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Poker News: September 21, 2007

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HEADLINE: Poker ace is all-in

DOVETON poker ace Glen Atwell is but a few chip pots away from unprecedented fame and fortune after outsmarting 80 opponents to win a Crown Casino poker tournament this week.

The win qualifies the 21-year-old for this Sunday’s grand finale of World Poker Tour (WPT) Week of Texas Hold ‘Em poker at the casino.

On the line are three guaranteed spots into the internationally acclaimed WPT circuit, each worth $16,000.

Mr Atwell’s win gives him free entry into this Sunday’s final, whereas others will have to pay $340 to buy into the tournament.

The unexpected victory came after Mr Atwell and close friend David Fonseca decided to turn a casual Sunday afternoon into a fun poker experience costing just $40 each.

Each player started with $1500 of fantasy chips and the multiple-table competition used special turbo-mode rules, giving players just 10 seconds to complete each turn.

“The less time to make decisions means more pressure, so many players give away the strength of their hand through ‘tells’ such as darting eyes, squirming in their seat, touching their face or playing with their chips, because they’re more worried about the clock,” Mr Atwell said. “My timing was spot on. I bet eight times, including six all-in raises, and took down eight pots. The best hand I was dealt all day was a pair of threes, so I had to make sure I was betting at the right time and into the right players.”

Although early into the tournament the young poker gun was almost down and out.

An early victim to nervousness, it took until half of his chips were depleted until Mr Atwell settled and won a miraculous $900 pot on the river with a pair of threes.

From that point, Mr Atwell won pot after pot to go forth and conquer his opponents and make it to the final table. The few remaining opponents crumbled before the poker behemoth that Mr Atwell had quickly become and victory was soon his.

“The final table always attracts a large crowd of onlookers,” he said of his brush with fame. “I’d love to say I was carried on the crowds’ shoulders to a king-sized suite in Crown Towers but there was just a polite round of a applause before I was taken by the poker staff to have my identity checked and to organise my entry into Sunday’s tournament.

“I did get a cool WPT lanyard and a smile that will last all week though.”

Mr Atwell said that at age 17 he was studying poker hand combinations and percentages and soon realised that it was a unique and challenging game.

“From the moment I learnt that poker is mostly skill and only a little bit of luck, I was hooked,” he said.

“It is the only casino game in which your opponent is another person and not the casino, meaning if you’re good enough, you can win.”

He said the WPT brand had beamed poker into millions of households worldwide and inspired him to play in what was Australia’s first official WPT satellite tournament on the weekend.

And his goal now is to win Sunday’s tournament and experience the glitz and glamour of a poker tournament in Los Angeles.

“I’d love to play in the Los Angeles Poker Classic in February next year,” he said.

"The buy-in is almost $10,000 and the prize pool is worth about $6.6 million."

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Related: See U.S. Poker Online

Article downloaded from the World Wide Web on September 20, 2007

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