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After a week-long battle that had 534 runners vying for the top prize, the 2018 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) €10,350 Main Event has crowned a winner! Jack Sinclair (cover image) took the event down to claim his maiden WSOP gold bracelet and winner’s payday of €1,122,239.
Sinclair faced final day chip leader Laszlo Bujtas in a lengthy heads-up match where he kept up a dominating form, limiting Bujtas’ play and regaining the lead quickly whenever Bujtas tried to sail ahead.
“It’s like being in a dream at the moment,” said Sinclair after the win. “The whole week has been absolutely insane; just super smooth and not like any other tournament I’ve ever played. I never really lost a big pot as far as I can remember and just got all the hands when I needed them. Every time I felt like things were getting precarious I instantly won a big pot. I’m very happy with how I played and even more happy with how I ran!”
Sinclair is the second player from UK to win the WSOPE Main Event after James Bord won the Main Event in 2010.
“I thought about the 2017 WSOP final table once at the final table when I had jack-four off-suit against Laszlo. That was a somewhat important hand at the WSOP last year and I got the bluff through this time, which was good.
But apart from that, I wasn’t thinking about it. It was a completely different tournament. Vegas was huge for me but it’s in the past now and I don’t think about it now. Vegas was my first ever time playing a $10k and the first time in Vegas in general. The whole thing has been so surreal from the start of my poker career until now,” Sinclair added.
The event saw a total of 534 entries coming in via two starting flights. Indian challenger Shravan Chhabria was among the 165 players who advanced to Day 3. Chhabria carried a stack of 239,000 but ended his run empty-handed before the day’s conclusion.
The top 81 spots earned a piece of the prize money and among the prominent players to walk away with a payout were Aymon Hata (24th for €31,623), Niall Farrell (27th for €26,712), Jack Salter (37th for €23,025), Allen Kessler (40th for €23,025), Dario Sammartino (43rd for €20,262), Rainer Kempe (52nd for €18,210), Tobias Peters (53rd for €18,210), Mustapha Kanit (78th for €15,074), and Ben Heath (80th for €15,074).
2013 WSOP Main Event champion Ryan Riess was among the six players who returned to final day action. Riess had an equally tough day on the felts as on Day 5 and eventually finished fourth.
It didn’t go so well for Bujtas as well, who had come into the final day with the biggest stack but missed the title.
“I’m sad at the moment,” Bujtas said, “Going into heads-up confident but card dead. My opponent played well so congratulations to him. Of course, I’m not 100% happy at the moment but it happens.”
A day prior, the field had whittled down from the 12 finalists that had returned to Day 5 to the eight-handed final table. Bulcsu Lukacs was the first player to be eliminated in eighth place and he was followed by Koray Aldemir, who was eliminated in seventh place.
The six finalists bagged up for the final day, with Bujtas in the lead with 14,040,000 chips.
Final Day Chip Counts
1. Laszlo Bujtas – 14,040,000
2. Milos Skrbic – 12,720,000
3. Ryan Riess – 10,615,000
4. Jack Sinclair – 8,585,000
5. Krasimir Yankov – 3,995,000
6. Ihor Yerofieiev – 3,170,000
Final Day Recap
Action on the final table kicked off after WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel introduced the final six players to the table.
Bujtas pulled off a big bluff on the very first hand against Ihor Yerofieiev that led to the latter losing a big portion of his stack. It wasn’t long before Yerofieiev saw his tournament life at risk when he moved all in from under the gun for 3,410,000 and Milos Skrbic called from his left. Yerofieiev tabled vs Skrbic’s . Yerofieiev needed a favorable board but the flop gave Skrbic two pair and the turn and the river didn’t bring any help either for Yerofieiev, who was eliminated in sixth place.
Several hands later Milos Skrbic moved all in for 3,625,000 from the button and Riess folded his small blind and Bujtas called from the big blind. Skrbic tabled against the of Bujtas. Skrbic was trailing and was at risk when Bujtas paired his ace on the flop. The turn and the river bricked his chances and Skrbic, who had entered the final table as chip leader bowed out in fifth place.
Krasimir Yankov then led out for 500,000 on the button with and was called off by Jack Sinclair from the small blind. Sinclair held and big blind Bujtas also decided to move all in with . The flop came and both Sinclair and Yankov flopped a set with Sinclair holding the higher set. Action then checked to Yankov who led out for 650,000 and Sinclair check-raised to 2,000,000. Bujtas folded and Yankov flat-called. The landed on the turn and Sinclair checked again, while Yankov bet 2,300,000. Sinclair announced all in and Yankov snap called for his remaining 8,025,000. The river changed nothing and Yankov was eliminated in third place.
The heads-up match between Sinclair and Laszlo Bujtas saw Bujtas taking the early lead with a massive double-up. But Sinclair subsequently took it back and went on to call down a bluff by Bujtas. After a rough hand where Bujtas barely survived elimination, there was a lot of back and forth between the two finalists. On the final hand, Bujtas moved all in for his last 3,200,000 and Sinclair quickly called to put him at risk.
Sinclair was a clear favorite to win though Bujtas held two live cards. However, the flop of gave Sinclair a pair of queens that held him through the turn and the river. Bujtas who had come into the final day as chip leader had to concede victory to Sinclair while settling for a second-place finish.
Final Table Results (EURO)
1. Jack Sinclair – €1,122,239
2. Laszlo Bujtas – €693,573
3. KrasimirYankov – €480,028
4. Ryan Riess – €337,778
5. Milos Skrbic – €241,718
6. IhorYerofieiev – €175,965
7. KorayAldemir – €130,350
8. Bulcsu Lukacs – €98,287