The History of the Unibet Open at a Glance

Dan Murariu

It all started back in 2007 in Warsaw when a field of 120 entries in the inaugural Unibet Open Main Event was topped by Norway’s Stale Lokse, and since then the Unibet Open has become a very popular tournament series all over Europe and beyond. For almost every stop, there are plenty of qualifiers from Scandinavia who all dream of following into the footsteps of the Norwegian.

At the end of the 11th season, there have been only two players to win multiple Main Events in Mateusz Moolhuizen and Dan Murariu, the only two-time champions thus far. Moolhuizen came very close to a third title and fell agonizingly short in his bid when finishing runner-up at the 2013 Unibet Open Tróia.

The Unibet Open vita of Murariu is as impressive, as the Romanian has another three Main Event final table appearances to his name as well. Often considered as "Mister Unibet Open," Murariu has since become an ambassador for Unibet Poker and will participate on Day 1b of the 2018 Unibet Open Dublin Main Event. Moolhuizen has been eliminated on Day 1a and can re-enter in the turbo heat 1c as of 9 p.m. local time.

YearEventBuy-InEntriesPrize PoolWinnerCountryPrizePrize in US$
2007Warsaw€1,650120$176,244Stale LokseNorwayzł159,900$65,090
2008Madrid€1,650297€442,800Joao BarbosaPortugal€115,800$179,240
 Milan€1,650320 Domenico TinnirelloItaly€121,000$173,953
 Warsawzł5,500270$486,758Simon JohanssonSwedenzł464,805$152,355
2009Budapest€1,650360€539,550Alvaro AspasSpain€135,000$170,104
 Algarve€1,650409€596,406Andre DiasPortugal€151,000$207,104
 London£2,750266£665,000Thanh DoanFinland£187,000$305,326
 Prague€1,650451€660,000Fuat CanSweden€167,500$245,983
 Warsawzł7,000401zł2,566,400Jimmy JonssonSwedenzł654,430$239,778
2010Budapest€1,650460€690,009Anthon-Pieter WinkNetherlands€172,500$235,665
 Golden Sands€1,650394€591,001Dan MurariuRomania€150,705$184,182
 Prague€1,650424€629,640Henri OjalaFinland€157,000$207,037
 Valencia€1,650361€541,500Thomas ThangDenmark€138,080$191,626
 London£1,650273£409,500Paul ValkenburgNetherlands£109,550$171,408
2011Malta€1,650293€417,525Mateusz MoolhuizenNetherlands€117,000$163,075
 Barcelona€1,650387€551,500Rubén Sánchez CebolladaSpain€145,000$212,246
 Dublin€1,650260€390,000Paul Vas NunesUnited Kingdom€105,300$151,742
 RigaLs1,650308Ls307,238Peter HarkesNetherlandsLs62,829$119,878
2012Prague€1,650254€377,190Filip VerbovenBelgium€100,000$131,574
 Paris€1,650439€653,671Jaroslaw BarglikPoland€140,539$185,310
 London£1,320315£378,000Pratik GhatgeUnited Kingdom£85,050$136,305
 Saint Martin€1,650238€346,290Dan MurariuRomania€110,000$142,590
2013Copenhagen€1,650336Dkr3,604,608Kassem YassineSweden€107,367$126,744
 Tróia€1,650242€362,995Dmitry VarlamovRussia€80,187$104,811
 Cannes€1,650313€450,750Quentin LecomteFrance€100,000$132,918
 RigaLs2,271208Ls218,400Rens FeenstraNetherlandsLs52,800$101,652
2014CopenhagenDKr8,250406Dkr2,923,299Frederik JensenDenmarkDKr625,000$116,168
 Tallinn€1,100262€248,900Mauri DorbekEstonia€55,500$75,574
 Cannes€1,100457€438,720Daniel SmithUnited Kingdom€88,000$114,059
 London£1,100399£319,200Iaron LightbourneUnited Kingdom£70,000$110,163
2015CopenhagenDKr8,250404€389,948Theis Vad HennebjerreDenmarkDKr620,000$94,288
 Glasgow£880221£176,800Daniel ChutrovBulgaria£43,000$66,030
 Cannes€1,100411€394,560Julien SitbonFrance€80,000$90,194
 Antwerp€1,100321€321,000Mateusz MoolhuizenNetherlands€71,000$75,487
2016London£825418£313,500Dave ShallowUnited Kingdom£62,000$86,747
 Malta€1,100292€292,000Martin SoukupCzech Republic€65,000$72,461
 CopenhagenDKr8,100376€363,602Joni LiimattaFinlandDKr525,000$79,571
 Bucharest€1,100603€584,910Traian BostanRomania€100,000$106,273
2017London£990419£377,100Gerret Van LanckerBelgium£71,950$89,722
 CopenhagenDKr8,250404Dkr2,908,800Kaarel LepikEstoniaDkr562,300$84,527
 Las Vegas$1,100673$665,866Joe SerockUnited States$113,059$113,059
 Bucharest€1,100502€486,940Marius PerteaRomania€90,925$107,754
2018London£990349£314,100Andreas WiborgNorway£56,807$79,283
 Malta€1,100273€273,000Daniel JacobsenDenmark€60,090$70,979
 Bucharest€1,100592$592,000Anton VinokurovRussian Federation€103,060$120,346
 Dublin€1,100tba€tbatbatba€tba$tba

A record field of 673 entries emerged in the special edition as part of the Wynn Fall Classic, the European Open in Las Vegas, and it was American poker pro Joe Serock that won the biggest Unibet Open Main Event so far after emerging on top of a 673-entry strong field. All three recent trips to Bucharest and Murariu’s home country of Romania resulted in impressive fields thanks to 603 entries in 2016, 502 in 2017 and 592 a few months ago. Traian Bostan and Marius Pertea claimed back-to-back titles for Romania on home soil, Russia’s Anton Vinokurov was the last player to lift the Main Event trophy to date.

Who will become the latest addition to the Unibet Open Main Event champion’s club? Find out right here on PokerNews, your one-stop-shop for all the action in Dublin.