Peter Harkes Secures Unibet Open Win in Riga

Peter HarkesMost poker fans had their eyes on either the World Poker Tour (WPT) Prague or the Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour (GUKPT) Grand Final in London – but there was also €400,000 in prize money on offer from the last stop on the Unibet Open series in Latvian capital city Riga.

Dutchman Peter Harkes outlasted 307 opponents to leave with €90,073 after defeating Arkadiusz Olszowy, of Poland, in their heads-up clash. The Pole picked up €61,218 for finishing in second place.

Third place went to home favourite Maksim Martynov, who exited thepoker  tournament with a €41,850 pay day.

A massive fan of Ajax football team, Harkes – who finished fifth at the Unibet Open Dublin back in late August – provided many eliminations before taking down his one-on-one clash with Olszowy.

His victory was not at all surprising, though, as he entered the heads-up fight with a 9 to 1 chip lead over Olszowy.

In fact, it appeared there would be just one hand played between the pair when Harkes, with K-9, and Olszowy, who held Q-9, went at it immediately. The board showed 2 2 9♠ 5 before an ace on the river resulted in a chop.

However, it was all over for veteran Olszowy not long after, when the Dutch player sealed his win after he had flopped a straight to defeat the Polish player’s top pair.

On the button, Harkes raised it up to 100,000 and Olszowy called to see a flop of 9♠ 8 6.

Olszowy quickly moved all-in and was immediately called Harkes. The Pole showed 9 4 for top pair, but Harkes had completed a straight with his 7 5.

Olszowy needed running cards to pick up a full house to secure his survival, but the turn of K left him beaten. The dealer placed the unimportant 7♣ on the river and the event was over with Harkes crowned champion.

The Unibet Open takes a short break for Christmas now, but returns in Prague for a February 16 to 19 tournament.

Final placing and payouts from the Unibet Open series

1. Peter Harkes (Netherlands) – €90,073 ($121,110/£77,353)

2. Arkadiusz Olszowy (Poland) – €61,218 ($82,312/£52,585)

3. Maksim Martynov (Latvia) – €41,850 ($56,270/£35,948)

4. Jarkko Mamela (Norway) – €30,837 ($41,461/£26,490)

5. David Janssen (Belgium) – €24,228 ($32,569/£20,812)

6. Vytautas Milvydas (Lithuania) – €18,942 ($25,463/£16,269)

7. Loek van Wely (Netherlands) – €15,418 ($20,729/£13,243)

8. Rytis Grunovas (Lithuania) – €13,679 ($18,391/£11,749)

9. Ricardo Klaassen (Netherlands) – €11,892 ($15,990/£10,214)