46-year-old German poker professional Soraya Homam is the winner of the PartyPoker.com Women’s World Open II! Homam, a veteran on the circuit from Frankfurt danced a jig with delight after she beat fellow German Stefanie Bergener in an epic heads-up match to scoop $50,000 and the title. After a number of swings that saw the balance of power switch a number times, Homam’s AK suited held-up all-in against Bergener’s A6 off-suit.
“I’m truly delighted to have won,” said Homam, who is a German citizen of Iranian descent. “ My luggage got lost on the flight over to London and I was down about that. When it was located and arrived I felt I had a new lease of life. It sounds strange but it gave me more confidence and made me feel much more comfortable at the table.”
Homam has been playing poker for 20 years and has been there and seen it all on the live circuit. She narrowly missed out on a place on the final table at the PartyPoker.com Women’s World Open I at the expense of Jen Mason. Big domestic wins in 2000 and 2001 had previously been the highlight of her career. She is also a chess player and insists that the skills she picked up in that game have helped her on the felt. “I have been playing tournaments and cash games for many years now and I see all the debate in the poker world about all women’s tournaments. The future is all about us ladies!” she exclaimed.
Runner-up Bergener, a 41-year-old pro from Ollenbach, Germany was also pleased with her finish in the tournament. “ I’m so happy with the result, I have had most of my success online and this is great. I promised my son one percent of my winnings to buy him a new BMX bike, so I have no problems there!” Bergener went home with $22,000 and also bust US star Erica Schoenberg after only three hands of her heat when she sat with the better full house.
May Maceiras, a 28 year-old from Vigo, Spain, finished in third place for $14,000 and was heavily tipped to win after running over the final table with great flair. Commentary on her use of position and exploiting the format could not have been more complimentary and nobody doubts she has a huge future ahead of her. That said, she has already achieved so much after exploding on the scene in the last couple of years with victories at the Spanish Poker Championships and on the Spanish Poker Tour. “Poker in Spain is still in its infancy,” said May, “there is still such a long way to go but I am proud of what I achieved here and I hope it encourages others to follow in my path,” she said.
First out on the final table was Kyla Kalmar, wife of 2007 WSOP* Main Event final tablist Jon ‘Skalie’ Kalmar. Out in fifth was television presenter Michelle Orpe, followed in fourth by journalist Eliza Burnett. The PartyPoker.com Women’s World Open II saw 36 players from all over the world battle it out for a share of a $108,000 prize-fund. The buy-in for the tournament was set at $3,000.
Among those who took part included Erica Schoenberg, PartyPoker.com Women’s World Open I champion Bev Pace, Jen Mason, Late Night Poker finalist Maria Demetriou, Xuyen “Bad Girl” Pham, former PartyPoker.com World Open winner Pippa Flanders, former European Ladies champion Jackie Meecham, Katharine Hartree, Mel Lofthouse, comedienne Lucy Porter, Michelle Orpe, Bucks Fizz star Cheryl Baker, Bronwyn Campbell, Shelley Rubenstein, Dutch pop star Maud Mulder, Polish television presenter Agnieszka Rylik and Christine Klecz.
Eddie Hearn, Head of Online Gaming at Matchroom Sport said: “The international flavour of the PartyPoker.com Women’s World Open II final table just goes to show that this tournament is stronger than ever. It is one of the most popular events in the eyes of international broadcasters.”
A PartyPoker.com spokesman said: “Last year, UK players dominated the final table so we have seen a complete turnaround. Beverley Pace won last year but there is no doubt that the ladies from Germany and Spain are now the pacesetters. It could also be true that the Spanish poker scene has found itself a Fernando Torres in the form of May Maceiras.”
Coverage of the event will be shown on Five in the UK next year and then distributed worldwide. Commentary for coverage of the final will be provided by Jesse May and Robert Williamson III.