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November 13th-19th 2000 : Hilton Hotel Casino, Isle of Man
Players put up £6000 each for the privilage of fighting the best people in the world to see who lifts the title and the biggest cheque in poker history.
Results and happenings from the big tournament.
Day Zero
From around Britain, Europe and the world, people have started booking in at hotels in the quiet Victorian capital of the Isle of Man, Douglas. The day before the first scheduled qualifying tournament begins, cash games took off with the weary players losing much off their gritty professionalism and opting for 'Gung Ho' tactics.

Games ranging from lively Holdem tables, that required just £250 to start playing, to the fearsome multinational line-up £5000 dealers choice, sprung up with ease.

With four days to go there were around 100 confirmed players for the big event. The Hilton reports that they are booked for the week and the over-spill hotel is filling fast.
Day One
13th November
Detailed Results
The big thing has started in earnest with many more hopefuls arriving from all over. The studio that will hold the final has been built in the car park because the ceilings in the hotel were not high enough for the lights and cameras.

Jesse May, the Late Night Poker commentator, has been playing and Frank Bruno breezed in to take a look at the action. Many more celebs are on their way with a very hectic Thursday looming large.

Qualifying tournaments produced 8 more qualifiers for the big one and this is set to multiply by the feverish action in Mondays events.

The big event of the day was the game built around the now legendary player, George the Greek. Yesterday he blew £50,000 before the flight to the Isle of Man and then later another £50,000 in the evenings play. He was hoping to get back today but did the classic thing you shouldn't, another £100,000 chasing after the loss.

Stay tuned, the tension is building.
Day Two
14th November
Detailed Results
The sun illuminated a dead flat sea skirting the rocky coastline here at the Isle of Man for the second day in a row. On the west side of the island very little life stirred as the sun set and the lights on the Irish mainland began to pepper the horizon. Over on the east coast things were only just beginning to liven up.

The circus got all the animals in the ring today with many of the famous world champions arriving. Johnny Chan, Russ Hamilton, Phil Hellmuth Jnr. and Amarillo Slim showed their faces. Russ Hamilton won the world crown in 1994 when Binion's Horseshoe (the Vegas casino that holds the tournament) had promised to give the winner his weight in silver on top of the $1,000,000. Russ weighed 290lbs at the time and they had only just enough to balance the ceremonial scales. If he is honest he'll probably tell you that he would be a little richer if he were to win it now.

More qualifiers made it through the daily events with the welsh 1990 world champion, Mansour Matloubi, being squeezed out on the last card of the last hand of the last competition. He bet all-in with Ace-Five when his opponent with King-Eight hit the king on the last card. Seven more potential millionaires were added to the list at the end of the days plays.

Wednesday looks to be the big day for serious cash games as the worlds best have a day to play each other before the tournament gets going for real. The organisers are having a tough problem just organising the cash flow for the players and the local bank is running continual security van trips just to put the players money and minds at ease. Meanwhile the casino in the Hilton Hotel, where the tournaments are being played, is doing very nicely thank you.
Day Three
15th November
Detailed Results
The third and last day of qualifying for the big tournament got under way with a popular satellite event that took a record 100 entrants. That record stood for a few hours until the evening event was swamped by 149 players, many hot off the plane with bags on their shoulders and under their eyes. Numerous other '10 player' events took place producing at least 20 more entrants before nine o'clock in the evening, with the prospect of the early hours being stretched to achieve yet more. Organisers now say that a target of 225 players is in sight.

Seven ex-world champions are already entered along with the most successful big tournaments players of recent years. The press are making hay here with coverage by all the major TV channels and the Evening Standard will be presenting a double page spread in Thursday's paper with a follow in the diary column on Friday.

The monster 149 satellite later took 320 re-buys to provide a pool of £46,900 and seven qualifiers.

One more colourful addition to the line up of players is the one time world backgammon champion and most famous player in that game of all time, Paul Magriel. There's no greater endorsement for the status of the event when this man shows for he's where ever the action is around the world. If he's here then this must be it.

