Riveting Colossus contest rounds off WSOPE: ElKy wins gold; Daniel Negreanu crowned WSOP POY

If you have been following the 2019 WSOPE with us, you will already know that there have been a number of interesting stories arising in Rozvadov. Phil Hellmuth nearly pocketed another bracelet, a double bracelet winner emerged, and the Player of the Year race went right down to the wire. With the final event now in the books, we can update you on an exciting closing chapter at King’s Casino.

€550 Colossus – Winner: Bertrand ‘ElKy’ Grospellier

€550 Colossus champion Bertrand ‘ElKy’ Grospellier – Photo by King’s

The €550 Colossus was supposed to be the quiet closer. The smallest buy in of the festival coming after the spectacle of the Main Event, it was always likely to bring together a big field and a final table full of unknowns. This year however, things didn’t quite go according to the script.

Daniel Negreanu must have thought the Player of the Year title was in the bag after the Main Event, with his two challengers needing to final table the Colossus in a field running into thousands, in order to overhaul his tally. As play ended on the penultimate day of the tournament however, 11 remained, with Deeb flying high in 3rd place in the counts. We can only imagine the amount of sweating this caused Negreanu, but once play began on day 3, the Canadian soon found reason to smile again. Deeb quickly lost a few big pots to bust in 11th, handing the POY title to his rival.

The other big name who had made his way to the final table was Bertrand ‘ElKy’ Grospellier. The French pro was looking to add a second career bracelet to his trophy cabinet and came into the final day with a slightly above average stack. His early battles went well on the final day and he soon found himself at the final table with the third biggest stack. While never hitting the front until very late on, ElKy cruised along, collecting chips and keeping himself alive until he was able to collect most of Dieter Becker’s stack to double into the lead.

Becker fell soon after in 5th, followed by Mick Heder whose Ac 9s was unable to hold out against ElKy’s Ah 8h. It was ElKy once again who delivered the killer blow to 3rd place finisher Marian Kubis, giving him a lead going into heads up play. The final battle was relatively brief and one-sided as Avraham Dayan was never able to get himself in front. In the final hand, Dayan got his chips in preflop with Ac 10c only to run into ElKy’s 10h 10s. The pocket pair held, and ElKy’s long wait for a Hold’em bracelet was over.

The final payouts are as follows:
1st – Bertrand ‘ElKy’ Grospellier (France) – €190,375 (US$213,220)
2nd – Avraham Dayan (Israel) – €117,630
3rd – Marian Kubis (Slovakia) – €86,172
4th – Mick Heder (Denmark) – €63,670
5th – Dieter Becker (Germany) – €47,452
6th – Christoph Peper (Germany) – €35,674
7th – Sergii Karpov (Ukraine) – €27,057
8th – Alessandro Pezzoli (Italy) – €20,703
9th – Francesco Candelari (Italy) – €15,984

WSOP Player of the Year 2019 – Winner: Daniel Negreanu

WSOP Player of the Year 2019 Daniel Negreanu – Photo by PokerStars

This year’s Player of the Year race has been one of the more exciting ones in recent times, with three players being locked in a close struggle for the title as WSOPE approached. Daniel Negreanu, who had not won a bracelet in Las Vegas had been consistent enough with his deep runs to be in contention. Shaun Deeb had won bracelet number four during the summer and was very close to his Canadian rival in the standings. Both player were chasing Australian Robert Campbell, who had made several final tables over the summer while picking up two WSOP bracelets.

The standings before WSOPE kicked off were as follows:
1st – Robert Campbell – 3,418.78
2nd – Shaun Deeb – 3,280.13
3rd – Daniel Negreanu – 3,166.24

In the course of the fifteen events in Rozvadov, each of the three players took a turn at the top of the standings. As the final few events played out however, the momentum swung in Negreanu’s favour with a 6th place finish in the €25,500 Mixed Games Championship. The WSOPE Main Event didn’t cause any significant shift in the positions, leaving Campbell and Deeb with the near insurmountable task of final tabling the closing €550 Colossus event in a field of 2,738 players.

In the end, neither Deeb nor Campbell were far away from achieving the feat, with Campbell busting in 149th and Deeb getting much closer, crashing out in 11th place. This meant that Negreanu, who also cashed in 195th place could finally be declared the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year. This is his third title, which is an unprecedented accomplishment in World Series history.

The final scores are as follows:
1st – Daniel Negreanu – 4,074.88
2nd – Robert Campbell – 3,961.31
3rd – Shaun Deeb – 3,917.32

Article by Craig Bradshaw