The low level buy-in events at the World Series of Poker are designed to allow players to get maximum return on minimum investment. Henrik Johansson of Sweden took this concept to a new level in the €1,100 No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry event here at WSOP Europe though, taking a package he won online and turning it into a gold bracelet and a €129,700 payday.
Johansson didn't even have to beat a satellite field. He earned his package to this event basically by getting his name drawn out of a hate. A raffle on 888 Poker gave him the trip here to Paris and the 21-year-old decided to make the trip and play in his first-ever live poker tournament.
A longtime cash game player online, Johansson was far from an amateur in the large field re-entry tournament. The youngster dominated the final table action, looking far wiser than your typical 21-year-old. The turning point of the final table came when Johansson got it all-in holding an overpair of kings to Yanik Botbol's set of fours. When the king came on the river, Johansson's rail of friends and supporters broke out into a loud round of cheers, and even the livestream commentators couldn't believe what they were seeing. Johansson though, barely flinched. For a 21-year-old with no prior live tournament experience, he displayed a remarkable amount of composure.
"As a high stakes pro, it is pretty standard to two-out people on the river. I'm pretty used to it.," Johansson explained following his first bracelet victory. Thousands of hands of experience isn't the only thing Johansson credits for his success though.
When it came to explaining his maturity and composure, Johansson was quick to credit his family. "I think it is because I have excellent parents who raised me very well."
They can certainly be proud parents today as Johansson's victory makes him only the sixth Swedish player to ever win a bracelet and the first to do so in a WSOP Europe event.
Even a landmark win like this doesn't rattle the sensible Johansson. Rather than push his luck and immediately hop into more bracelet action, he is non-committal about the rest of his plans this week. "I haven't decided yet. It's possible, maybe 50/50."The final table was a highly international affair with players from France, the United States, Australia, Spain, Sweden, and Belarus. France had the largest representation with four players, while all of the other countries boasted one player each. Daniel Laidlaw of Australia makes the second Aussie to final table a WSOPE event, joining Event 1 winner Jackie Glazier.This event was the second-largest WSOP Europe event in the series’ seven-year history, trailing only the €1,090 No Limit Hold’em Event at the 2011 WSOPE, which drew 771 players. The tournament had 556 unique players, 103 of which elected to re-enter on the second starting day. The combined 659 entries generated a prize pool of €632,640. The top 72 finishers were set to make the money, but the tournament ended up paying the top 73, as there was a dual elimination on the money bubble that saw two players split 72nd place money.Some of the notables who made the money included Player of the Year frontrunner Matthew Ashton (63rd), Chris Klodnicki (62nd), Jonathan Karamalikis (54th), Jake Balsiger (47th), Jeff Madsen (41st), Hall of Famer Barry Greenstein (35th), Tuan Le (34th), three-time Circuit ring winner Sam Panzica (28th), and Chino Rheem (22nd).Ashton’s cash extends his POY lead by 8.5 points, putting the pressure on Daniel Negreanu and Loni Harwood, who currently sit in second and third place and are on hand in France battling for some additional points. Several of the November Niners are also present trying to get some practice before the final table. One such player is Jay Farber, who finished Day 1 of this event near the top of the counts, but busted out short of the money on Day 2.Here are the final table results from the €1,100 No Limit Hold’em Re-Entry event:1st: Henrik Johansson - Sweden - €129,7002nd: Andreano Torre Grosso - France - €80,2503rd: Yanik Botbol - France - €58,8604th: Daniel Weinman - USA - €43,7725th: Serge Ekert – France - €32,9926th: Daniel Laidlaw - Australia - €25,1907th: Jose Obadia - Spain - €19,4988th: Jean-Philippe Tuffery – France - €15,2859th: Andrei Konopelko – Belarus - €12,134
We'll wait and see if Johansson changes his mind. In the meantime, one thing is for certain. He will always be a WSOP bracelet winner.