Take some time to buy the Evening Standard today, Thursday 16th, to see a double page spread on the event. From today the reports become more frequent as the big event takes off and the celebs give personal opinions on the event.
Day Four
16th November
Detailed Results
The action moved into a higher gear just minutes before the start of the big tournament. One hand tables where the players pay £600 for one hand, winner takes a seat in the championship, were played one after another. Ian Dobson from Birmingham and Sony Osman of London scooped the first two to boost the English team.

The tournament prize fund was lifted to £1,250,000 after Barry Hearn announced that Ladbrokes had coughed up another £250,000. This has meant a total add-on of £314,000 to the money staked by the players. To the pros, this is an enormous over-lay, or a payout that offers odds above what they truly are. To the rest its in the clouds.

Play began at 15:00 with 155 players, including Barry Hearn, the tournament promo.

The first break was taken at 17:20. 152 players left in.

The second break has gone by with 140 players left at 19:20.

The current world champion, Chris 'Jesus' Ferguson immediately got into a big pot with a tough American player as well as T.J.Cloutier, the man 'Jesus' put out on the last card of the last hand of the 2000 World Championship. The player in first position opened for 2000 chips with pocket Kings, 'Jesus' raises another 2000 and T.J. moves in with all his chips with pocket Queens. The earlier bettor went all-in with his Kings and guess what, 'Jesus' calls with Aces. At 20:00 he has 28,000 chips with his 5,000 reserve. He became chip leader.

21:30 123 players, 'Jesus' still leading with 31,000 and his 5,000 re-buy ticket. Dinner break begins. Barry Hearn is still well in and has out lasted T.J. Cloutier, the worlds number one tournament player.

The first day ended at 01:00 a.m.. The sweetest story happened minutes before the end of play when Phil Hellmuth tried to liquidate the 5000 reserve cash slip that all players started with. The dealer turned to the most famous player in the world to ask him who he was. Everybody burst into laughter.

Ninety nine players are left with the field mixed beyond expectations of the commentators. Freddy Deeb of USA (resident in England), is clear leader with 47,400 chips, although the man he took them from, current world champ. Chris Ferguson, is still well placed at ninth position. Last position is tournament promo Barry Hearn.

Ireland seems best placed to challenge the USA for first prize although England is still hanging in with many players in the middle of the field. The result will be decided amongst these countries.

All ex-world champions that entered the tournament are still playing on into the second day.
Day Five
17th November
Detailed Results
Reigning World Champion, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, goes out 10 mins into the second day. Playing Aces in the big blind, "Jesus" raised 2000 and got a call from Henry Nugget in late position. King, Queen, Deuce hits the flop.

Jesus says "I put him on a pair and bet just 5000 to hide my strength". Jesus got called. "The turn card came a nine, which worried me and he bet 10,000 into me. I decided he was on King-Jack and put it all in."

His opponent called in a flash and of course had the Ten-Jack for the straight. Maybe it didn't help that Jesus only had one hours sleep. He wasn't out first though, Barry Hearn decided to go all in first hand and his pocket Sevens didn't hold up against Ace-Queen.

At 14:30 three players stand with more than 50,000. Jim McManus and Mad Marti Wilson have around the fiftty mark and Mr. Nuggett, the Jesus crucifier, has 57,000. Eighty players are left.

15:10 at the break Nuggett is clear leader with 68,000. Marti and Jim have blown a large part of chips. Meanwhile Phil Helmuth tried to bluff Kevin Song on the river, Phil with K-Q spades and Song with 7-7 (flop is J-8-4-2-4) Song thinks for five minutes and decides that the only way to decide is to flip a coin. He calls heads and it is. H e calls, he wins. The best bit is Phil still has some chips and is beginning to show some of the irritation that he is becoming famous for.

Meanwhile double world champion, Johnny Chan, took punishment from tough English player Mike Harris. Mike started the day in second worst position with 2,600 chips. Almost immediately he finds Aces in the hole, goes all in and more than doubles his stack. The very next hand Mike is on the button and Johnny Chan finds pocket Kings in mid-position, from where he takes off with a bet. Mike looks at his cards and guess what, he finds Aces again. All-in again and Chan is accusing the dealer every hand afterwards of not shuffling. Mike has gone from 2,600 to 14,000.

