, Europe and the world, people have started booking in at hotels
in the quiet Victorian capital of the Isle of Man, Douglas. The day before the
first scheduled qualifying tournament begins, cash games took off with the
weary players losing much off their gritty professionalism and opting for 'Gung
Games ranging from
lively Holdem tables, that required just £250 to start playing, to the
fearsome multinational line-up £5000 dealers choice, sprung up
With four days to go
there were around 100 confirmed players for the big event. The Hilton reports
that they are booked for the week and the over-spill hotel is filling
thing has started in earnest with many more hopefuls arriving from all over.
The studio that will hold the final has been built in the car park because the
ceilings in the hotel were not high enough for the lights and
Jesse May, the Late Night Poker commentator, has been playing
and Frank Bruno breezed in to take a look at the action. Many more celebs are
on their way with a very hectic Thursday looming large.
tournaments produced 8 more qualifiers for the big one and this is set to
multiply by the feverish action in Mondays events.
The big event of the
day was the game built around the now legendary player, George the Greek.
Yesterday he blew £50,000 before the flight to the Isle of Man and then
later another £50,000 in the evenings play. He was hoping to get back
today but did the classic thing you shouldn't, another £100,000 chasing
after the loss.
Stay tuned, the tension is building.
illuminated a dead flat sea skirting the rocky coastline here at the Isle of
Man for the second day in a row. On the west side of the island very little
life stirred as the sun set and the lights on the Irish mainland began to
pepper the horizon. Over on the east coast things were only just beginning to
The circus got all the animals in the ring today with many of
the famous world champions arriving. Johnny Chan, Russ Hamilton, Phil Hellmuth
Jnr. and Amarillo Slim showed their faces. Russ Hamilton won the world crown in
1994 when Binion's Horseshoe (the Vegas casino that holds the tournament) had
promised to give the winner his weight in silver on top of the $1,000,000. Russ
weighed 290lbs at the time and they had only just enough to balance the
ceremonial scales. If he is honest he'll probably tell you that he would be a
little richer if he were to win it now.
More qualifiers made it through
the daily events with the welsh 1990 world champion, Mansour Matloubi, being
squeezed out on the last card of the last hand of the last competition. He bet
all-in with Ace-Five when his opponent with King-Eight hit the king on the last
card. Seven more potential millionaires were added to the list at the end of
the days plays.
Wednesday looks to be the big day for serious cash games
as the worlds best have a day to play each other before the tournament gets
going for real. The organisers are having a tough problem just organising the
cash flow for the players and the local bank is running continual security van
trips just to put the players money and minds at ease. Meanwhile the casino in
the Hilton Hotel, where the tournaments are being played, is doing very nicely
|The third and
last day of qualifying for the big tournament got under way with a popular
satellite event that took a record 100 entrants. That record stood for a few
hours until the evening event was swamped by 149 players, many hot off the
plane with bags on their shoulders and under their eyes. Numerous other '10
player' events took place producing at least 20 more entrants before nine
o'clock in the evening, with the prospect of the early hours being stretched to
achieve yet more. Organisers now say that a target of 225 players is in
Seven ex-world champions are already entered along with the most
successful big tournaments players of recent years. The press are making hay
here with coverage by all the major TV channels and the Evening Standard will
be presenting a double page spread in Thursday's paper with a follow in the
diary column on Friday.
The monster 149 satellite later took 320 re-buys
to provide a pool of £46,900 and seven qualifiers.
colourful addition to the line up of players is the one time world backgammon
champion and most famous player in that game of all time, Paul Magriel. There's
no greater endorsement for the status of the event when this man shows for he's
where ever the action is around the world. If he's here then this must be
Take some time to buy the Evening Standard today, Thursday 16th, to
see a double page spread on the event. From today the reports become more
frequent as the big event takes off and the celebs give personal opinions on
moved into a higher gear just minutes before the start of the big tournament.
One hand tables where the players pay £600 for one hand, winner takes a
seat in the championship, were played one after another. Ian Dobson from
Birmingham and Sony Osman of London scooped the first two to boost the English
The tournament prize fund was lifted to £1,250,000 after
Barry Hearn announced that Ladbrokes had coughed up another £250,000.
This has meant a total add-on of £314,000 to the money staked by the
players. To the pros, this is an enormous over-lay, or a payout that offers
odds above what they truly are. To the rest its in the clouds.
began at 15:00 with 155 players, including Barry Hearn, the tournament
The first break was taken at 17:20. 152 players left
The second break has gone by with 140 players left at 19:20.
