The Casino Ray in Helsinki was the first official venue of the European Poker Awards 2001. The Casino sponsored the honors and invited also the nominated pokerplayers into the hotel and into the casino at its expense. A Freezeout tournament formed the framework of the event, in which the award was held.
Monday was the day of the supersatelittes for the large tournament Texas Holden No Limit (1.700,- EUR, 10.000,- FIM).
Already on Tuesday it went into the first round with Texas Holdem Limit (Buy In 85,- EUR) which was very well filled with 110 players. The lucky winner Sergei Pevzner (Russia) could call a prize money of 9.169,- EUR his own, after a long fight that lasted up to 3 o’clock in the morning.
The Omaha Pot Limit tournament (Buy In 340,- EUR) was with 66 players just as well filled and the winner Marcel „The Award“ Luske could take a prize money of 20.714,- EUR with home. Also on Thursday the interest in the Seven Card Stud Limit tournament (Buy In 340,- EUR) was very enormous and the daily out-played final lasted far into the early morning, whereby finally Gary Bush (England) became the radiating winner who got a prize money of 16.499,- EUR.
As a new record to their 10th anniversary became then the large Texas No Limit Freezeout tournament (1.700,- EUR) for the Casino Ray. 61 players participated and there was a prize total of 610.000,- FIM to win. It was played up to the nine finalists and then on the next day the final of the best placed players was played out. It was a packing and exciting final. The last three participants Jimmy Lettice (Scotland),Bruno Fitoussi (France) and Olli Pekka Karlsson (Finland) fought over 2 hours until finally Olli Pekka Karlsson became surprising the radiating winner who received a prize money of 37.163,- EUR as victory premium.
Also the Texas Shorthanded Freezeout tournament (Buy In 850,- EUR) was greatly in demand. Here five players played against each other up to the finaltable of the last 5. 56 players participated and the winner Ivo Donev (Austria) could be pleased about a prize money of 20.747 €.
On the last day, Sunday, the 16th december, the traditional Scandinavian 5 Card Stud Pot Limit (Buy In 170,- EUR) took place. 83 pokerplayers participated and fought for the substantial prize money of 286.000 FIM, which came 17.424,- EUR as victory premium for the first placed player L. Khajuria . Hans Pfisterer (Switzerland) received the excellent fourth place and Antonio Turrisi (Italy) was pleased about his sixth place.
Special respect applies to the casinodirector Hannu Jokipaltio of the Casino Ray in Helsinki who insisted on being present with all final tournaments and to congratulate each placed finalist and present personally the gains. Up to today the ISA-CASINOS hasn’t seen this and would like to express thanks in the name of many pokerplayers that he showed his respect by this gesture also opposite the pokerplayers.
A special praise is due to Martti Sillanmaki and Jyrki Sinisalo for the disciplined and outstanding organization of the tournament and the Award. This was also appreciated and thanked by the active participation of the pokerplayers.
From all over Europe and Russia traveled the players in order to participate. Well-known great men from England, Switzerland, Finland, Austria, Sweden as for example, Simon Trumber, Marcel „The Award“ Luske, Nic Sceremeta, Bruno Fitoussi, Johanna Pönniö, Thomas Kremser, Hans Pfister, Antonio Turresi, Ivo Donev many players from St. Petersburg and Moscow like Alex Kravchenko met at this tournament. Also Holland Casinos Amsterdam was represented by ist manager Peter Voolstra, from Austria by Mr. Melchert, from Saint Petersburg pokermanager Stolbovsky Sergey with Julia Kuzmich and managers from the Taleon Club of Saint Petersburg.
The high point however was the European Poker Award 2001. This moved for hours the whole tournament happening into the background.
Martti Sillanmaki presented to all the candidates in the different categories.
All in all it was for the 10th anniversary of the Casino Ray , under the line of director Hannu Jokipaltio and his poker managers Jyrki Sinisalo, Jukka Räsänen and Ari Vyörykkä, as well as Martti Sillanmaki, an outstanding performance to present this tournament and the Award in this style.
The ISA-CASINOS congratulates all winners.
Bildergalerie: And the winner is…