Dane lands 9 mln dlr prize to claim world poker crown
AFP - Wednesday, November 12
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AFP) - - A 22-year-old Dane became the youngest ever champion in the World Series of Poker here Tuesday, defeating a Russian opponent to land the 9.15 million-dollar first prize.
Peter Eastgate, from Odense in Denmark, defeated Ivan Demidov of Moscow after a five-hour head-to-head duel on a multimillion-dollar set constructed at the Rio All-Suites Hotel-Casino.
A large contingent of Eastgate's compatriots broke out into jubilant song in Danish when the young card shark laid down an ace of diamonds to bust Demidov in the final hand.
Demidov received 5.8 million dollars for his second-place finish.
The four-hour finale began late Monday after 13 grueling hours of play on Sunday that thinned the nine finalists down to just Eastgate and Demidov.
"It was a great final table because I won," Eastgate said. "I'm just very, very happy."
Both players entered the tournament as unknowns who had played almost entirely on Internet poker sites.
Eastgate's 9.15 million-dollar haul for besting a field of 6,844 players is second only to the 12 million prize earned by 2006 World Series of Poker champion Jamie Gold for outlasting a field of 8,773.
The tournament is known as the Main Event because it is the richest and most famous of the more than 50 events that comprise the annual World Series of Poker. The other events and most of this tournament took place during the summer, with the Main Event halting in mid-July when the initial field was reduced to the final nine.
Demidov, despite his second-place finish, also has made his mark on the poker world this year by becoming the only player ever to make the final table of both the US and European editions of the World Series of Poker.
Eastgate is the first winner from Denmark. Most previous champions have been Americans although entrants Ireland, Australia and Ecuador have also been crowned. No woman has ever won.
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A poker player collects his chips. A 22-year-old Dane became the youngest ever champion in the World Series of Poker here Tuesday, defeating a Russian opponent to land the 9.15 million-dollar first prize.
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