The current world champion, Chris 'Jesus' Ferguson immediately got into
a big pot with a tough American player as well as T.J.Cloutier, the man 'Jesus'
put out on the last card of the last hand of the 2000 World Championship. The
player in first position opened for 2000 chips with pocket Kings, 'Jesus'
raises another 2000 and T.J. moves in with all his chips with pocket Queens.
The earlier bettor went all-in with his Kings and guess what, 'Jesus' calls
with Aces. At 20:00 he has 28,000 chips with his 5,000 reserve. He
became chip leader.
21:30 123 players, 'Jesus' still leading with
31,000 and his 5,000 re-buy ticket. Dinner break begins. Barry Hearn is still
well in and has out lasted T.J. Cloutier, the worlds number one tournament
The first day ended at 01:00 a.m.. The sweetest story
happened minutes before the end of play when Phil Hellmuth tried to liquidate
the 5000 reserve cash slip that all players started with. The dealer turned to
the most famous player in the world to ask him who he was. Everybody burst into
Ninety nine players are left with the field mixed beyond
expectations of the commentators. Freddy Deeb of USA (resident in England), is
clear leader with 47,400 chips, although the man he took them from, current
world champ. Chris Ferguson, is still well placed at ninth position. Last
position is tournament promo Barry Hearn.
Ireland seems best placed to
challenge the USA for first prize although England is still hanging in with
many players in the middle of the field. The result will be decided amongst
All ex-world champions that entered the tournament are
still playing on into the second day.
|Reigning World Champion, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, goes out 10
mins into the second day. Playing Aces in the big blind, "Jesus" raised 2000
and got a call from Henry Nugget in late position. King, Queen, Deuce hits the
Jesus says "I put him on a pair and bet just 5000 to hide my
strength". Jesus got called. "The turn card came a nine, which worried me and
he bet 10,000 into me. I decided he was on King-Jack and put it all
His opponent called in a flash and of course had the Ten-Jack for
the straight. Maybe it didn't help that Jesus only had one hours sleep. He
wasn't out first though, Barry Hearn decided to go all in first hand and his
pocket Sevens didn't hold up against Ace-Queen.
At 14:30 three
players stand with more than 50,000. Jim McManus and Mad Marti Wilson have
around the fiftty mark and Mr. Nuggett, the Jesus crucifier, has 57,000. Eighty
players are left.
15:10 at the break Nuggett is clear leader
with 68,000. Marti and Jim have blown a large part of chips. Meanwhile Phil
Helmuth tried to bluff Kevin Song on the river, Phil with K-Q spades and Song
with 7-7 (flop is J-8-4-2-4) Song thinks for five minutes and decides that the
only way to decide is to flip a coin. He calls heads and it is. H e calls, he
wins. The best bit is Phil still has some chips and is beginning to show some
of the irritation that he is becoming famous for.
Meanwhile double world
champion, Johnny Chan, took punishment from tough English player Mike Harris.
Mike started the day in second worst position with 2,600 chips. Almost
immediately he finds Aces in the hole, goes all in and more than doubles his
stack. The very next hand Mike is on the button and Johnny Chan finds pocket
Kings in mid-position, from where he takes off with a bet. Mike looks at his
cards and guess what, he finds Aces again. All-in again and Chan is accusing
the dealer every hand afterwards of not shuffling. Mike has gone from 2,600 to
16:20 The new idea in town is to play all the way down to
six people tonight!! Then give the players a day off. My guess is that it will
not get a good reception.! 63 players left in. Nuggett still chip leader
at 68,000 with several closing in at around 60,000. DevilFish Ulliot is out.
Kevin O'Connell has 60,000!
16:50 Britain's Kevin O'Connell is
now chip leader with 67,000. Nuggett has been beaten in a few pots. Simon
"Aces" Trumper, all-in just two hours ago for 5,000, has won pot after
pot and is now sitting on 65,000 chips and second place. Barney "Rubble"
Boatman is close behind in third place for a British
18:10 45 players left on just five tables. Phil Hellmuth
and Noel Furlong have gone. The last two world champions are Johnny Chan and
Amarillo Slim. Chan has made a big recovery from all-in on a few chips to have
35,000. O'Connell, Trumper, Boatman are all still strong on around 60,000. The
two leaders are Teddy Tuil and Dave Colclough on 80,000 a piece. The best
running story in Vic Rooney, the last of the £10 qaulifiers, who is still
strong on 50,000 chips. If he wins he is on a 100,000-1 parley.
