WSOPE: James Chen wins €250,000 Super High Roller title and first ever bracelet for Taiwan!

The 2019 World Series of Poker Europe at King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic kicked off with James Chen taking down the most expensive event of the series and bringing home the first gold bracelet for his home country of Taiwan.

€250,000 Super High Roller – Winner: James Chen

James Chen WSOPE
Kings Resort

One of the biggest highlights of the 2019 WSOPE is undoubtedly the €250,000 (US$279,125) Super High Roller. The number of entries hit 30 with Phil Ivey being one of the final names added to the star-studded field. This generated a total prize pool of €7,125,000 (US$7,955,055) with just 5 players going on to reach the money.

In the early to middle stages of the tournament, James Chen was a formidable force, winning a few big pots before building on his promising start. At the end of day 1 he led the way and remained one of the biggest stacks in the tournament until late in the second day when he crossed swords with Tony G while holding 10h 10c. Tony G was all in for 9 million chips with As 10s while Chen had around a third of his stack at risk. Tony G spiked the Ah on the flop to undo much of Chen’s hard work.

Chen then lost the last hand of the day to Chin Wei Lim who had been a force throughout the tournament and managed to bag up the second largest stack at the end of day 2, with Dominik Nitsche putting on an imperious day 2 display of quality poker to lock up a strong chip lead which was almost twice the stack of his nearest challenger.

The third day kicked off with 7 survivors and the opening hour unfolded in brutal fashion for chip leader Dominik Nitsche. In a case of double vision decimation, Nitsche called two shoves in the space of a few hands, both times with Ax Qx, and both times getting crushed by Kx Kx.

In the blink of an eye, the chip leader had become the short stack. He hit the rail soon after, followed by former WSOP Main Event winner Ryan Reiss on the bubble. Cary Katz followed soon after with James Chen surging to the top of the chip counts once again. Tony G was then followed to the rail by Christoph Vogelsang, leaving an all-Asian duel for the bracelet. Chen began with a near 2 to 1 chiplead, but Wei Lim soon levelled things up. Qx Qx against Ax Qx allowed Chen to retake control however, and he finished the job soon after to win his first WSOP bracelet. It was also the first WSOP gold bracelet for  Taiwan.

The final table payouts are as follows:
1st – James Chen (Taiwan) – €2,844,215
2nd – Chin Wei Lim (Malaysia) – €1,757,857
3rd – Christoph Vogelsang (Germany) – €1,185,161
4th – Tony G (Lithuania) – €799,045
5th – Cary Katz (USA) – €538,722

Event 1 – €350 NLH Opener – Winner: Renat Bohdanov

Renat Bohdanov WSOPE
Renat Bohdanov – WSOPE

The prestigious delights of the WSOPE began with an opening event which cost just €350 (US$391) to enter. The field size grew to 1,011 players which created a prize pool of €302,541 (US$337,787). While some notable names went reasonably deep, only 6-time bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro stood out as a familiar face at the final table, in what was the smallest ever buy in for a WSOP bracelet event.

As the final table drew towards a close, Eastern European nations were heavily represented. Ukraine’s Mykhailo Hryhoriev fell in 4th place soon after Slovakia’s Samuel Mika had exited in 5th, and with Austria’s Eyal Bensimhon finally bowing out in 3rd, heads-up play began. Hungarian Norbert Mosonyi fought valiantly with Ukraine’s Renat Bohdanov for a long time, but finally, faltered by calling off a preflop shove with Kd 5d. Bohdanov’s Ad 9s held up, and the first bracelet of the series went to Bohdanov.

The final table payouts are as follows:
1st – Renat Bohdanov (Ukraine) – €53,654 (US$59,392)
2nd – Norbert Mosonyi (Hungary) – €33,112
3rd – Eyal Bensimhon (Israel) – €23,386
4th – Mykhailo Hryhoriev (Ukraine) – €16,736
5th – Samuel Mika (Slovakia) – €12,138
6th – Michal Kral (Czech Republic) – €8,923
7th – Rafi Elharar (Israel) – €6,651
8th – Jeff Lisandro (Australia) – €5,026
9th – Ricardas Vymeris (Lithuania) – €3,853

Event 2 – €550 PLO – Winner: Dash Dudley

Dash Dudley WSOPE
Dash Dudley – Photo WSOPE

The first non-Holdem event to get underway at WSOPE 2019 was the €550 (US$614) PLO. The event attracted 476 runners, creating a prize pool of €226,100 (US$249,592). 71 players went on to cash, with all three frontrunners in the WSOP Player of the Year race all cashing in the event.

The latter stages of this event brought added excitement as some big names were busy making deep runs. Daniel Negreanu managed a creditable 59th place, but it was not enough to close the gap on leader Robert Campbell, who took 48th. He will now be looking over his shoulder however, with Shaun Deeb finishing 18th place. Other notable finishers include Chris Ferguson (49th), Phil Hellmuth (44th), Jeff Madsen (35th) and Anthony Zinno (16th).

The latter stages of the final table included former bracelet winners Ivo Donev and Dash Dudley, with the former eventually falling short in 5th place. Shortly after, he was joined at the rail by Malaysia’s Ming Juen Teoh in 4th, and Ukraine’s Denis Drobina in 3rd. This left just Dudley and Christopher Back to contest the jewellery, with the former bracelet winner ultimately getting the best of his Canadian counterpart after a brief struggle heads-up. Dudley picks up his second bracelet in the space of four months, with both having come in PLO.

The final table payouts are as follows:
1st – Dash Dudley (United States) – €51,600 (US$57,410)
2nd – Christopher Back (Canada) – €31,825
3rd – Denis Drobina (Ukraine) – €21,825
4th – Ming Juen Teoh (Malaysia) – €15,225
5th – Ivo Donev (Austria) – €10,900
6th – Oshri Lahmani (Israel) – €7,850

Event 5 – €2,500 8 Game Mix – Winner: Espen Sandvik

Espen Sandvik WSOPE
Espen Sandvik – Photo WSOPE

Event 5 saw an illustrious collection of names take to the field to dispute this bracelet, with 71 entries paying the €2,500 buy in to create a prize pool of €250,000 (US$279,125). By the time the final table had concluded, there were headline making near misses, as Phil Hellmuth missed out on bracelet number 16 by finishing in 3rd place. Four-time bracelet winner Jeff Madsen took 4th place. In the end, Norway’s Espen Sandvik defeated Finland’s Ville Haavisto to take the title.

The final table payouts are as follows:
1st – Espen Sandvik (Norway) – €75,246 (US$84,058)
2nd – Ville Haavisto (Finland) – €46,613
3rd – Phil Hellmuth (United States) – €31,058
4th – Jeff Madsen (United States) €21,386
5th – Thomer Pidun (Germany) – €15,235
6th – Jochen Kaiser (Germany) – €11,242

WSOP Player of the Year race heating up

The first shots have now been fired in the battle to be crowned WSOP Player of the Year. Robert Campbell had led Shaun Deeb by a small margin of 138 points after the WSOP in Las Vegas, with Daniel Negreanu a further 114 points back. Now, Deeb is really close on Campbell’s heels.

Here are the current standings:
1st – Robert Campbell – 3,460.30
2nd – Shaun Deeb – 3,446.21
3rd – Daniel Negreanu – 3,207.76
4th – Daniel Zack – 3,126.13
5th – Phillip Hui – 2,923.19

Article by Craig Bradshaw