Swedish hotshot cashes in largest ever prize in tournament poker
Wednesday 28th April 2004
Following a tense, closely fought contest at the Bellagio, Martin Deknijff of Sweden has been crowned WPT Champion, outlasting 342 poker aces and walking away with a cool $2.7 million: the largest ever first prize in tournament poker - or, for that matter, any sporting event held on North American soil.
'This is a dream come true,” said the 32 year-old professional gambler who has recently moved to Las Vegas. “To win the World Poker Tour Championship and the biggest tournament ever in poker...it is just overwhelming.'
Giving Deknijff a run for his money at the final table were Matt Matros of Bronxville, NY; Richard Grijalva of Las Vegas; Hassan Habib of Downey, CA; Russell Rosenblum of Bethesda, MD and Steve Brecher of Reno, NV. They, along with the rest of the top fifty finishers, receive a share of the record $8,342,000 prize pool.
'We are truly excited about having hosted the record-breaking 2004 World Poker Tour Championship and Five Star World Poker Tour Classic at Bellagio,' enthused Doug Dalton, director of poker operations at the Vegas casino. 'This was another successful tournament and we look forward to hosting additional WPT events in the near future, including the 2005 WPT Championship.'