16:20 The new idea in town is to play all the way down to six people tonight!! Then give the players a day off. My guess is that it will not get a good reception.! 63 players left in. Nuggett still chip leader at 68,000 with several closing in at around 60,000. DevilFish Ulliot is out. Kevin O'Connell has 60,000!

16:50 Britain's Kevin O'Connell is now chip leader with 67,000. Nuggett has been beaten in a few pots. Simon "Aces" Trumper, all-in just two hours ago for 5,000, has won pot after pot and is now sitting on 65,000 chips and second place. Barney "Rubble" Boatman is close behind in third place for a British 1-2-3!!

18:10 45 players left on just five tables. Phil Hellmuth and Noel Furlong have gone. The last two world champions are Johnny Chan and Amarillo Slim. Chan has made a big recovery from all-in on a few chips to have 35,000. O'Connell, Trumper, Boatman are all still strong on around 60,000. The two leaders are Teddy Tuil and Dave Colclough on 80,000 a piece. The best running story in Vic Rooney, the last of the £10 qaulifiers, who is still strong on 50,000 chips. If he wins he is on a 100,000-1 parley.

The 20:00 dinner break began with 37 remaining players. Teddy Tuil from Israel leads with 115,000 chips. Simon Trumper of England is second with 97,000. Johnny Chan is holding on with 30,000. Play continues tonight until there are just 20 left. The organisers have not gone ahead with the proposed change to 6 by tonight's finish.

The tournament really began at 22:00 when there were 35 players left. Tuil had drifted slightly but Ian Dobson had begun an incredible streak that was set to alter the nights play. The media star of the tournament so far, Amarillo "Slim" Preston, went all in with King-Seven of spades against Ian Dobson's two red Aces. With 9-6-2-5 and two spades by fourth street, "Slim" had a big draw for the river card. The assembled crowd were routing for "slim" to hit a card but he received the biggest round of applause when it didn't arrive. Dobson immediately stood up and shook his hand in a gracious gesture. 33 left.

Within minutes Dobson had dispatched another player with another set of Aces.

The action was thick and fast and many of the top American players had trouble playing against people with different styles. Johnny Chan, nursing a small stack for a long time, suddenly leapt at a pot with all his chips when his Ace-Jack hit nothing. Roman Adams makes a great call with Ace-King and exits the last world champion from the field.

Jim McManus, writing for PlayBoy magazine, was the next victim for Dobson. Jim called a raise with Ace-Deuce (after a good bluff on the last hand had gone to his head). The flop came Ace-Deuce-Jack. Check from both players. Fourth card a rag and Dobson bets 5,000, Jim comes over the top with a raise and Ian Dobson announces all-in. Jim McManus calls in a flash. Dobson has of course got a pair of Jacks in the hole making trips and the winning hand when the last card is not an Ace. Dobson reaches 180,000 chips and a clear lead of about 60,000.

Thirtieth out Asher Derei, then Robert Skutelsky. Chip Winton, Late Night Poker player, was the last to be busted before the last three tables.

01:00 Last three tables left, 27 players playing down to 20 before calling it a night.

Small stacks of Roman Adams (Yorkshire) and Sigi Stockinger (Austria) went in quickly followed by Ben Akiva (London). Stern defence of a small stack had got Mike Harris, from Poole in Dorset, a very long way. With just 20,000 left he saw a raise and a call before looking at his cards last to speak. Squeezing them he saw a pair of Queens and put the chips in. The early raiser called with Kings (Oh dear) and the caller, also short stacked, came all-in with Ace-Jack suited. The Ace tripped up and picked up a big pot to put Man Ip back in the picture and Mike Harris out of it.

For the most part, anyone with a lot of chips held back from confrontation. Tony Bloom however put a nice move on early chip leader Tuil. With top two pair he squeezed the maximum possible from Tuil's lower two pair to move to clear chip leader from Dobson (175,000 and 150,000). Right now he seems favourite to make a play for the million.

