Young Norwegian Annette Obrestad shattered records and barriers late Sunday night when she became not only the youngest WSOP bracelet winner in history, but also the first woman to ever win a WSOP Main Event bracelet. Obrestad, known online as ‘Annette_15' has established herself over the last few years as one of the strongest tournament players in the online poker world, taking down many large field tournaments and netting nearly $1,000,000 in career winnings. At the WSOP Europe, the 19-year-old prodigy bested a field of the biggest names in poker to come out on top of the 362 player field and lay claim to the L1,000,000 first place prize money.
There will obviously be some debate as to who should now be considered the World Champion, Obrestad or Jerry Yang, the winner of the 2007 WSOP Las Vegas Main Event. While some may say that Obrestad's victory over a smaller field doesn't give her claim to the title of World Champ, she took home her bracelet in a field larger than those bested by Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson. Scotty Nguyen, Dan Harrington or Phil Hellmuth. While Obrestad's career cannot yet be compared to those champions, she certainly has earned the title, along with Jerry Yang, of 2007 World Champion.
Obrestad started the final table in the middle of the pack, with starting chip stacks for the finalists as follows:
Seat 1: Johannes Korsar - 1,134,000
Seat 2: Oyvind Riisem - 664,000
Seat 3: John Tabatabai - 982,000
Seat 4: Annette Obrestad - 697,000
Seat 5: Dominic Kay - 490,000
Seat 6: Matthew McCullough - 1,278,000
Seat 7: Theo Jorgensen - 605,000
Seat 8: Magnus Persson - 1,231,000
Seat 9: James Keys - 172,000
James Keys wasted no time shoving his short stack in the middle as he moved all in from the small blind with . Magnus Persson called with , and caught an Ace on the flop to send Keys to the rail on the third hand of the final table. Keys was eliminated in 9th place, good for L61,540.
Theo Jorgensen was the grand old man of the table at 35 years old, and had far more major tournament experience than his tablemates, but it didn't save him from running 10's into John Tabatabai's Kings and ending up crippled. Jorgensen couldn't mount a comeback and was eliminated a few hands later in 8th place (L85,070).
Magnus Persson built a big stack by not being afraid to go after pots, but his stack eroded through the early levels until he found himself all in with against John Tabatabai, who picked up Kings once again. No help for Jorgensen, and he went to the rail in 7th with L114,030.
Moments later, Dominic Kay picked up pocket sixes from the big blind and shoved, finding himself drawing extremely thin when Matthew McCullough called with pocket eights. McCullough flopped a set, and no runner-runner for Kay. Kay was eliminated in sixth place for £154,040.
Tabatabai picked up another pocket pair a little while later, this time sending Johannes Korsar to the rail when Tabatabai flopped a set with pocket sixes against Korsar's . Korsar didn't improve, and he went to the rail in 5th with L191,860. Ovyind Riisem ran nines into Aces a few hands later, and Matthew McCullough's Aces held up to send Riisem to the rail in 4th place (L257,020).
Matthew McCullough came back from the dinner break hungry for action, but the play went three-handed for a bit before he got all his chips in on a flop of . After several raises, McCullough and John Tabatabai got all in, and McCullough turned over for top pair against Tabatabai's . Tabatabai caught an Ace on the turn and McCullough went home to Cherry Hill, NJ with L381,910.
After the relatively quick pace of the day, it was surprising that it took nearly as long to play heads up as it took to eliminate the other seven players combined! After a long session of back and forth maneuvering, Obrestad went all in over the top of Tabatabai on a flop of . Obrestad tabled , and Tabatabai was drawing nearly dead with . No miracle runners for Tabatabai, and he was eliminated in 2nd place, picking up L570,150.
19-year-old Annette Obrestad was the last (wo)man standing at the WSOP Europe Main Event final table, and she picked up a cool L1 Million for her victory. It will be a couple of years before she can translate this into more WSOP gold in Las Vegas, but she's sure to become a regular presence at final tables throughout Europe.
Here are the final-table finishes and the amount won:
1. Annette Obrestad - £1,000,000
2. John Tabatabai - £570,150
3. Matthew McCullough - £381,910
4. Oyvind Riisem - £257,020
5. Johannes Korsar - £191,860
6. Dominic Kay - £152,040
7. Magnus Persson - £114,030
8. Theo Jorgensen - £85,070
9. James Keys - £61,540
*Photo Courtesy of PokerNews *