The World Poker Tour completed its first stop in London with a pair of young champions who are continuing to have great years. The London Poker Classic Main Event concluded on Saturday with 22-year-old poker phenom Jake Cody taking down the title and 273,783 pounds. This was Cody's second major victory of the year (he won the EPT Deauville main event in January) and is now two-thirds of the way to the poker triple crown with a win on the EPT and WPT. His $1.6 million in tournament earnings this year currently puts him 10th in the world in that category and with the way he's been playing, we can definitely expect more in the coming months.
"This is crazy. I am so happy to win my first WPT title," Cody said after the victory. "It's been an amazing year for me so far, and to win a major tournament on UK soil is very special."
Cody's play not only earned him the cash, but also the respect of a poker hall of famer. Mike Sexton, who does commentary for the World Poker Tour, was on hand to call the action and believed that Cody has great potential on the circuit.
"Jake Cody is an outstanding young player and mark my words when you see this action on television this final table is something very special," Sexton said. "I rate it as amongst the best poker I have seen in nine years commentating for the WPT. This is going to be a real treat when it airs, I can hardly wait."
The final table consisted of some extremely talented individuals as well as one compelling storyline. Kristoffer Thorsson started the final table second in chips. If he were to win the event, not only would he get the glory, fame and first-place prize money, but due to the way he qualified -- through Party Poker -- he would earn an extra half million. Thorsson ended up finishing fourth and Cody praised his play afterward.
"I was totally aware there was huge pressure on Kristoffer because of the extra $1 million bonus," Cody said. "I thought he did well and actually believe he was the best player at the table."
Just as Cody was collecting his money, the high-roller event was in full swing and although it was a small field of 14, those participating were among the best in the world. The 15,000 pound price tag, along with a number of other tournament opportunities, may have affected the turnout, but the tournament produced one of the most intense final tables around. After a 12-hour final table, 22-year-old Justin "BoostedJ" Smith emerged victorious to take down 141,000 pounds and his first WPT title.
"It is brilliant to finally get a first place on the WPT after my near misses at the Bellagio," Smith said. "This was quite some battle; the line-up was so tough. I am satisfied but completely exhausted!"
Smith has more than $1.6 million in career tournament earnings with nearly a million coming in 2010.
Only three players made the money in the event: Smith, Tony Guoga and Freddy Deeb. Bruno Fitoussi finished in fourth to bubble the event.
Partouche Poker Tour
It may not get the same prestige as the 2010 WSOP November Nine, but the Partouche Poker Tour Grand Final in Cannes, France reached their November Nine and the chip leader is one of the hottest players in the world, Vanessa Selbst. In 2010, Selbst took down the North American Poker Tour stop at Mohegan Sun for $750,000, cashed in the main event and now, will bring in the most chips with hopes of winning 1.3 million euros when play resumes in November.
Some familiar faces are joining Selbst at the final table, including French superstar Fabrice Soulier, WPT Spain Champion Ali Tekintamgac and EPT Grand Final High Roller champion Tobias Reinkemeier
The tournament had a guaranteed prize pool of three million euros, a buy-in of 8,500 euros and featured an impressive 764 players. Here's a look at the final table chip counts:
1. Vanessa Selbst (3.9 million in chips)
2. Fabrice Soulier (3.6 million in chips)
3. Raouf Ibrahim (3.4 million in chips)
4. Ali Tekintamgac (3.2 million in chips)
5. Tommi Etelapera (3.1 million in chips)
6. Raphael Kroll (2.3 million in chips)
7. Soren Konsgaard (1.0 million in chips)
8. Tobias Reinkemeier (819,000 in chips)
9. Cyril Andre (600,000 in chips)
Small blinds: PokerStars confirmed that Gavin Griffin and Hevad Khan are no longer part of Team PokerStars Pro. ... The World Championship of Online Poker is underway at PokerStars. Champions from the first few events include "AlexKP," "CrabMaki," "Joao bauer," "J0hnny_Dr@m@", "Ig123456789", "ProXimaVez", and "Xaston". ... The NAPT announced its dates for the event in Los Angeles at the Bicycle Casino. The main event will take place from November 12-17. ... Shaun Deeb won the Full Tilt Sunday $750,000 guaranteed this on September 5. ...