Other low chip players went after slow and tight play (Thomas Chung, Donacha O'Dea, Ken Flaton).

Favourites must now be Bloom and Ali Sarkeshik, both smart and loaded with chips. Kevin Song from the U.S.A is a tough cookie, he took out Phil Hellmuth from a big bluff after all. The peoples favourites are Dobson and Vic Rooney (the man who got through on a £10 qualifier).
Day Six
18th November
Detailed ResultsPlay started at the incredibly early hour of 11:00 a.m.. Sleep was hard for most of the players. Adrenalin had most up until five o'clock. Places 10th-20th pay £2,000.

The small stack of Joanne Bortner went in at the start of play and she was gone. Vic Rooney, the popular brum who got this far from his £10 qualifier, found a pair of Kings and got John Duthie to go all in. Unfortunately Duthie had Aces and Vic was out with Duthie moving up to 170,000. Kevin Spillain and Henry "Nuggett" Nowakowski both have small stacks all in with secondary hands, Ace-Ten and Sixes. Both out and there 16 left 11:45.

In a big hand Man Ip raises all-in after Robin Keston made a small bet of 6000 with his pair of Kings. Before the action reaches Keston to reply, Ali Sarkeshik moves a bigger stack all-in. Keston thinks for a few seconds and bins his hand. Ali has Ace-King and Man Ip's 6-6 wins.

Soon after Keston pays dearly for the mistake by going all-in himself, this time with the Ace-King only to see himself up against a pair of Kings. He's 15th.

Ip gets involved with Gary Lent and he moves up to chip leader, 200,000.

14:00 Song and Tuil fight it out. Tuil bets 7000, Song raises 50, Tuil raises all-in and Song calls with his Queens only to see Aces flip over. He's out 13th.

14:15 Kevin O'Connell bets a flop with Ace-9 when he sees 4-7-Q. Barney Boatman thinks for some time and calls with 7-9. His pair stands up, Kevin out 12th. Break

15:15 Duthie, dormant for ages, takes off with 9-9 and Peter Roach goes all-in with Ace-King in a 200,000 chip pot. The flop is 4-8-3-8-10 and Duthie moves chip leader. Minutes later Dave Welch, by now short stacked, moves in with Ace-Queen only to see Ali call with Aces which hold up.

The Final Table Line-UP is
Seat Player Chips
1 Tony Bloom 155,000
2 Gary Lent 285,000
3 Barney Boatman 115,000
4 Simon Trumper 55,000
5 John Duthie 253,000
6 Mohamed Barkatul 122,000
7 Ali Sarkeshik 155,000
8 Ian Dobson 158,00
9 Teddy Tuil 274,00

The afternoon had seen great tension but as the evening started with the last nine, the action slowed to a crawl. The only reprieve was Simon "Aces" Trumper, who tried to dominate with aggression. In reality he had insufficient chips to pull it off and repeatedly dropped to a small stack before going all-in and recovering. Eventually it went wrong when he decided to play a small raise with 6-4 hearts. Two hearts flopped and Tony Bloom bet, Simon called. The fourth card showed another heart and it went check-check. The last card was a Queen and Tony bet a substantial amount to see Simon call after a long thought. Tony flipped over the nuts.

Minutes later Simon's few chips went in with no hand and he was gone.

One and a half hours later (!!), when the blinds had finally risen to 5,000 and 10,000 with a running ante of 2,000, the next interesting hand developed. Gary Lent made it 25,000 before the flop only to see Mohamed Barkatul raise all-in with another 31,000 and Ali Sarkeshik come over the top with another 23,000 all-in. Gary thought for some time and when he eventually called it was clear that Ace-Deuce suited was a tough hand to call with. He had the value though and as the flop came King-7-2, he was happy. The next card was a Queen making a pair for Mohamed and the last nothing. Mohamed won the main pot, and Gary the side. Ali was gone with £8,000.

