According to reports from the Associate Press, a university freshman majoring in political science has won the European poker tour grand final competition. The 19-year-old American student from the University of Georgia won the tournament after beating 298 other competitors.
Jeff Williams was the only remaining American playing in the final day of the tournament and was able to beat several world-class professional poker players and three world champions in order to come out the winner. The well-known pro players included Team Pokerstars' members Joe Hachem (2005) and Greg Raymer (2004) as well as 2001 champion Carlos Mortensen.
Williams won the Euro 900,000 ($1,078,000) after playing a very tense final table. After qualifying for the tournament on Pokerstars, Williams had only to pay $41 to reach the Euro 10,000 buy-in No Limit Texas Hold’em Grand Final. Both of Williams’ parents, David and Cindi, were able to watch their son win the final when they surprised him by showing up at the tournament. After following his progress on the PokerStars blog, the couple decided to go see him play in person.
The five-day Euro 10,000 No Limit Texas Hold'em tournament generated a prize pool of almost Euro 3,000,000 and was the biggest one of its kind ever held in Europe.
EPT broadcasts tournaments throughout the world and is Europe’s richest poker tour. The second season featured events held in Barcelona, Baden, Copenhagen, Deauville, Dublin and the Monte Carlo Grand Final. The final had a total of 2,009 players and generated an overall prize pool of Euro 9,824,000.
The tournament ended on Saturday, March 11 when Jeff beat opponent Arshad Hussain from the United Kingdom in a heads-up showdown. Arshad arrived at Monte Carlo via a win on a Frequent Player Point tournament on PokerStars. Arshad won Euro 492,000 for second place.
Regarding the competition, Jeff said: "Arshad and I have played each other a lot in heads-up tournaments on PokerStars and Arshad normally wins. So I was pretty nervous but by then I had a big chip lead which makes a difference. This whole event has been just amazing. To reach the final table and then find myself sitting next to Marcel Luske, one of my poker heroes, was incredible. I am still taking the whole thing in. I can't really believe it."
The final event began on March 7th and was held at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort.
Posted on: March 18, 2006