On Monday January 7th Luke “Resteal” Abolins took down the prestigious Pacific Poker 888.com Poker Pro for a Year competition in the dramatic final round. The actual competition began on January 6, 2007 when Series 1 of the PokerProForAYear competition began and ended a full year later.
After a grueling six series, 12 massive freerolls, and over 50 League Events the competition came to a dramatic conclusion earlier this week at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. It was here at this Australian Casino where Luke “Resteal” Abolins from Great Britain rose to the occasion and defeated the nine other finalists to take home the grand prize: buy-ins to four major tournaments in 2008 including flights, accommodations, and all other expenses. The major tournaments that are expected to be included are the Aussie Millions, the World Series of Poker, the 888 UK Poker Open (London) and the 888 Canadian Heads-Up Challenge.
The final tournament started at 1 pm local time and lasted nearly six hours before the play at the table came to an end. Melbourne’s Crown Casino is currently hosting the 2008 Aussie Millions and for that reason the Crown Poker Room was packed with famous poker players and eager spectators who came to watch the conclusion of this enormous competition.
The players at the final table were:
Seat 1 – Jo Abolins
Seat 2 – Massimo Di Marco
Seat 3 – Martin Page
Seat 4 – Robert Ritchie
Seat 5 – Luke Abolins
Seat 6 – Robert Price
Seat 7 – Ilja Smid
Seat 8 – Kairit Leibold
Seat 9 – Andrew Ritchie
Seat 10 – Carlo Carione
Amazingly, one of the other finalists was none other than Jo Abolins, Luke Abolins sister. She did not place as high as her brother but still made it all the way to Melbourne to compete with her sibling.
The second place winner, Carlo Carione, took home an entry package to the 2008 Aussie Millions Main Event which will begin January 14th at the Crown Casino. This prize also includes flights, accommodations and expenses.
The players at the final table shared a prize pool of over $150,000. Additionally, all of the final competitors were flown out to lovely Melbourne in order to compete at the final table of what has been a mostly online tournament.
When asked about his win Abolins responded, “I totally wasn’t expecting to win but I got off to a pretty decent start early on so I just thought that if I could just stay patient and let other people knock each other out a bit and then took it down once we got to heads up.”
"We were excited to send the PokerProForAYear finalists to Australia to battle it out for the Champion. It was a great series and it was good to see that the final table lived up to the excitement," Gareth Edwards from 888.com said. "Luke was a worthy winner and we look forward to him representing 888.com at events around the world this year."
The Poker world will certainly be seeing more of Luke Abolins this year and hopefully for years to come.