The final table of the Party Poker European Open V seemed more like a who’s who of British poker instead of a continental affair. The popular event featured a final table composed entirely of players hailing from the United Kingdom, including Marc Goodwin, 2008 Irish Poker Champion Neil Channing, and the event’s new champion, Roberto Romanello.
72 players entered the $7,000 buy-in event, including a long list of top European pros like Roland de Wolfe, Ciaran O’Leary, Vicky Coren, Surinder Sunar and Annette Obrestrad, who took 3rd place in last year’s event. Party Poker also offered an opportunity to buy their entry into the event through their online store, selling seats for 75,000 Party Points. The tournament was recorded and will be televised in the UK as well as distributed internationally.
The event kicked off on February 6th with a series of 12 preliminary heats of 6-player single-table shoot-outs. The winner of each heat automatically advanced to the semi-finals while each of the runners-up competed in two turbo “second chance” heats in order to determine the last two semi-finalists. The 14 players who made it through to the semis were then divided into two seven-handed tables with the top three finishers at each one continuing on to the finals. However many chips each player had at the conclusion of their semi-final table was how many they would have at the start of the final table.
The Welsh-born Romanello was the runner-up in his preliminary heat, but managed to win one of the two second chance heats in order to advance through to the semis and, in turn, the final table. In addition to Channing and Goodwin, Romanello was also joined at the table by London pro Andy Ward, relative unknown William Taylor and Craig Burgess, the runner-up from last year’s European Open.
Romanello gained television notoriety during last year’s World Series of Poker coverage on ESPN. Seated at the feature table with Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, Romanello’s moment in the spotlight came when he made what Matusow and many others called, “the laydown of the tournament.” Romanello was involved in a three-way pot against Matusow and Greg Geller. After it checked around on the flop and turn, Romanello bet the river only to fold jacks full of tens to a raise from Geller, who had a bigger boat with kings full.
Prior to this victory, Romanello’s most noteworthy poker achievement was a win in one of the preliminary events at the European Poker Tour’s 2006 stop in Barcelona for $53,462. Despite the lack of victories, Romanello is still a well-respected player on the European poker circuit. The poker enthusiast and restaurant owner has several final tables under his belt and is known for his talkative and friendly table demeanor. Now, he will also be known as the winner of the European Open V, a victory that earned him $200,000.
The complete results of Friday’s final table are as follows:
1st – Roberto Romanello – $200,000
2nd – Marc Goodwin – $100,000
3rd – Andy Ward – $50,000
4th – Craig Burgess – $30,000
5th – Neil Channing – $25,000
6th – William Taylor – $20,000

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