Minutes later another three-way pot took off. Teddy bet 25,000, John Duthie called and so did Mohamed. With a flop of 4-3-9 Teddy blasted 100,000 and John passed. Mohamed called all-in with 4-5, no flush draw. Teddy rolled over a pair of tens and no help came when it finished Ace-King.Mohamed got £10,000. The six finalist were established.
Pos Player   Chips Seat
1 Teddy Tuil Israel 464,000 6
2 Gary Lent L.A. 302,000 2
3 Tony Bloom London 270,000 1
4 Ian Dobson Lapworth 231,000 5
5 John Duthie London 204,000 4
6 Barney Boatman Hendon 89,000 3
Final Day
19th November
Place Prize
1 £1,000,000
2 £100,000
3 £50,000
4 £25,000
5 £15,000
6 £14,000
Detailed Results
The final day of what turned out to be a great event began with press interviews and TV coverage like never before. The prize fund may not be the biggest in the world but the PR has been the best. The whole event dodged many land mines and stood on a few that didn't go off. The team behind each part of the organisation where very professional, many being the best in their field, but the lack of co-ordination between them showed on key occasions.

Scheduling of play was a key area that hadn't been fully understood. Attempts to get the last six resolved on Friday and use Saturday as a rest day were inevitably dead in the water because there were still the planned 20 left at 02:00 in the morning. The televised final moved from 6 to 9 players, only for Jack McClelland to point out that it could take forever and it went back to 6 again.

Despite these troubles, the players seemed remarkably tolerant of everything, including the sub-standed hotel rooms and dodgy food that got remarkably better on the last two days. As one player put it, "its the Dunkirk spirit", though having been here before for other events it might well become the Douglas spirit.

One last thing. The final six were bundled into a room upstairs and given the strict rule about no deals, before, after or whenever. As soon as that was over they were outside negotiating the very same. Of course Mr. Bloom said no and the public line is no deal was done. But would you get drunk right there and then?

Pos Player Opening
Chips S.P
1 Teddy Tuil 5/2 464,000 3/1
2 Gary Lent 5/2 302,000 7/2
3 Tony Bloom 7/2 270,000 5/2
4 Ian Dobson 9/2 231,000 5
5 John Duthie 7/1 204,000 10
6 Barney Boatman 11/1 89,000 12
The line-up.
See the pictures
Nine Player Picture

Ian Dobson

Teddy Tuil

Gary Lent

Barney Boatman

Tony Bloom and Ian Payne

Last Press Conference

Teddy Tuil from Israel, reputedly the owner of high street shops was an unknown quantity who had shown himself to play well throughout the previous three days. His technique was textbook-like, stealing pots whenever there was weakness in his opponents and playing strong hands only.
Gary Lent looked the typical very good American, however not to have proof of that with a big win was always going to put a doubt on whether he would be up to the pressure of short hand play for a million.
Tony Bloom described himself as an 'Trading Director' for Victor Chandler. That duplicitous term has got to be a meaningless term that gets advertising for Victor. Reports of his 5 & 6 figure sports bets had made him the favourite because of his casual attitude towards a million pounds. People thought he was most likely to win because he could take the pressure better than the others.
Ian Dobson described himself as a professional. There are all sorts of professionals and people were not completely convinced that his play was up to it. His £600 one hand satellite win and a sequence of monster hands had taken him a long way. Clearly though, he knew how to play and had an equal chance with the others in respect of ability.
John Duthie is an enigma. Someone named him the Jim McManus of the Poker Million, meaning that he was similar to the Playboy journalist who came fifth in the World Series of Poker Championship event with very little experience. In truth he has recently picked up third spot in two big No-Limit tournaments which gave him the money and the confidence to play this one. As a TV producer (Hollyoaks) he was sure to have the ability to bring his faculties together at a crucial time and his general focused approach to everything could not be a bad thing.
Barney Boatman is another who has the title poker-pro. His recent results in big tournaments must make him a player with the ability to win. His newly created image as part of the Hendon Mob adds to his confidence.

Play began with a lot of fan fayre but little real tension. The early play was covered poorly by SKY and when Barney pushed his whole stack in to see Ian calling we couldn't even see what hand the Ace-Four (Barney) was up against. When the flop brought an Ace the crowd in the bar, including Ross, Barney's brother, cheered. Ross shouted, 'he's got two pair'. Dismay followed as Barney walked and later we learnt that Ian had Ace-Queen.

