Dietrich Fast won a history-setting tournament in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Fast won the second event – the €550 Oktoberfest tournament – at the 2015 World Series of Poker Europe at the Spielbank Berlin casino. He earned the first WSOP bracelet of his career and €157,749 for his victory.
The Oktoberfest tournament is the first of its kind at WSOP Europe. Modeled on the historically successful Colossus event at the WSOP in Las Vegas a few months ago, the tournament featured a low buy-in (only €550), and four starting flights over two days. Any player who didn’t bag chips at the end of a flight could re-enter in any or all subsequent flights.
The four starting flights combined attracted a total of 2,144 entries, an all-time record for WSOP Europe. It absolutely smashes the previous record of 771, which has stood since 2011’s €1,090 No-Limit Hold’em event.
This is now the second history-making event in a row at the 2015 WSOP Europe. The opening event here Saturday saw the first Greek bracelet winner in World Series history, as Makarios Avramidis won the opening event here at Spielbank Berlin.
Before Fast could lay claim to his victory, he had to navigate a tough final table, and his path to victory culminated in a marathon heads up battle against one of poker’s best. “Gentleman” John Gale has been a major force in the poker world for a decade now. He surged into the poker spotlight by winning a WPT event in 2005, and made his first WSOP final table later that year. He just barely missed out on his first bracelet, bowing out in second place. But he found redemption the following year, winning the $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em tournament and adding a bracelet to his trophy case. Following a hiatus from poker due to health concerns, Gale has recently returned to the felt, and is still a force to be reckoned with. He won his second WSOP bracelet this past summer, and nearly added a third here today.
The final table was reduced from nine players to two in about seven hours. Then Fast and Gale battled back and forth for another four. The match was taking so long that tournament staff began to discuss how to schedule the conclusion for Tuesday afternoon, should a hard-stop become necessary. It wasn’t, though, and at just about 3:30 a.m., Fast’s , made trips against Gale’s , and Fast had finally earned his long-awaited victory.
Late nights became a pattern in this event. After play went late Sunday night on Day 2, the start of the final table was delayed a couple hours on Monday, and play got underway at 4 p.m. local.
Harry Lodge was the first player eliminated from the final table today. About an hour into the day, his Ace-Queen ran into Steve O’Dwyer’s Ace-King, and the board offered no help. He earns €16,935 for his ninth-place finish. Lodge recently graduated from Exeter University, where he studied economics. This is the second WSOP cash of his young poker career.
It was another hour before the next bustout. but then there several in short order. Joern Winter was eliminated in eighth place when he ran into Rodrigo Caprioli’s pocket jacks. Just about 10 minutes later, Sandro Wüest seemed like he was poised for a double up. He was all in with pocket queens against Vojtech Cervinka’s . Cervinka made a straight, and Wüest made his way to the payout desk.
About five minutes after Wüest’s stroke of bad luck, Adrian Apmann was eliminated as well. Again, it was Cervinka who delivered the knockout blow. This time, Cervinka held the big pocket pair with . Apmann flopped top pair, but it wasn’t enough, and he was eliminated in 6th place for €33,808. Apmann is one of only two players at this final table who had already earned a WSOP bracelet. His came earlier this year, in the $1,500 Extended Play event at the WSOP. Unfortunately for Apmann, his second career bracelet will have to wait.
That pace of eliminations couldn’t last, though, and it was about another 90 minutes before the next player hit the rail. Steve O’Dwyer lost his chips over the course of two consecutive hands. In the first, Dietrich Fast doubled through him. And on the next hand, O’Dwyer was all in on the flop with a flush draw against Rodrigo Caprioli’s top pair. The turn and river didn’t improve O’Dwyer’s hand, and he was eliminated in fifth place. O’Dwyer is among the most decorated players at this final table. He has two previous final table appearances at WSOP Europe, won the EPT Grand Final in 2013, and has over $10,000,000 in live tournament earnings on his poker resume.
The remaining four players traded chips for about an hour, then took a dinner break. When play resumed, Vojtech Cervinka was eliminated on the second hand back. His King-Jack ran into Fast’s . Fast flopped a flush, and the Czech Cervinka was eliminated.
Just half an hour later, the field was down to a heads-up battle. Rodrigo Caprioli got the last of his chips in the pot against Fast, who had been on a hot streak. Caprioli held , but Fast’s heater continued, and he turned over .
About four hours later, Fast finally collected the last of the chips, and the bracelet was officially his.
The 2,144 entries generated a total prize pool of €1,039,000. A total of 173 players advanced to Day 2, each one guaranteed a minimum payout of $1,210. Those making Day 2 include current November Niners Ofer Zvi Stern (41st - €3,093) and Federico Butteroni (98th - €1,697), 14-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth (61st - €2,452), Shaun Deeb (20th – €7,676), Scott Clements (23rd - €6,455), Niall Farrell (25th - €5,473), Asher Coniff (39th - €3,093), Sam Grafton (70th - €2,214), Manig Loeser (82nd - €1,852), and Mohsin Charania (115th - €1,552).
Here are the final table results in the Oktoberfest event. Click here for Full Results.
1 – Dietrich Fast – €157,749
2 – John Gale – €97,804
3 – Rodrigo Caprioli – €73,699
4 – Vojtech Cervinka – €56,278
5 – Steve O’Dwyer – €43,409
6 – Adrian Apmann – €33,808
7 – Sandro Wüest – €26,587
8 – Joern Winter – €21,115
9 – Harry Lodge – €16,935