36-year-old Andreas Jörbeck is the winner of PartyPoker Late Night Poker 2008! The online qualifier from Stockholm overcome an otherwise all pro final table that featured serial televised tournament winner Ian Frazer, German bracelet holder and 2007 Premier League runner-up Eddy Scharf, Surinder ‘The Cobra’ Sunar, WPT and EPT champion Roland de Wolfe, 2008 Premier League winner Andy Black, Maria Demetriou and 2007 Late Night Poker Masters champion David Tighe in the grand final broadcast last night on Channel 4 in the UK.
"To win an event as prestigious as Late Night Poker against Europe’s top professionals in my first live event is quite something," said Jörbeck. "I’ve been playing online poker for around four years with relatively small stakes and never thought something like this would happen to me."
Jörbeck beat Roland de Wolfe heads-up and was always the underdog throughout the final. De Wolfe looked the likely winner throughout only to run out of steam and go card dead towards the end. "Roland played really well throughout but I started to relax and adopt a more aggressive approach when we were three handed," said Jörbeck. Heads-up the balance of power swung a number of times before Jörbeck landed the killer blow on the top pro. Jörbeck had A10 and de Wolfe K3. The flop came down AAK and the Swede’s set gave him victory. Roland was gracious in defeat: "I really, really fancied this but in the end it just wasn’t my day."
First out in the final was respected British pro Maria Demetriou when her pocket queens ran into Andy Black’s pocket kings. Next to go was Ian Frazer, who found that holding A10 wasn’t enough to overcome Black’s AK after the K came on the flop. Black had created a table image where players were not sure if he was on a complete bluff and after calling the clock on himself Frazer went all-in, was called and then eliminated. Next to go was Eddy Scharf whose QJ looked good against Jörbeck’s 10 9 only for a 9 to come on the river. It was at this point that de Wolfe started to become dominant and he took out David Tighe’s A10 with his pocket queens. Surinder Sunar went out fourth but was ahead with his AQ against Roland’s A9 only to see the 9 come on the river. This left Jörbeck, de Wolfe and Black, with everybody expecting the two pros to prevail.
Next out, however, was Andy Black. Jörbeck’s set of jacks crippled the "Mad Monk’s" A2. The 2008 Premier League champion was all-in next hand with his big blind and was sent to the rail leaving de Wolfe and Jörbeck to battle it out.
Jörbeck, a business development manager in telecoms who has been married to wife Victoria for two years, is realistic about his ambitions going forward and doesn’t see himself as Sweden’s next poker superstar, despite winning such a prestigious tournament. "I am not a big player so have no huge plans on the horizon, poker is just a hobby. I will use some of my prize money on a bankroll but will invest the majority in stocks and shares. My strategy throughout the tournament was to sit back, keep out of trouble and loosen up and try and relax when we were shorthanded. If possible, I would get others to do the dirty work for me and get involved in lots of hands. I was so surprised to even get through my heat considering I was up against the likes of the Devilfish and Joe Beevers," he said. Next up for Andreas is a trip on the PartyPoker Million VI in Europe in May, which he has qualified for online.
A PartyPoker spokesman said: "Andreas’ achievement is huge when you consider that every other player at that final table was an aggressive pro and that he was the only online qualifier who made the final. Credit must also go to Roland de Wolfe – finishing runner-up in Late Night Poker and the Premier League is very impressive."
Prior to the final there was a semi-final that featured the runners-up from all seven heats vying for one place in the showpiece. The line-up featured the eventual winner of the heat Maria Demetriou, ‘Flying Dutchman’ Marcel Luske, WSOP bracelet holder Praz Bansi, Polish television presenter Agnieszka Rylik, Marc ‘Mr Cool’ Goodwin, France’s Pascal Perrault and former champion Simon Trumper. Amongst those who failed to make the final or semi-final included Dave "The Devilfish" Ulliott, man of the moment Julian Thew, WSOP Europe winner Annette Obrestad, Ram Vaswani, Padraig Parkinson, Barny Boatman, Joe Beevers, Donnacha O’Dea, Robert Williamson III, Jen Mason and Jon Kalmar.
Late Night Poker revolutionised people’s perception of poker when the tournament was first broadcast on Channel 4 in 1999 and was the first to use under the table cameras. The total prize pool for 2008 was $335,000 ($90,000 added by PartyPoker) with $125,000 going to the eventual winner. There were 49 players paying a $5000 buy-in including ten online qualifiers who won their seats in exclusive online tournaments on PartyPoker.
Coverage of the event was filmed by Presentable in Cardiff. Presentable also produced the coverage of the successful PartyPoker Poker Nations Cup event for Channel 4 which takes place again in April.