The final table of the 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe Main Event aired on ESPN2 last night. In case you missed it, MacPoker.com will break down some of the highlights. What started as a field of 346 players was trimmed all the way down to nine and Victory Poker CEO Dan Fleyshman was the chip leader.
Final tablist Ronald Lee told ESPN cameras, “I didn’t get much sleep last night. I was too excited.” Lee was one of four Americans to make the final table, the first time that had ever happened in WSOP Europe Main Event history.
Early on, Lee became the new chip leader after forcing Englishman James Bord to lay down the best hand. Then, Marc Inizan and Brian Powell both picked up pocket eights and moved all-in before the flop. Lee called with Big Slick, had both players covered, and turned a king to leave his opponents drawing dead. Just like that, Lee stacked one-third of the chips in play and the field was trimmed to seven.
Fleyshman quickly went from first to worst after doubling up Danny Steinberg with A-Q against pocket kings. Steinberg, who had been aggressive throughout the tournament, 5bet all-in and Fleyshman called, but could not find an ace and became the short stack.
Nicolas Levi had the most controversial move of the night after pump-faking a call with A-10 on a board of 3-J-A-5-2 for top pair. Fleyshman led out with J-10 for second pair and Tournament Director Jack Effel was called over to make a ruling. In the end, Effel decided that Levi’s call counted and Fleyshman continued to stumble.
Fleyshman hit the rail after committing his final six big blinds with J-10 of diamonds and running up against Lee’s K-5. The door card was a king and Fleyshman exited the tournament area before the river card was dealt despite having an inside straight draw.
Bord and Levi, the two Brits left in the field, doubled up, but Lee continued his reign of terror. This time, he sent Steinberg to the rail with pocket fours against A-J of clubs. The board filled out Q-6-9-3-8 and Steinberg fell by the wayside in sixth place. Lee bumped Levi in fifth place soon afterward and scooped half of the chips in play. The knockout was Lee’s fifth of the night and the credits rolled on the first of two hour-long episodes.
The second episode, which premiered at 11:00pm ET on Sunday night, began with ESPN commentator Norman Chad asking tournament officials to revoke Lee’s passport for being a “poker terrorist.” Soon after, Roland de Wolfe, the lone bracelet winner at the final table, exited in fourth place after his K-Q could not overcome Fabrizio Baldassari’s A-8. Baldassari flopped two pair and a deuce on the turn meant de Wolfe was drawing dead on the river.
Lee doubled up Bord with K-Q against A-3 to start a downward spiral. He then doubled up Baldassari after receiving a bad beat with A-K against A-4 to fall even further into the hole. Lee ultimately lost the chip lead to Baldassari and promptly bet all-in pre-flop with pocket fives against Bord’s A-K. Bord flopped a king, rivered another one for trips, and Lee was out in third place. Chad dubbed Lee’s downfall a “swift collapse” and heads-up play between the Monaco and U.K. natives began.
Baldassari ultimately ran pocket fives into pocket tens to end the 2010 WSOP Europe Main Event. Bord became the first British WSOP Europe Main Event champion ever and thanked Sam Trickett for helping perfect his tournament skills. His lively rail went into hysterics when their man won in a scene that reminded us of a frat party.
Sunday night marked the end of ESPN2’s coverage of the 2010 WSOP Europe Main Event. The tournament and other poker events re-air constantly on ESPN’s family of networks, so check your local listings for more details.