The 2018 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event has wrapped up! Let’s recap the events that unfolded, starting with the Main Event.
JACK SINCLAIR WINS WSOP EUROPE MAIN EVENT
England’s Jack Sinclair — an Upswing member — is the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event champion, coming out on top of a field of 534 entries and going home with the first prize of €1,122,239 ($1,279,352 USD). Sinclair out-dueled Hungarian Laszlo Bujtas heads-up to take down the bracelet, with Butjas earning €693,573 ($790,673) for the second place finish.
The win brings Sinclair his second seven-figure score of his career, with the other coming in an 8th-place finish at the 2017 WSOP Main Event for $1.2 million. Sinclair dominated the heads-up battle against Bujtas, eventually finishing the job on a final hand that saw Sinclair’s Q♥ 9♣ hold up against Bujtas’ J♦ 7♠ on a board of K♦ Q♣ 3♥ 6♥7 ♣.
Sinclair has enjoyed enormous success in his limited experience at the WSOP. The 2017 Main Event was the first $10k buy-in event of his career, and not even 1 ½ years later the 27-year-old from London has two Main Event final table appearances, and one of the most coveted prizes in the game with the bracelet win.
Krasmir Yankov finished 3rd for €480,028 ($547,232), and former WSOP Main Event champion Ryan Riess took home 4th place. The final table wrapped up just over six hours after the day began as eliminations came quickly and frequently, despite the fact that there were plenty of big stacks remaining to begin play.
The final day began with Riess and Sinclair as the biggest names remaining at the six-player official final table. Six different countries were represented, with Bujtas coming into the day with the chip lead at 14,040,000 (88 big blinds).
Serbia’s Milos Skrbic came in second in chips at 12,720,000 (80 big blinds), followed by Riess (10,615,00), Sinclair (8,585,000), and short stacks Yankov from Bulgaria (3,995,000) and the Ukraine’s Ihor Yerofieev (3,170,000).
Yerofieev’s day ended shortly after the final day began, with a 6th -place finish and €175,965. Within the first two hours of play, Skrbic went from nearly the top of the leader board to the he short stack after surrendering double-ups to both Sinclair and Yankov, and eventually went out in 5th for €241,718.
RYAN RIESS FINISHES FOURTH
2013 WSOP Main Event champion Riess finished fourth, coming up just short in his bid to become the second player ever to win the Main Event at both the WSOP and WSOP Europe. The 28-year-old pro entered the final day second in chips with a 10,615,000 (66 big blinds) stack, but found himself on the wrong end of an all-in for his last 5.8 million chips about two hours into final table play.
Riess limped in on the button and faced a 5x raise to 1 million from Yankov in the big blind, which prompted Riess to 3-bet shove his remaining 5,590,000. Yankov snap called with A♠ A♣, putting Riess in bad shape with 7♠ 7♣.
No help came for a Riess on a board of 9♥ 8♠ 4♣ 9♦ 2♦, and Riess hit the rail as the fourth-place finisher with a prize of €337,778. Phil Hellmuth remains the only player to ever pull off the feat of winning both the WSOP and WSOP Europe Main Events with wins in the 1988 WSOP and 2012 WSOP Europe.
Riess had an impressive run at this year’s WSOP Europe, however, as the Main Event finish was his second six-figure cash of the series. Riess also took down the Turbo High Roller 10k, a non-bracelet event, and took home €178,852 for the first-place finish.
Despite coming up short in his historic bid, Riess was one of the big winners overall at this year’s WSOP Europe, which took place at Kings Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, for the second straight year.
BADZIAKOUSKI, KABRHEL DOMINATE
What a year it’s been for Belarus pro Mikita Badziakouski, who continued his 2018 heater with an impressive showing throughout the WSOP Europe series.
The player known as Fish2013 online sits second on the 2018 tournament money list, with $13,863,871 in earnings. That total includes nearly $1.5 million earned at the WSOP Europe, with three six-figure cashes.
Badziakouski took fourth place in the €25k High Roller for €266,767 ($305,950 USD), added another fourth-place finish in the €100k Super High Roller for €789,612 ($899,658), and also took down first place in the €25k King’s Short Deck Championship, a non-bracelet event that saw Badziakouski bag €213,750 ($246,298).
Badziakouski’s performance in the High Roller events was topped, however, by the Czech Republic’s Martin Kabrhel.
Kabrhel took home his second career WSOP bracelet with a first place finish in the €100k High Roller for €2,624,340 ($2,990,088), and finished second for €773,457 ($878,948) in Leon’s High Roller, a newly added €100k buy-in, non-bracelet event. Malaysia’s Seng Yee Leow took down that event for a €1,251,455 ($1,422,140) first prize.
Kabrhel cashed five times at the WSOP Europe (including non-bracelet events), and his total haul for series adds up to $3,922,009.
DEEB CLINCHES WSOP PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Shaun Deeb had a commanding lead in the WSOP Player of the Year race coming into the WSOP Europe, and the 32-year-old American pro added four cashes in Rozvadov to his 2018 and easily clinched the award.
Deeb finished more than 1,300 points ahead of Ben Yu, with Joe Cada, John Hennigan and Scott Bohlman rounding out the top five. To put that margin of victory in perspective, a win in the WSOP Europe Main Event awarded 1,233 POY points.
Deeb won two bracelets at the WSOP this past summer in Las Vegas and nearly added a third in Europe, finishing second in the €1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event. Hungarian Norbert Szecsi took down the bracelet in that event, topping a field of 241 entries for the €86,956 ($100,162) first prize.
The POY award chase motivated Deeb to play in the WSOP Europe, and he had the award all but locked up after an incredible run in the WSOP. He won two bracelets in Las Vegas, narrowly missed on a third in Rozvadov, and finishes the 2018 WSOP with 20 cashes, four final tables, and more than $2.5 million in earnings.
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