WSOPE Europe Main Event: Alexandros Kolonias crowned champion

The Main Event is the highlight of the WSOPE festival, and it has served up all the usual fascinating stories and big-name deep runs that it always does. With the crown now resting on a new head, allow us to run you through the most prestigious tournament in Rozvadov.

Numbers and early action

The WSOPE Main Event of 2019 attracted a field of 194 entries for day 1a and 252 for day 1b, creating a day 1 field size of 446.  Registration remained open into day 2, helping the final field size to hit 541. This was a slight increase on the 534 from 2018. Each entrant paid €10,350 to get involved, creating a total prize pool of €5,139,500.

WSOPE Flight B
WSOPE Main Event Field

The second day began with 279 survivors, with Alex Foxen leading the way. By the time the field were bagging up at the end of the third day, just 42 remained. Dario Sammartino had risen to 2nd place on the chip counts, with Anthony Zinno also flying high. David “ODB” Baker and Alex Foxen were very much in contention too, with Julien Martini leading the way on 5,959,000, putting him over 2 million clear of Sammartino.

Run up to the final table

After a fourth day of frenzied pot shipping, the survivors had ben cut down to just 14. Arguably the three biggest names in the field – Sammartino, Baker and Zinno occupied the top three places in the chip counts, in that order. Julien Martini had dropped back to 5th, while 888Poker qualifier Claas Segebrecht had risen to 7th. All those competing for the WSOP Player of the Year title had fallen before the money, meaning that Daniel Negreanu will hold the advantage going into the final event.

By the end of the fifth day, the final table of 6 players remained. There had been some change at the top of the counts, with Zinno surging into the lead and Alexandros Kolonias rising from the obscurity of the lower rungs of the chip counts to reach 2nd place. Baker had fallen in 12th after a bad day at the office, but Sammartino remained in the hunt in 4th spot.

Final table concludes with Kolonias being crowned

WSOPE Main Event champion Alexandros Kolonias

It took a couple of hours before the first faller hit the rail at the final table. Rifat Palevic had come in as the short stack and left in 6th place. Two and a half hours later, Anh Do ran Kh 9h into the Kd Kc of Claas Segebrecht to exit in 5th, at which point Kolonias and Segebrecht were taking command of the final table with almost 20 million chips each. Sammartino and Zinno had 9.5 and 4.8 respectively.

Zinno fought back to become almost level with Sammartino, before a misstep with Kc 10c fell in his favour. Zinno had called the small blind shove of Sammartino, only to find himself in trouble against Ac Js. The king spiked on the flop however, crippling Sammartino, who bowed out a few hands later.

A protracted three-handed battle followed, with Segebrecht leading the way. Eventually, a critical confrontation arose when Zinno shoved from the small blind with 3h 3d only to get looked up by Kolonias with Ac Jc. An ace on the flop sealed Zinno’s fate. Down to just a few big blinds, Zinno doubled twice before getting it in against Kolonias once again, this time with Ad 9c against Jd 10h. The flop brought a jack, and Zinno’s tournament was over.

Kolonias began heads-up play with a slight edge in chips over his opponent, and soon extended his lead when the first significant pot went against Segebrecht.  The pendulum swung a little way back towards the German before the final hand arrived. Segebrecht three-bet jammed with 3d 3c and was snap-called by As Ks. The flop brought a king, the river improved Kolonias to a flush, and the huge pot was sent his way, ending Segebrecht’s hopes of a first bracelet.

The final payouts are as follows:
1st – Alexandros Kolonias (Greece) – €1,133,678 (US$1,258,383)
2nd – Claas Segebrecht (Germany) – €700,639
3rd – Anthony Zinno (United States) – €485,291
4th – Dario Sammartino (Italy) – €341,702
5th – Anh Do (Czech Republic) – €244,653
6th – Rifat Palevic (Sweden) – €178,171
7th – Julien Martini (France) – €132,017
8th – Jakob Madsen (Denmark) – €99,555

Article by Craig Bradshaw