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POKER STORY

WPT First Female Champion

A bumper month for poker in February saw millions made, attendance records smashed and a Russian femme fatale become the World Poker Tour’s first woman champion. Gambling brings you the play-by-play

While we may have talked about the PCA and Poker After Dark raising the stakes in January, in true clichéd “you call that a knife?” Australian fashion, this year’s Aussie Millions turned up a few weeks later to smash those piffling buy-ins out of the park.

This year’s series in Melbourne was a truly bumper affair, with England by-and-large doing to Australia what they did in the Ashes by notching two morale-boosting victories on foreign soil as Richard Ashby and Sam Trickett won big down under.

First up was Ashby, who won a $1,000 buy-in 8-Game Mix event for $23,539, but his efforts were soon blown out of the water by compatriot Trickett who went on the heater of a lifetime by pocketing two colossal scores in the space of only a few days.

First Trickett took down the $100k NLHE event for a vast $1.5 million after defeating London’s Tony Bloom heads-up and then he followed up the win with a runner-up finish to Erik Seidel in the $250k Super High Roller event for another $1.4 million.

In doing so, in the space of less than a week, Trickett earned more than double his previous career earnings prior to his trip down under, while Seidel also made a little piece of history by becoming the winner of the most expensive tournament ever held.

Of course, with all that action going on in Australia it would be easy to forget that other events were taking place in the rest of the world and – wouldn’t you just know it – Trickett was once again back among the thick of the action as the WPT hit Paris.

The tour visited the French capital as part of its new regional series, with the EFOP Diamond Championship seeing Trickett gain yet another score this year as he finished sixth to earn €43,545 on a final table that rewrote the WPT history books.

The reason for the event’s significance was that Russia’s Nadia Nikitina became the first person in the tour’s nine-year history to win an open event as she defeated Frenchman Alexandre Brivot heads-up to earn her first major score of €243,830.

Before that, however, the tour proper visited Italy for WPT Venice, a gala event that saw Alessio Isaia take home the title. The Italian captured €380,000 by beating Szalbocs Mayer on a final table that also included former EPT winners David Vamplew and Max Lykov.

Back in the UK meanwhile, shove was in the air on Valentines Day as a colossal 1,058 entrants all managed to shake off the attentions of their significant others to play UKIPT Nottingham, creating the biggest tournament ever to be held in the UK.

However, despite the all-star cast of UK rounders and PokerStars pros, it came down to a humble web developer from Newcastle to wield his tournament axe as Gareth Walker emerged as the last man standing from the record-breaking field.

The affable Geordie pocketed £109,000 for defeating Brett Angel heads-up, though he was indebted to a huge slice of good fortune after his 9c 6c successfully turned a flush to crack Angel’s pocket tens, with the runner-up receiving £68,700 for second.

With so much going on in the live arena, you’d be forgiven for thinking that February was a relatively quiet month online, but not so. Full Tilt returned once again with a brand new FTOPS, with over $22 million in prizes guaranteed across its 45 events.

In terms of big-name winners, it took the latest series a little while to explode into life, but when it did it was down to Scott Clements to score one for the pros as he won $290,500 against the recently-crowned WPT champ Alessio Isaia in the $10,000 Heads-Up.

Alongside Clements, other online stars to take down events included Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson, who took down the £200 7-Stud Hi/Low event and ‘AndyMcloed’, who won the $240 NLHE 6-Max tournament for a handy $163,365.

POKER STORY ARCHIVE

Position is Power
Considering how much poker strategy
31/12/2008
They are the Champions
The Champions Poker League has
24/12/2008
Getting a Leg Up
Andy Teng had an eventful
15/12/2008
Day of the Champions
The inspiration hit Chris Lines
9/12/2008
Built to Stud
In our extended strategy series
2/12/2008
Perfect 10s for Kings
Jonathan Cook leaves no stone
27/11/2008
Comeback Kid
American Michael Martin never let
19/11/2008
Long Time Coming
After last year’s European clean
12/11/2008
The New Pace of Poker
The Weekly Poker Club gov’nor
27/10/2008
Baby Steps
Baby pairs may look like
15/10/2008
Strength of the Week
Another round of final-table excitement
29/9/2008
Back for More
The follow-up to last year’s
19/9/2008
Roll With the Punches
Online poker cheating has certainly
12/9/2008
Nick Jenkins wins the APAT World Championship of Amateur Poker
The APAT World Championship of
4/9/2008
A Prince and his H.O.R.S.E.
The WSOP $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event
29/8/2008
Local Knowledge
The WSOP and top-tier poker
19/8/2008
A Fitting Finale
The Weekly Poker Club is
14/8/2008
The King-Ace Conspiracy
No win can be more
6/8/2008
New Squirrel Poker UK Store
Squirrel Poker has updated its
4/8/2008
The Sum of its Parts
Getting in the saddle with
25/7/2008
If the Crown Fits
Canadian Usurps the Throne at
17/7/2008
“Two Pints of Poker, Please”
The second season of Poker
25/6/2008
Switching Gears
In a previous article I
18/6/2008
Slippery Hold ‘em at Home
Is there one venue of
2/6/2008
Brace for the Bracelets
The 48-day forecast for the
19/5/2008
Poker For The People
How one man created a
12/5/2008
Ladies Night
At the UKNPL’s Southern Top
25/4/2008
All Hands on Deck
Plying through the Caribbean for
21/4/2008
Blood From Stones
Know the percentages and the
14/4/2008
No Everyday Joe
Busy Beevers claims Ladbrokes Poker
2/4/2008
Your Cards Up My Sleeve
Is high-tech poker cheating a
28/3/2008
Muscovite On Top Down Under
Plucky young Russian delivers a
21/3/2008
Down to the Wire
The UKNPL has a league
17/3/2008
Join The Club
Sky poker’s new interactive TV
29/2/2008
When Stars Align
Ladbrokes breaks the 3D poker
18/2/2008
Make it Your Year
Lee Munzer makes eight poker
4/2/2008
Don’t Miss the Boat
The Party Poker Cruise gets
23/1/2008
WSOP Collusion Ahoy
Could even the world’s most
16/1/2008
‘Tis the Season...Still
The UKNPL wraps up another
10/1/2008

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