MEET THE LATEST WSOP GOLD BRACELET CHAMPION
Name: Paul Michaelis
Current Residence: Austria
Number of WSOP Cashes: 2
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 1
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament): 1
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 1,295th (Colossus)
Total WSOP Earnings: $192,133
Paul Michaelis worked his way through the 639 player $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em field to become the first international bracelet winner of the 2015 World Series of Poker. Born in Berlin, Germany, Michaelis now resides in Vienna, Austria. He earns the top prize of $189,818 and a WSOP gold bracelet for his first place finish.
The 2015 series is only through eight events, but this is already Michaelis’ second cash. He notched a min-cash in the record-breaking Colossus event earlier this week.
The final table was dominated by Michaelis and his heads up opponent, Tom Marchese. The two combined to knock out every single one of their final table foes. Michaelis started out red hot, knocking out the first three players at the final table, followed by Marchese knocking out the fifth and sixth place finishers. It was back to Michaelis’ turn, and he knocked out the fourth place finisher, David Eldridge, when the two players got all of the chips in the middle preflop with the same hand. Instead of chopping up the pot, Michaelis hit a flush on the river to continue on his rampage of the final table. Marchese eliminated Jesse Cohen in third place, leaving the two heads up for the bracelet.
"I was running insane basically. I had a straight flush against a nut flush, I had a couple sets. My bluffs worked out. Everything worked perfectly actually," said Michaelis.
Michaelis entered heads up play as the chip leader over Marchese. He held the chip lead throughout most of the match. At one point, Marchese had worked his way up to even out the chip stacks, and even took a slight lead. However, this was short lived for Marchese. Shortly after Marchese took the lead, Michaelis came roaring back and won a few big pots in a row to bust him. Marchese, who has over a half a million in WSOP earnings, had to settle for the second place payout of $117,199. This marks Marchese's 11th WSOP cash and fourth final table. He is still in search of his first bracelet.
Michaelis is a student who just recently finished his bachelor's degree in media and communications management, but said that he will probably continue his studies. The 24-year-old considers himself a tournament player. He plans to play the Main Event in July, but is unsure what the rest of his WSOP schedule looks like at the moment. Running into a six-figure cash this early into the series opens up a lot of opportunities for a tournament specialist.
This event's final table featured players from five different countries (Austria, France, Greece, U.K. and U.S. Austria was blanked in the bracelet category last year, but they pick up an early bracelet this year with Michaelis' dominating performance. Just missing out on the final table, but making it to the third and final day of play was the 13th place finisher, Andrey Gulyy from Russia and 14th place finisher, Artem Metalidi from Ukraine. The international players have come out in full force at this years WSOP in search of bringing home gold.
Other notables to earn cash in this event include: gold bracelet winners Tristan Wade (11th) and Eric Baldwin (18th), as well as 2012 Big One for One Drop winner, Antonio Esfandiari (45th).
The 2015 WSOP has just one more pot-limit hold’em event on its schedule, which is $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship. The three-day tournament begins this Thursday.