Berlin, Germany (16 October 2015) – Greek players are making history here at the 2015 World Series of Poker Europe. Pavlos Xanthopoulos today became just the second Greek ever to win a WSOP bracelet. A week ago, there had been none. But Greece is enjoying unprecedented success at Spielbank Berlin casino, and Xanthopoulos drove the point home with his victory in Event #6: €3,250 No-Limit Hold’em.
The first Greek bracelet winner in history earned the honor less than a week ago. Makarios Avramidis won Event #1: €2,200 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed on Saturday. Now with Xanthopoulos’s win, the Greek anthem will be heard at a WSOP bracelet ceremony for a second time.
“I’m super excited. My first big tournament,” Xanthopoulos said after securing his win. This is, in fact, only Xanthopoulos’s second career WSOP cash, and the €182,510 exceeds his previous career live tournament earnings.
Xanthopoulos explained the lengthy wait for Greece’s first bracelet is likely due to a small poker community in the country, with very few large tournaments. However, Xanthopoulos and Avramidis showed that Greek players are capable of competing against – and defeating – the best in the world.
A total of 256 players ponied up the €3,250 entry fee on Wednesday. Only 69 of them survived to make Day 2. On Thursday, they played down to the final nine, and returned on Friday for the official final table.
The first elimination from the final table didn’t occur until more than two hours after play resumed Friday afternoon. Sergi Reixach, who began the day with one of the shorter stacks at the table, pushed all in preflop with pocket nines. Reixach looked like he was in good shape to double up until the river, but Sam Chartier rivered a straight to send Reixach to the rail in ninth place (€16,685).
Immediately following Reixach’s bustout, Artan Dedusha followed him to the payout desk. Again, it was Chartier who delivered the knockout blow, his besting Dedusha’s in an all-in preflop confrontation.
The next player to make his exit is arguably the most decorated of the final table. Fabrice Soulier is the only player at the final table to have previously earned a WSOP bracelet, which he won in the $10,000 HORSE event in 2011. And the biggest score of his live tournament career came at WSOP Europe in his home country of France in 2013, when he finished runner up in the Main Event. Today, he got his pocket queens all in against Mario Lopez’s Ace-Queen. Lopez flopped an ace, and Soulier finished in seventh place (€26,520).
The only two Americans at the final table were the next to go. Alex Rocha was eliminated in sixth place (€34,270) when he lost a flip against Pavlos Xanthopoulos. And Farid Jattin followed him in fifth place (€44,920) soon after. Jattin lost almost all of his chips in a coin flip against Sam Chartier, and then Mario Lopez finished the job.
Chartier only outlasted the Americans by a short while, his falling to Thierry Gogniat’s . Three-handed play lasted over an hour, but eventually, Gogniat was eliminated in third place. Just a few minutes after Gogniat’s bustout, the two remaining players paused for their scheduled dinner break, and when they returned, they played for about an hour and a half before Xanthopoulos collected the last of the chips.
Mario Lopez wrestled against Xanthopoulos’s aggressive play, but in the end, the Argentinian fell short. Even so, Lopez is enjoying an incredible year at the tables. Just last month he won at LAPT event in Uruguay. In August he won an Estrellas event in Barcelona. And at the WSOP over the summer, he finished runner up in the Little One for One Drop event. His dominance in 2015 stands in stark contrast to Xanthopoulos’s relative inexperience, competing here for the first major title of his career. Xanthopoulos’s plan paid off, though, and Lopez will have to wait to win his first bracelet.
The 256 entries generated a prize pool of €744,960. The top 27 places were paid. Players who made the money, but busted out before Day 3, include Will Failla (16th place - €9,385), Allen Kessler (23rd place - €6,855), Asher Conniff (24th place - €6,855), and recent bracelet winners Mike Wang (19th place - €7,790) and Nick Petrangelo (26th place - €6,035).
Here are the final table finishes for Event #6: €3,250 No-Limit Hold’em. Click here for Full Results.
1 – Pavlos Xanthopoulos – €182,510
2 – Mario Lopez – €112,785
3 – Thierry Gogniat – €81,500
4 – Sam Chartier – €59,970
5 – Farid Jattin – €44,920
6 – Alex Rocha – €34,270
7 – Fabrice Soulier – €26,520
8 – Artan Dedusha – €20,860
9 – Sergi Reixach – €16,685