Riding his chip lead built from the final stages of play on Wednesday, the United States’ Elio Fox defeated the United Kingdom’s Chris Moorman in heads up play to capture the championship of a record-breaking World Series of Poker Europe Championship Event, while Canada’s Shawn Buchanan finished in sixth place.
The final table was determined through the elimination of two of the higher profile pros Wednesday evening. A confident Arnaud Mattern (who commented before the hand, “I’ve got this”) cruelly had his pocket Aces cracked when Fox’s pocket tens caught on the flop to knock out Mattern and Alex Dovzhenko (who held Big Slick). That hand would, in hindsight, be the one that spurred Fox to the title and ushered Dovzhenko out in eleventh and Mattern in tenth place.
The tenth place finish for Mattern was his third consecutive cash in the WSOP-E Championship Event and each year he has improved his finish. In 2009, Mattern dropped from the tournament in 23rd place and, in 2010, the French pro left the festivities in twelfth. His tenth place finish in 2011’s version of the tournament bodes well for Arnaud’s next sojourn to the WSOP-E Championship Event.
Following the double elimination drama, Finland’s Patrik Antonius was knocked out as the final table bubble boy. All in against Buchanan and Chris Moorman, Antonius could only watch as the flop came Q-7-4 with two hearts. After two checks from Buchanan and Moorman, a Jack was dealt that brought a check from Buchanan. Moorman decided not to wait any further, firing a large bet that Buchanan decided not to call. With action now heads up, Antonius turned up his A-10 for the gut shot straight draw and Moorman tabled pocket Aces. Looking for a King on the river to complete his Broadway, Patrik Antonius would instead see a nine, eliminating him in ninth place.
Buchanan came to the final table, albeit with his shortest stack of Wednesday’s play. When the cards hit the air this afternoon, the leaderboard looked like this:
1. Elio Fox (United States), 3.99 million
2. Jake Cody (United Kingdom), 2.68 million
3. Dermot Blain (Ireland), 2.4 million
4. Chris Moorman (United Kingdom), 2.23 million
5. Brian Roberts (United States), 2.0 million
6. Max Silver (United Kingdom), 1.825 million
7. Moritz Kranich (Germany), 1.66 million
8. Shawn Buchanan (Canada), 1.015 million
To his credit, Shawn battled valiantly at the final table. He was able to grind up to 1.6 million in chips as he watched Moorman eliminate Max Silver in eighth place and, after a 75 hand span, Jake Cody fall at the hands of Fox. The end would come when Shawn, holding pocket tens, got his chips to the center against Dermot Blain. Although he had a healthy stack, Blain attempted to take out Shawn with an A-4. Blain hit gold on the flop with a Q-3-2 all diamond trio of cards that gave him draws to the nut flush, shots at the straight and the Ace overcard. The turn was blank, but the river brought an Ace that ended Shawn’s run at the 2011 WSOP-E championship in sixth place.
With that said, Buchanan’s run at this year’s Vegas/Europe WSOP events has to be one of the most memorable for a Canadian player in recent memory. His eight cashes between the two tournaments garnered the Abbotsford native over $700,000 in winnings…but no gold.
Blain’s stay at the tables wasn’t much longer than Shawn’s, as he was eliminated next in fifth place. Down to the final four players, the leaders at the time, Moorman and Fox, took turns settling who would play heads up. Moorman and Fox began to eat away at the stack of Brian Roberts before Moorman knocked him out in fourth place. Fox would then take out Moritz Kranich in third to set up the heads up battle.
Going into heads up play, Fox had built nearly a 2:1 lead over Moorman. Over the span of 27 hands, Moorman was unable to grind away any of Fox’s chips, instead giving up some of his own. On the 201st hand of the tournament, Moorman got his remaining chips to the center holding A-7, only to see Fox have him outkicked with an A-10. The 4-3-6 flop provided some excitement, but another six and an eight on the river sealed the championship for Elio Fox.
1. Elio Fox (United States), €1,400,000
2. Chris Moorman (United Kingdom), €800,000
3. Moritz Kranich (Germany), €550,000
4. Brian Roberts (United States), €400,000
5. Dermot Blain (Ireland), €275,000
6. Shawn Buchanan (Canada), €200,000
7. Jake Cody (United Kingdom), €150,000
8. Max Silver (United Kingdom), €115,000
With the completion of the World Series of Poker Europe, the final pages for 2011’s World Series play will be determined next month, when the “November Nine” reconvene at the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio in Las Vegas. For now, however, Elio Fox can bask in the glow of being the champion of the largest ever WSOP-E Championship Event.