20:00 dinner break began with 37 remaining players. Teddy Tuil from
Israel leads with 115,000 chips. Simon Trumper of England is second with
97,000. Johnny Chan is holding on with 30,000. Play continues tonight until
there are just 20 left. The organisers have not gone ahead with the proposed
change to 6 by tonight's finish.
The tournament really began at
22:00 when there were 35 players left. Tuil had drifted slightly but Ian
Dobson had begun an incredible streak that was set to alter the nights play.
The media star of the tournament so far, Amarillo "Slim" Preston, went all in
with King-Seven of spades against Ian Dobson's two red Aces. With 9-6-2-5 and
two spades by fourth street, "Slim" had a big draw for the river card. The
assembled crowd were routing for "slim" to hit a card but he received the
biggest round of applause when it didn't arrive. Dobson immediately stood up
and shook his hand in a gracious gesture. 33 left.
Within minutes Dobson
had dispatched another player with another set of Aces.
The action was
thick and fast and many of the top American players had trouble playing against
people with different styles. Johnny Chan, nursing a small stack for a long
time, suddenly leapt at a pot with all his chips when his Ace-Jack hit nothing.
Roman Adams makes a great call with Ace-King and exits the last world champion
from the field.
Jim McManus, writing for PlayBoy magazine, was
the next victim for Dobson. Jim called a raise with Ace-Deuce (after a good
bluff on the last hand had gone to his head). The flop came Ace-Deuce-Jack.
Check from both players. Fourth card a rag and Dobson bets 5,000, Jim comes
over the top with a raise and Ian Dobson announces all-in. Jim McManus calls in
a flash. Dobson has of course got a pair of Jacks in the hole making trips and
the winning hand when the last card is not an Ace. Dobson reaches 180,000 chips
and a clear lead of about 60,000.
Thirtieth out Asher Derei, then
Robert Skutelsky. Chip Winton, Late Night Poker player, was the last to be
busted before the last three tables.
01:00 Last three tables
left, 27 players playing down to 20 before calling it a night.
stacks of Roman Adams (Yorkshire) and Sigi Stockinger (Austria) went in quickly
followed by Ben Akiva (London). Stern defence of a small stack had got Mike
Harris, from Poole in Dorset, a very long way. With just 20,000 left he saw a
raise and a call before looking at his cards last to speak. Squeezing them he
saw a pair of Queens and put the chips in. The early raiser called with Kings
(Oh dear) and the caller, also short stacked, came all-in with Ace-Jack suited.
The Ace tripped up and picked up a big pot to put Man Ip back in the picture
and Mike Harris out of it.
For the most part, anyone with a lot of chips
held back from confrontation. Tony Bloom however put a nice move on early chip
leader Tuil. With top two pair he squeezed the maximum possible from Tuil's
lower two pair to move to clear chip leader from Dobson (175,000 and 150,000).
Right now he seems favourite to make a play for the million.
chip players went after slow and tight play (Thomas Chung, Donacha O'Dea, Ken
Favourites must now be Bloom and Ali Sarkeshik, both smart and
loaded with chips. Kevin Song from the U.S.A is a tough cookie, he took out
Phil Hellmuth from a big bluff after all. The peoples favourites are Dobson and
Vic Rooney (the man who got through on a £10 qualifier).
|Detailed ResultsPlay started at
the incredibly early hour of 11:00 a.m.. Sleep was hard for most of the
players. Adrenalin had most up until five o'clock. Places 10th-20th pay
The small stack of Joanne Bortner went in at the
start of play and she was gone. Vic Rooney, the popular brum who got this far
from his £10 qualifier, found a pair of Kings and got John Duthie to go
all in. Unfortunately Duthie had Aces and Vic was out with Duthie moving up to
170,000. Kevin Spillain and Henry "Nuggett" Nowakowski both have small stacks
all in with secondary hands, Ace-Ten and Sixes. Both out and there 16 left
In a big hand Man Ip raises all-in after Robin Keston made
a small bet of 6000 with his pair of Kings. Before the action reaches Keston to
reply, Ali Sarkeshik moves a bigger stack all-in. Keston thinks for a few
seconds and bins his hand. Ali has Ace-King and Man Ip's 6-6 wins.
after Keston pays dearly for the mistake by going all-in himself, this time
with the Ace-King only to see himself up against a pair of Kings. He's
Ip gets involved with Gary Lent and he moves up to chip leader,
14:00 Song and Tuil fight it out. Tuil bets 7000, Song
raises 50, Tuil raises all-in and Song calls with his Queens only to see Aces
flip over. He's out 13th.
