One of the great stories that came out of Las Vegas involved Brian Rast winning his first World Series of Poker bracelet in the $1,500 Pot Limit Hold'em event. The reason it was a good story is Rast was not going to play in the tournament but his friend, Antonio Esfandiari, talked him into it and offered to stake him. Rast accepted the freeroll and went on to win $227,232.
Now something similar has happened to one of our UK players, John Tabatabai (pictured above with, ironically, Esfandiari and a man in a chicken costume!). He was playing in a few tournaments and grinding out some No Limit Hold'em cash games when a friend of his asked why he was not playing in Event #43 of the WCOOP on PokerStars, the $300+$20 Pot Limit Omaha (6-max) tournament with a $350,000 guarantee. Tabatabai admitted that, although proficient in short-handed PLO, he did not feel like he had a big edge over the field and would feel much more comfortable investing his money in a different tournament. His friend disagreed and offered to buy Tabatabai's action, the Welshman accepted he joined the 592 other players in Event #43.
Although 791 rebuys were made, only one of those was made by Tabatabai and when he made it to the break and added on, it meant he was only in for $920, but there was still a long way to go. One by one the field was whittled down until just the final table of six remained, with Tabatabai, under the moniker of “HonestPete,” was third in chips. Tabatabai knocked out three of his opponents to set-up a heads-up encounter with “Tsubi87.” The Betfair-sponsored pro went into the one-on-one battle with a substantial 7,060,306 to 2,927,194 chip lead, which he initially extended before Tsubi87 doubled back up. But shortly after the double up Tsubi87 raised, Tabatabai raised and Tsubi87 called. The flop came down , Tabatabai bet then called when his opponent raised all-in. Tabatabai held and was up against the of Tsubi87. The turn was the and the river was the meaning Tabatabai's kings had held and he had won $102,543, the title and a coveted WCOOP bracelet.
Tabatabai was a regular in the cash games held at The Vic but was propelled into the spotlight when he finished as runner-up to Annette Obrestad at the inaugural World Series of Poker Europe, a result that netted him more than £570,000!
WCOOP Event #43 Final Table Payouts
|1st||John "HonestPete" Tabatabai||$102,543.00|