After four intense days of poker action at the Wynn Las Vegas, the European Open Special Edition has concluded with Joe Serock capturing the title and the $113,059 first prize.
The European Open Special Edition was making its first appearance on the shores of the USA, and with it saw a 673-player field created over the two starting flights to smash the $400,000 guarantee and create a prize pool worth $665,866 that would ensure the top 98 players a piece of that sweet money.
Players from all aspects of the poker world made an appearance, while 200 online qualifiers also made the trip from Europe to take part in the European Open along with Unibet Ambassadors that included Charlotte Van Brabander, Sara Chafak, Dara O’Kearney, Andrew Mackenzie, Daiva Byrne, Alan Widmann, Ian Simpson, along with ex-professional footballers Regi Blinker, Henrik Larsson, George Boateng, and Phill Babb. From the closer shores of the USA, World Champions Dan Harrington, Barry Shulman, and Ryan Riess made an appearance, as well as respected tournament veterans Matt Affleck, Allen Cunningham, Scott Clements, Eric Baldwin, Phil Laak, Max Pescatori, Dutch Boyd, Ankush Mandavia, Jeff Madsen, Jon Turner, Sorel Mizzi, Andrew Lichtenberger, and David Sklansky.
When Day 2 began on Sunday afternoon, the 44 players from Day 1a, and the 75 players from Day 1b, merged to see just 119 players remaining. The action began intensely, and as tables broke at a furious rate, the tournament was quickly shifted to hand-for-hand bubble proceedings. Unfortunately for Michael Macey, he would become the tournament bubble boy when he called off what remained of his chips holding :::Ad:::9d against Federico Butteroni’s :::As:::Kd. Things never improved for Macey, and he would be out the door with nothing to show for his efforts but this hand in the blog. From there, action would flow at an incredibly fast rate as the likes of Scott McMillan (93rd), Ting Ho (91st), Frank Rusnak (85th), Denaa David (79th), Andrew Mackenzie (77th), Ryan Laplante (72nd), Rauno Tahvonen (68th), Dan Murariu (67th), Kirk Morrison (59th), Katie Lindsay (58th), David Sklansky (56th), David Lappin (53rd), and Jimmy Tran (28th) all were eliminated before play was halted due to security reasons after the unfortunate incident that occurred on the Las Vegas Strip.
Returning for the final day of play would be 17 players all looking to ascend to the top to take home the $113,059 first prize and European Open Special Edition title, and once play began, the final table of nine would be reached as players headed on their second break of the day. Jordan Cristos held a plethora of chips for the majority of the tournament, and it peaked as he headlined the final table as the chip leader slightly ahead of Joe Serock. It would take nearly an hour until the first elimination occurred, and when Ryan Readenour fell in 9th, Andrey Plotnikov fell just a few hands later before Rex Clinkscales and Martin Soukup following shortly after them in 7th and 6th place respectively as play broke for dinner with Cristos holding more then a third of the chips in play.
Once play resumed, Andrew Warren mounted a huge comeback up the leaderboard before playing a monster pot against Joris Springael that started with a Springael straddle. Warren three-bet his :::As:::Kh and Springael shoved his :::Ac:::8h and Warren called all-in to see a :::Kc:::8c:::9c:::Jh:::8s run out that sent Warren to the rail in 4th place while Springael now would hold over half the chips in play three-handed. The final three players handed chips back and forth, each sharing the chip lead, and as Cristos snatched back the chip lead and started to gain momentum he would play a massive pot against Springael where Cristos was crippled when his :::Ah:::Jh was unable to improve on a :::As:::Kc:::5h flop against Springael’s :::Ac:::5c. Although Cristos managed to survive a little longer, he would fall in 3rd shortly afterwards to leave Springael entering heads-up play with Serock holding a 9,235,000 to 4,260,000 chip advantage.
Serock began heads-up play with a flurry as he chipped away at Springael before eventually finding a double when his :::Kc:::Jh held against Springael’s :::Jd:::Tc to put the stacks nearly at even. However, just as quickly, Springael wrestled the lead back before Serock found value with a pair of jacks to hold a two-ante lead heading into break. With the limits high, and chips flipping between the two players, eventually the final hand would Serock put Springael all in on the river of a board reading :::Th:::Kd:::6h:::2h:::4s with Serock holding :::Kh:::6c. Springael deliberated for over five minutes before calling all-in holding :::Ad:::4h, and thus was eliminated in 2nd place.
European Open Special Edition Results
|6th||Martin Soukup||Czech Republic||$20,076|
For Serock, this is his second lifetime tournament win after a plethora of final tables that include close calls at the WSOP, on the WPT, and all around the world. With this win for $113,059, Serock now eclipses $3,500,000 in lifetime earnings and will move up to 307th on the All-Time Money List over-taking Liv Boeree, Vanessa Rousso, Berry Johnston, and Jeff Shulman.
Congratulations to Joe Serock for winning the European Open Special Edition for $113,059, along with everyone that finished in the money, or participating in this fantastic event that was held at the Wynn Las Vegas, and part of the Wynn Fall Classic.