Yesterday, the big names dominated the headlines at the World Series of Poker Europe. Today though, it was a relatively unknown youngster from Spain who wrapped up the seventh annual WSOP Europe series with a definitive bang. Adrian Mateos of Spain defeated a tough field of 375 and a tough final table to claim the title of WSOP Europe Main Event Champion along with the gold bracelet and a €1 million payday.
The win is reminiscent of that of our first-ever WSOPE Main Event Champion, Annette Obrestad, who became the youngest bracelet winner ever at just 18 years old. Now, Mateos joins her as a rare bracelet winner under the age of 21 who will have to wait until 2015 before he can take a shot in Las Vegas Main Event. While he may have to wait to bring his game to Sin City, it is certainly a whirlwind to go from turning 18 and being old enough to go in the casino and a year later winning one of the biggest titles in poker.
"I feel amazing. It is incredible," Mateos gushed following his victory. Unfortunately though, he still has two years to go before he turns 21, but until then, don't be surprised to see Mateos at some bigger events on the European circuit.
"You will see me more," Mateos assured.
Until then, Mateos can enjoy the prestige that comes with the WSOPE bracelet and a seven-figure payday. He can also brag about beating an elite field and a final table that included two bracelet winners, top pros and beating them in memorable fashion, playing with a wisdom beyond his young years as he navigated his big stack to a big victory. In addition to being one of the youngest bracelet winners in WSOP history, Mateos also joins Carlos Mortensen as only the second bracelet winner from the nation of Spain.
Mateos came into the final table as the chip leader, spent most of the table cruising with a big stack, there was a stretch of heads-up play in which Mateos saw the bracelet start to slip away. After starting heads-up action against Frenchman Fabrice Soulier with a 4-1 advantage, the bracelet winner Soulier battled back to take a similar lead, reversing the stacks. As Soulier picked up a series of big pots, Mateos started to get frustrated and admitted the situation was getting to him.
"I'm so tilted at the moment. I don't like how I played a couple of hands, but [I] changed the plan and tried to play smaller pots and that worked."
Mateos makes it sound so simple, but in reality, his ascent back into the chip lead was a lengthy affair in a heads-up battle that lasted for 160 hands and several hours before Mateos emerged victorious. Add that to the rest of the final table action and some tough competition and you quickly realize that Mateos' brief assessment of how his day went doesn't give him nearly enough credit for what he has accomplished.
The final table featured players from the United States, Germany, Belarus, Germany, France, and Spain making for an internationally diverse line-up with strong representation from the European contingent. The final eight featured two bracelet winners in Soulier and Dominik Nitsche as well as WSOP Asia Pacific Main Event final tablist Benny Spindler, who matched his sixth place showing in Melbourne with another sixth place showing here.
This year marks the seventh WSOP Europe Main Event. This year’s tournament drew 375 players who put up the €10,450 entry fee, making for a €3,600,000 prize pool. The top 40 finishers in the event each earned a payday. Some of the notables who finished in the money included November Niner Jay Farber (34th), Marc-Andre Ladouceur (29th), Scott Clements (28th), Sam Holden (26th), Daniel Negreanu (25th), Ludovic Lacay (24th), Jeremy Ausmus (16th), and Adrien Allain (13th).Here are the final table results from this year’s World Series of Poker Europe Main Event:1st: Adrian Mateos - Spain - €1,000,0002nd: Fabrice Soulier - France - €610,0003rd: Dominik Nitsche – Germany - €400,0004th: Jerome Huge – France - €251,0005th: Ravi Raghavan - USA - €176,0006th: Benny Spindler – Germany - €126,0007th: Andrei Konopelko – Belarus - €101,0008th: Shannon Shorr – USA - €77,500