14:15 Kevin O'Connell bets a flop with
Ace-9 when he sees 4-7-Q. Barney Boatman thinks for some time and calls with
7-9. His pair stands up, Kevin out 12th. Break
dormant for ages, takes off with 9-9 and Peter Roach goes all-in with Ace-King
in a 200,000 chip pot. The flop is 4-8-3-8-10 and Duthie moves chip leader.
Minutes later Dave Welch, by now short stacked, moves in with Ace-Queen only to
see Ali call with Aces which hold up.
The Final Table Line-UP
afternoon had seen great tension but as the evening started with the last nine,
the action slowed to a crawl. The only reprieve was Simon "Aces" Trumper, who
tried to dominate with aggression. In reality he had insufficient chips to pull
it off and repeatedly dropped to a small stack before going all-in and
recovering. Eventually it went wrong when he decided to play a small raise with
6-4 hearts. Two hearts flopped and Tony Bloom bet, Simon called. The fourth
card showed another heart and it went check-check. The last card was a Queen
and Tony bet a substantial amount to see Simon call after a long thought. Tony
flipped over the nuts.
Minutes later Simon's few chips went in with no
hand and he was gone.
One and a half hours later (!!), when the blinds
had finally risen to 5,000 and 10,000 with a running ante of
2,000, the next interesting hand developed. Gary Lent made it 25,000 before the
flop only to see Mohamed Barkatul raise all-in with another 31,000 and Ali
Sarkeshik come over the top with another 23,000 all-in. Gary thought for some
time and when he eventually called it was clear that Ace-Deuce suited was a
tough hand to call with. He had the value though and as the flop came King-7-2,
he was happy. The next card was a Queen making a pair for Mohamed and the last
nothing. Mohamed won the main pot, and Gary the side. Ali was gone with
Minutes later another three-way pot took off. Teddy
bet 25,000, John Duthie called and so did Mohamed. With a flop of 4-3-9 Teddy
blasted 100,000 and John passed. Mohamed called all-in with 4-5, no flush draw.
Teddy rolled over a pair of tens and no help came when it finished
Ace-King.Mohamed got £10,000. The six finalist were
The final day of what
turned out to be a great event began with press interviews and TV coverage like
never before. The prize fund may not be the biggest in the world but the PR has
been the best. The whole event dodged many land mines and stood on a few that
didn't go off. The team behind each part of the organisation where very
professional, many being the best in their field, but the lack of co-ordination
between them showed on key occasions.
Scheduling of play was a key area
that hadn't been fully understood. Attempts to get the last six resolved on
Friday and use Saturday as a rest day were inevitably dead in the water because
there were still the planned 20 left at 02:00 in the morning. The
televised final moved from 6 to 9 players, only for Jack McClelland to point
out that it could take forever and it went back to 6 again.
these troubles, the players seemed remarkably tolerant of everything, including
the sub-standed hotel rooms and dodgy food that got remarkably better on the
last two days. As one player put it, "its the Dunkirk spirit", though having
been here before for other events it might well become the Douglas
One last thing. The final six were bundled into a
room upstairs and given the strict rule about no deals, before, after or
whenever. As soon as that was over they were outside negotiating the very same.
Of course Mr. Bloom said no and the public line is no deal was done. But would
you get drunk right there and then?
Nine Player Picture
Tony Bloom and Ian
Teddy Tuil from Israel, reputedly the owner of
high street shops was an unknown quantity who had shown himself to play well
throughout the previous three days. His technique was textbook-like, stealing
pots whenever there was weakness in his opponents and playing strong hands
Gary Lent looked the typical very good American, however not to
have proof of that with a big win was always going to put a doubt on whether he
would be up to the pressure of short hand play for a million.
Bloom described himself as an 'Trading Director' for Victor Chandler. That
duplicitous term has got to be a meaningless term that gets advertising for
Victor. Reports of his 5 & 6 figure sports bets had made him the favourite
because of his casual attitude towards a million pounds. People thought he was
most likely to win because he could take the pressure better than the
Ian Dobson described himself as a professional. There are all
sorts of professionals and people were not completely convinced that his play
was up to it. His £600 one hand satellite win and a sequence of monster
hands had taken him a long way. Clearly though, he knew how to play and had an
equal chance with the others in respect of ability.
John Duthie is an
enigma. Someone named him the Jim McManus of the Poker Million, meaning that he
was similar to the Playboy journalist who came fifth in the World Series of
Poker Championship event with very little experience. In truth he has recently
picked up third spot in two big No-Limit tournaments which gave him the money
and the confidence to play this one. As a TV producer (Hollyoaks) he was sure
to have the ability to bring his faculties together at a crucial time and his
general focused approach to everything could not be a bad thing.
