Richard Gryko became the latest World Series of Poker Bracelet winner Tuesday night. He won Event #3: €3,250 Pot-Limit Omaha at WSOP Europe at the Spielbank Berlin Casino. Gryko earns €126,345 for his victory, and the first WSOP bracelet of his career.
Gryko has come close to a bracelet before, finishing fifth in a WSOP Europe event in 2009. Today, he surpassed that previous performance in dramatic fashion, besting a tough final table that included Roberto Romanello, Ismael Bojang, four-time bracelet winner Max Pescatori, and last year’s WSOP APAC high roller champion, Mike Leah.
When there were only two players left, it was Leah battling it out with Gryko heads up. The two played a very different game than what we’d seen earlier in the day. It took only three and half hours to lose the first six players from the final table. But Leah and Gryko fought for nearly five hours before Gryko finally collected the last of the chips. Leah came achingly close to joining the small group of players to win a WSOP bracelet on two different continents, but that achievement will have to wait. Leah isn’t resting long, though. Almost as soon as this tournament concluded, he entered Event #5: €2,200 Eight Game Mix.
Gryko was ecstatic after the tournament, and he said it might be the most excited he’s ever been. “The sight of the river card…I’ve never given a fist pump for winning a tournament before. That alone should tell you how much it means.” He also spoke a bit about how important it is for him personally, and how much work went into it. “I haven’t really begun to process it, to be honest. All I can say is I’ve been a poker player since well before I should legally have been a poker player. So a long time has been leading up to today.”
A total of 161 players entered this event on Sunday, and 31 advanced to Monday’s Day 2. The final eight returned today to play down to a winner.
The first player eliminated from the final table today was Ismael Bojang. He was eliminated when his full house ran into Richard Gryko’s high full house. Bojang adds to his impressive list of WSOP results. Before today, he had already accumulated 30 WSOP cashes, including 13 in 2014 alone. Today’s result marks his 8th WSOP cash this year.
Just about 20 minutes later, Max Pescatori became the table’s next casualty. Pescatori and Mikkel Plum got all their chips in the middle, both holding pocket kings. But Plum also held a five in his hand, and a couple more fives on the board gave him winning trips, sending Pescatori to the payout desk. Pescatori is in the midst of one of his best years in WSOP events. He won two bracelets over the summer in Las Vegas, bringing his lifetime total to four. This is his ninth WSOP cash this year, and his second deep run of the WSOP Europe here at Spielbank Berlin.
Both Bojang and Pescatori and in the running for the 2015 Player of the Year award. With their performances here today, Bojang moves up to sixth place in the rankings, and Pescatori moves up to eighth. Click here for the full POY rankings.
The first couple eliminations seemed like they set off a cascading effect, and several other players busted out in short order. The Frenchman Benjamin Pollak busted out when his pocket queens and deuces ran into Mike Leah’s . Leah flopped a set and a potential straight, then improved to a full house on the turn, and quads on the river.
Just a few minutes later, Lawrence Lazar followed Pollak to the payout desk. Again, it was Mike Leah delivering the knockout blow. Both players flopped top pair, but Leah had the better kicker, and neither improved on the turn or river. Lazar was eliminated on the last hand before a break. Just two hands after play resumed, Leah scored another bustout, sending Welsh pro Roberto Romanello to the rail. Leah flopped top set, but Romanello had a flush draw and straight draw. The turn completes Romanello’s straight, but also gives Leah a full house. Romanello has a small chance to pull ahead with a straight flush, but the river is a blank, and Romanello is eliminated in fourth place for €40,480.
Action slowed down a bit after that, but Leah’s knockout streak continued. A little more than half an hour after Romanello’s bustout, Leah eliminated Mikkel Plum, who had started the day w/ the chip lead. Plum flopped a straight, but Leah had outs to a better straight and pulled ahead on the turn.
Unfortunately for Leah, Plum was the last player he eliminated. After the lengthy heads-up match, Leah left as the runner up, and Gryko emerged victorious.
The 161 entries generated a total prize pool of €468,510. The top 20 players made the money. Players who cashed but didn’t make it to the final table include Barny Boatman (9th place - €10,680), Noah Bronstein (12th place - €8,620), and Dermot Blain (15th - €5,905).
Here are the final table results in Event #3: €3,250 Pot-Limit Omaha. Click here for Full Results.
1 – Richard Gryko – €126,345
2 – Mike Leah – €78,150
3 – Mikkel Plum – €55,755
4 – Roberto Romanello – €40,480
5 – Lawrence Lazar – €29,940
6 – Benjamin Pollak – €22,535
7 – Max Pescatori – €17,240
8 – Ismael Bojang – €13,445