161 Players ponied up L5,000 to enter the first ever WSOP-Europe Omaha event, the second event in the inaugural WSOPE, and after two days of play, Italian Dario ‘Ryu' Alioto emerged victorious over a field of poker superstars. John Juanda, Jamie Gold, Greg Raymer, Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan all entered the event chock-full of bracelet winners, but none would survive to see Day 2.
Alioto has a history of success in Omaha tournaments, making the final table of the $1,500 Omaha 8 event at this summer's WSOP, and making the money in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha event. Alioto joins Max "The Italian Pirate" Pescatori and Valter Farina as only the third Italian player to win a WSOP bracelet.
The tournament read like a who's-who of poker, but the field narrowed to 48 players for Day 2. Jon Persson led the field to kick off Day 2, followed by players like Tony G, Andy Bloch, Roland de Wolfe and Alioto. Persson eventually busted just short of the final table, as Sherkhan Farnood made a strong run through Day 2 to start the final table on top of the leaderboard. The top ten chip stacks looked like this as the final table kicked off -
Sherkhan Farnood - 651,000 Istvan Novak - 480,000 Dario Alioto - 397,000 Antoine Arnault - 391,000 Andy Bloch - 376,000 Tony G - 281, 000 Dave Callaghan - 271,000 Sampo Lopponen - 247,000 M H Razaghi - 153,000
Razaghi and Bloch were out quickly at the final table when they both flopped two pair and ended up on the losing end of a turned flush and a flopped set, respectively. Alioto took out Razaghi and then sent Sampo Lopponen to the rail in 7th place.
Alioto took over the chip lead when his pocket Aces took out Sherkhan Farnood's pair of Jacks, and never looked back, eliminating every other player at the final table in a dominating display. Next on his hit list was Antoine Arnault, and then he took out Dave Callaghan when Callaghan made Kings up on a board of A-10-10-3-Q with his pocket Kings, but Alioto rivered a Broadway straight holding A-K-J-5. Tony G took on Alioto at the end of a long back and forth three-way battle, but he couldn't overcome the Italian's chip lead, and Tony G was dispatched in 3rd. Alioto took a 7-1 chip lead into the heads-up match with Istvan Novak, and it only took six hands of heads-up play after more than 15 hours of Day 2 for Alioto to dispatch one last opponent and claim his first WSOP Bracelet and L234,900 in prize money.
Here are the final table finishes and payouts for the WSOP Europe L5,000 Omaha Event.
1 Dario Alioto £234,390 2 Istvan Novak £137,280 3 Tony G £94,380 4 David Callaghan £65,520 5 Antoine Arnault £49,530 6 Sherkhan Farnood £38,220 7 Sampo Lopponen £30,420 8 Andy Bloch £22,020 9 MH Razaghi £16,380