Alex Komaromi is Uruguay's first-ever gold bracelet winner, conquering an elite field in WSOP Europe's €2,200 Mixed Event.
The champion is a 25-year-old from the Capital city of Montivideo, and he grew up in a poker-playing family. “My dad was a poker player,” he said. “I started by watching him play and overhearing [his conversations] about poker. After I finished high school, I made a trip around the world to try it for myself.”
Komaromi dropped out of college in April 2011, deciding to turn his favorite hobby into a full-time profession. So far, the decision has been a profitable one. Just a few months into his new career, he notched his first live tournament result, winning an LAPT title on home turf in Uruguay. While the quarter-million-dollar cash prize assured that he could continue to play the game he loved, this WSOPE victory represents the true culmination of his efforts.
“It really means a lot,” he said, admiring his new bracelet as he posed for the winner’s photos. “It’s like a dream to me. I started watching poker on TV with the World Series. [It seemed] so far away. And now that I achieved it, it’s great.”
The win comes with some serious bragging rights, too, as Komaromi held his own in a field full of the best mixed-game players in the world. “When there were eight or ten players left,” he said, “they were all pretty much elite players. Very good players. I just tried to be focused and do my best. Hopefully run good. The edge wasn’t all that much.”
Komaromi played just as well as he ran at the final table, eliminating four of his final five opponents on the way to victory.
When asked about his plans for the rest of the year, he exhaled for what seemed like the first time in three days. “I’m going to Malta,” he said, “but then I’m going to rest until next year. It’s time to have a vacation.”
Event #5 event began on Tuesday with 113 entries, and that number was reduced to just 24 over the course of a blistering Day 1. The survivors returned for Day 2 on Wednesday, and by dinner time, the final table was set.
The six elected to play on rather than bag up their chips, and the decision proved to be a regrettable one for Jens Lakemeier. The German standout was dominating the leaderboard for most of the stretch run, but things started to unravel during six-handed play. Lakemeier began the final table in third place, but he barely survived the two big-bet games at the end of the eight-game rotation. He was the table's short stack when he moved in with during the No-Limit Hold’em round, and Komaromi was flipping for the knockout with . The flop gave Lakemeier the lead, but the turn stole that lead away, leaving him drawing dead.
With serious POY implications on the line, Shaun Deeb had been fighting to keep his own short stack afloat for quite some time, but he was unable to escape the next elimination. The American pro was all in on fifth street of a Razz pot, showing down a nine-low. Komaromi had a jack-low with a wheel draw, and he improved to a six-low on seventh street to earn the knockout. Deeb’s finish moved him into second place in the POY standings, putting him about 100 points behind current leader Mike Gorodinsky.
Moments later, Jonathan Duhamel was eliminated during Pot-Limit Omaha. The 2012 Main Event Champion went with , and Scott Clements looked him up with . Clements flopped a straight with , and the turn ended any potential drama one card early.
The final three players elected to bag up for the night, returning to play it out on Thursday. When the action resumed, the layout looked like this:
Seat 1: Alex Komaromi (Uguruay) - 549,000
Seat 2: Noah Bronstein (USA) - 194,500
Seat 6: Scott Clements (USA) - 387,000
Perhaps nobody is running as hot in Berlin as Noah Bronstein, but the bracelet would elude him once again. Bronstein’s decisive hand came in No-Limit Hold’em when he flopped top pair with . Komaromi had flopped a set with , though, and Bronstein was already drawing dead on the turn. The American pro has cashed in four of the first five WSOPE events in Berlin, and this third-place finish is the highlight so far.
The knockout left Komaromi heads-up with a big lead against Scott Clements, and it took just a few minutes to end the duel. Clements had about ten big bets to begin his final hand, and the two men saw a flop. Clements got his stack in with as a 4:1 underdog against Komaromi’s . The turn and river were blanks, and Clements was eliminated one spot shot of a third gold bracelet.
The Mixed Event was the fifth of ten gold bracelet events to be held at WSOP Europe, and it was dealt as an eight-game mix. A total of 113 players participated, generating a prizepool worth €219,220. That money was shared by the final 12 players. Former bracelet winner Bryn Kenney was the first player eliminated in the money, finishing in 12th place (€4,275). Fellow American Mohsin Charania, who is a bracelet away from achieving poker's Triple Crown, finished in 10th place (€5,855).
Here are the final results for Event #5:
1st: Alex Komaromi - €65,740
2nd: Scott Clements - €40,645
3rd: Noah Bronstein - €29,200
4th: Jonathan Duhamel - €21,065
5th: Shaun Deeb - €15,235
6th: Jens Lakemeier - €11,025
7th: Per Hildebrand - €8,025
8th: Igor Yaroshevskyy - €8,025
9th: Mikkel Plum - €5,855
10th: Mohsin Charania €5,855
11th: Arnaud Esquevin - €4,275
12th: Bryn Kenney - €4,275