Barney was cool under the interview lights and got straight down to the job of commentating. We saw quite a lot of small passed pots after the initial action and Gary was pushed around by people who sensed that he was weak when making his bluffs. Gary managed one steal from Tony with a £75k bet to Tony's £25k. After that he seemed in permanent poor position and his outward appearance was that of a man struggling to raise the level of his game to that of Dobson and Duthie. He simply never changed gear.

As the most under rated player, John Duthie pulled off the first of his steal coups when Dobson bet at a flop of J-7-2 with King-Five. Duthie waited the required double-bluff time period (long enough for the opponent to think he was trying to hide his strength) and then moved all-in with Ace-Four!! His life on the line with zip. Ian Dobson could only pass.

The crowd watching the monitors could not believe that Duthie was capable of that play but what came next made them think they were watching something special. Bloom bet King-Deuce pre-flop and Duthie called with Queen-Jack. When the flop came Ace-Deuce-Trey (A-2-3), Bloom bet again to keep the thought going that he had an Ace. John must have picked up something from his action because he came over the top with a raise that had the professionals singing his praise. Bloom discarded and John wasn't finished with that style of play yet.

Bloom and Lent both played Ace-Six in separate hands and found how useless they were for defence against Dobson who so far had played almost without mistake.

Duthie then bet out Tuil when he had the better hand only to try his old favourite, Queen-Jack, soon after and against the person he'd taken previously. Bloom bet with Ace-Five, call, flopped nothing, bet again and saw Duthie come straight back with a big bet with even less nothing. Bloom gave it up again and the crowd were all suddenly John Duthie fans, or more like worshippers.

Duthie's luck was in as well when having Ace-Jack, pretty good at this point, he found Bloom with a pair of Queens going all-in. Duthie called and lost but Bloom didn't have enough to hurt him.

Tuil gave an early sign that he would be in trouble when the going got tough when he passed Jack-Jack against a small all-in from Lent with Ace-Ten.

Lent, short stacked, moved with Jack-Six and was called by Duthie with Ten-Ten. Lent hit the Jack on the flop and come the river (last) card Duthie needed a Ten (2), a Queen (4) or a Seven (4). It was a Ten and Lent sat in a motionless gaze. After 2 hours 15 minutes, the second man was out.

A few more bluffs and then Duthie took on Bloom's all-in King-Six with a Queen-Nine. The queen came and after 2 hours 45 minutes the third was out.

The last three were Duthie (750,000), Tuil (450,000) and Dobson (350,000)

Dodson showed that he had the ability to play when Duthie pressed a bit with Ace-Deuce. Ian raised with 3-3 and Duthie eventually (after too long) came back again. Dobson said he could sense there was something wrong and called. Little did he know that he was up against one of only two hands that he was favourite against (the other being 2-2). John picked up the Ace for a big turnover. Dobson out after 3 hours 6 minutes without really making a mistake.

After 67 hands it was heads up, Duthie with more than a 2-1 chip lead and Tuil showing no signs of wanting to contest it. After a few hands Tuil just flat called with Ace-Deuce and got burnt away on the flop.

Tuil now makes the worst play so far. He just called the big blind with Ace-Queen, Duthie (Ace-Eight) raised and he just called that! He must come over here and he could have won a good pot or be called most of the time with a worse hand. To see the flop its a miracle for him to get positive action. When the flop came 8-8-2 the crowd in the bar were already on their feet knowing that Tuil had intended to trap play with the Ace-Queen. Duthie and Tuil check. The fourth card is a rag and Duthie bet small, hoping for a re-raise but just got called. Now the killer card on the end, an Ace. Tuil bets small, Duthie raises and Tuil calls quickly, probably hoping that its over one way or the other.

The whole thing was a mere 73 hands and lasted 3½ hours.

John Duthie

£1,000 Pot Limit Holdem Tournament

More English success when Mike Harris of Poole in Dorset won the last event and the £64,000 first prize from Surinder Sunar of London who got £32,000.
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