It appeared as if 2008 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event winner Peter Eastgate was going to take down his second major title in less than a year, but he fell just short, losing to American Aaron Gustavson heads-up at the final table of the European Poker Tour (EPT) London Main Event on Wednesday.
The British stop on the tour drew a huge crowd, setting a record for the largest poker tournament held on British soil with its field of 730 players. In anticipation for the big turnout, EPT staff relocated the event from its old home at the Victoria Casino down the road to the Hilton Metropole. The Metropole was stuffed to the hilt over the £5,000 buy-in tournament’s two starting days and the big field generated a prize pool of £3,540,500 with first place taking home £850,000, or $1.35 million dollars.
The pros were out and about during the event and several of them made some noise over the course of the tournament. While online pro Luke “Full_Flush1” Schwartz supposedly caused a stir by lifting a sandwich without paying for it and, in turn, getting a rumored ban from all Grosvenor Casino properties, others elected to draw attention based on what they were doing at the table instead.
One player turning heads was November Nine member Kevin Schaffel, who posted yet another good result. Fresh off a runner-up finish at the World Poker Tour Legends of Poker event in Los Angeles in September, Schaffel made a run at the final table in London as well. He made it to the penultimate day of play before busting out in 19th place. Young online phenoms Andrew “luckychewy” Lichtenberger and Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad posted similar results, busting out in 20th and 17th places respectively.
The bubble boy for the event’s final table was former World Poker Tour Borgata winner Vivek “psyduck” Rajkumar, who took his 9th place finish in stride after losing most of his chips when he ran his A-K into Eastgate’s pocket aces. Rajkumar’s elimination left Gustavson as the last American standing at a final table that truly was an international affair. Each of the eight players hailed from a different home country and the table even had a bit of African flair as Nikolai Senninger had a stuffed animal version of Simba from the Disney film “The Lion King” present on the felt as a good luck charm of sorts.
The final table also boasted two Team PokerStars Pros in the form of Eastgate and Raymond Wu of Team PokerStars Asia. While Wu would make a somewhat early exit from the eight-handed final table in 7th place, Eastgate was present to the bitter end, making it to heads-up play against Gustavson. Gustavson began the final table with a huge chip lead and began heads-up play versus Eastgate with the advantage as well. The two players were barely back in their seats after the official dinner break before Gustavson dealt the fatal blow to his Danish opponent by calling his all-in with A-Q. Eastgate showed A-9, which failed to improve as the board ran out 6-5-3-K-J and Gustavson became the second consecutive American champion on this fifth season of the EPT, matching the performance of fellow American Carter Phillips at the previous EPT stop in Barcelona.
Here are the complete results from the final table of the EPT London event:
1st: Aaron Gustavson – £850,000
2nd: Peter Eastgate – £530,000
3rd: Nikolai Senninger – £285,000
4th: Martin Gudvangen – £227,000
5th: Dominic Cullen – £173,000
6th: Rui Milhomens – £124,000
7th: Raymond Wu – £87,000
8th: Karim Bennani – £50,100

This site is registered on as a development site.