EPT London: Phenoms

October 03, 2009

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“You wanna know someone else you should follow?” said our friend Maria Mayrinck, with every indication in her voice that we were going to be told whether we liked it or not. “That guy in the green hoody down there. His name is James Obst, but plays on PokerStars as Andy McLEOD. He has, like, 90k already.”

Far be it from me to say that we often take Mayrinck’s words with a grain of salt* but she’ll be the first to confess that she does use rather a lot of them and wheat from chaff is sometimes difficult to discern. But these couple of sentences did seem to have some merit: this was level two of day 1b and anyone with 90,000 at that point had clearly been on a tear.

Obst/McLEOD is definitely a name worth following in any tournament. The 19-year-old from Australia has cultivated one of the most effective online games in the world over the past year or so, taking down a $50+R in September, a $100+R last October, a second place in a Sunday warm-up in December and a SCOOP championship title in July, good for $184,000.

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James “Andy McLEOD” Obst


He did indeed have 90,000 chips at that point, and it only got better through the next few levels; he knocked out Richard “Chufty” Ashby among others to build what is probably a tournament-leading stack of something like 130,000 at time of typing.

It’s not as if we wouldn’t have been following the action on Obst’s table. He was sitting among quite possibly the toughest day one group of players we have ever seen on the EPT. As mentioned previously, Obst’s table-mates included Gus Hansen, Jeff Lissandro, Laurence Houghton and Annette Obrestad, even after CHUFTY departed.

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Annette Obrestad

Put another way, that’s multiple-tournament winning Danish phenom; multiple bracelet-winning Australian/Italian phenom; British online phenom known as “rivermanl”; and all-round Norwegian phenom, previously known as “annette_15”. Phew, too many phenoms.

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Jeff Lissandro

The good news for all of them is that their table has now broken, scattering them to the wind. As a pack, they resembled piranhas; now they morphed back into solitary hunting sharks.

*We often take Mayrinck words with a grain of salt.

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