Boatman is another who has the title poker-pro. His recent results in big
tournaments must make him a player with the ability to win. His newly created
image as part of the Hendon Mob adds to his
Play began with
a lot of fan fayre but little real tension. The early play was covered poorly
by SKY and when Barney pushed his whole stack in to see Ian calling we couldn't
even see what hand the Ace-Four (Barney) was up against. When the flop brought
an Ace the crowd in the bar, including Ross, Barney's brother, cheered. Ross
shouted, 'he's got two pair'. Dismay followed as Barney walked and later we
learnt that Ian had Ace-Queen.
Barney was cool under the interview
lights and got straight down to the job of commentating. We saw quite a lot of
small passed pots after the initial action and Gary was pushed around by people
who sensed that he was weak when making his bluffs. Gary managed one steal from
Tony with a £75k bet to Tony's £25k. After that he seemed in
permanent poor position and his outward appearance was that of a man struggling
to raise the level of his game to that of Dobson and Duthie. He simply never
As the most under rated player, John Duthie pulled off the
first of his steal coups when Dobson bet at a flop of J-7-2 with King-Five.
Duthie waited the required double-bluff time period (long enough for the
opponent to think he was trying to hide his strength) and then moved all-in
with Ace-Four!! His life on the line with zip. Ian Dobson could only
The crowd watching the monitors could not believe that Duthie was
capable of that play but what came next made them think they were watching
something special. Bloom bet King-Deuce pre-flop and Duthie called with
Queen-Jack. When the flop came Ace-Deuce-Trey (A-2-3), Bloom bet again to keep
the thought going that he had an Ace. John must have picked up something from
his action because he came over the top with a raise that had the professionals
singing his praise. Bloom discarded and John wasn't finished with that style of
Bloom and Lent both played Ace-Six in separate hands and found
how useless they were for defence against Dobson who so far had played almost
Duthie then bet out Tuil when he had the better hand
only to try his old favourite, Queen-Jack, soon after and against the person
he'd taken previously. Bloom bet with Ace-Five, call, flopped nothing,
bet again and saw Duthie come straight back with a big bet with even less
nothing. Bloom gave it up again and the crowd were all suddenly John Duthie
fans, or more like worshippers.
Duthie's luck was in as well when having
Ace-Jack, pretty good at this point, he found Bloom with a pair of Queens going
all-in. Duthie called and lost but Bloom didn't have enough to hurt
Tuil gave an early sign that he would be in trouble when the going
got tough when he passed Jack-Jack against a small all-in from Lent with
Lent, short stacked, moved with Jack-Six and was called by
Duthie with Ten-Ten. Lent hit the Jack on the flop and come the river (last)
card Duthie needed a Ten (2), a Queen (4) or a Seven (4). It was a Ten and Lent
sat in a motionless gaze. After 2 hours 15 minutes, the second man was
A few more bluffs and then Duthie took on Bloom's all-in King-Six
with a Queen-Nine. The queen came and after 2 hours 45 minutes the third was
The last three were Duthie (750,000), Tuil (450,000) and Dobson
Dodson showed that he had the ability to play when Duthie
pressed a bit with Ace-Deuce. Ian raised with 3-3 and Duthie eventually (after
too long) came back again. Dobson said he could sense there was something wrong
and called. Little did he know that he was up against one of only two hands
that he was favourite against (the other being 2-2). John picked up the Ace for
a big turnover. Dobson out after 3 hours 6 minutes without really making a
After 67 hands it was heads up, Duthie with more than a 2-1
chip lead and Tuil showing no signs of wanting to contest it. After a few hands
Tuil just flat called with Ace-Deuce and got burnt away on the
Tuil now makes the worst play so far. He just called the big blind
with Ace-Queen, Duthie (Ace-Eight) raised and he just called that! He must come
over here and he could have won a good pot or be called most of the time with a
worse hand. To see the flop its a miracle for him to get positive action. When
the flop came 8-8-2 the crowd in the bar were already on their feet knowing
that Tuil had intended to trap play with the Ace-Queen. Duthie and Tuil check.
The fourth card is a rag and Duthie bet small, hoping for a re-raise but just
got called. Now the killer card on the end, an Ace. Tuil bets small, Duthie
raises and Tuil calls quickly, probably hoping that its over one way or the
The whole thing was a mere 73 hands and lasted 3½
£1,000 Pot Limit Holdem
More English success when Mike Harris of Poole in
Dorset won the last event and the £64,000 first prize from Surinder
Sunar of London who got £32,000.