Berlin, Germany (24 October 2015) – Kevin MacPhee wrapped up a historic World Series of Poker Europe today, earning his second career WSOP bracelet after a dominating performance in the Main Event. MacPhee earns €883,000 for his victory.
MacPhee was the only previous bracelet winner at this final table. He won his first bracelet earlier this year in the $5,000 Turbo event. He also has another signature victory here at in Berlin when he won EPT in 2010.
He was, of course, ecstatic with his accomplishment. “It was a goal of mine just to win one bracelet,” he said after the tournament. “Having two in the same year feels pretty unreal. I’m not the greatest mixed-game player. I’m more of a no-limit tournament specialist. So it’s very difficult for me to win two in a year.” (Despite his claim that he doesn’t play mixed games well, MacPhee finished 18th in a Dealers Choice event his summer, so he may be underselling his skillset a bit.)
MacPhee began the final table with a huge chip lead. On Thursday, play continued until there were only six players left. As the field dwindled, three Americans hovered near the top of the leaderboard: MacPhee, Andrew Lichtenberger, and eight-time bracelet winner Erik Seidel. Seidel was eliminated in seventh place (€100,000) when his Ace-King ran into Kevin MacPhee’s pocket aces. Seidel’s elimination concluded play until the final table, and at that point MacPhee held over half the chips in play.
He admitted that the lead affected his expectations heading into the final day. “Away from the table, nothing but a win would (satisfy) me, because the pressure’s on me. The pressure’s on me to win. But in the trenches, I’m playing every hand the best I can.” He also said it helped that after playing down to six players Thursday night, Friday was a scheduled off-day, and play resumed Saturday. “I absolutely needed a day off. I played every single event here. I went deep every day. I registered the event on almost no sleep. I needed a day off. I went and got a massage, checked out the city with my best friend and my girlfriend. I got a good night’s sleep, too.”
This was the final event at the 2015 World Series of Poker Berlin, and it’s been a historic couple of weeks. The opening event saw the first Greek bracelet winner in WSOP history, as Makarios Avramidis took down the six-handed event. This was the start of hot streak for the Greek players here. Two more won bracelets: Pavlos Xanthopoulos (Event #6: €3,250 No-Limit Hold’em) and Georgios Sotiropoulos (Event #8: €1,100 Turbo). Together they brought the Greek bracelet total from zero to three in just over a week.
This series also boasted the biggest tournament, in terms of attendance, in WSOP Europe history. The €550 Oktoberfest event – a variation on the popular Colossus tournament introduced in Las Vegas this summer – attracted a record 2,144 entries.
The highlight of the series, though, was the Main Event. And much like yesterday’s High Roller final table, the last day of the Main Event had an international flavor, with five countries represented among the six players.
Felix Bleiker entered the final day with the shortest stack at the table. The Swiss player had already had a successful WSOP Europe, finishing 18th in the massive field of the Oktoberfest event, and he capped off his experience here with a final-table performance. He wasn’t able to push his short stack very far, unfortunately, and he was the first player eliminated today. It happened about an hour after play began, when his couldn’t catch up to David Lopez’s . He earns €130,000 for his sixth-place finish.
Bleiker’s elimination began a flurry of quick bustouts. Kilian Kramer was eliminated just about 10 minutes later. Kramer was the last German player left in this Main Event, but the local favorite left in fifth place for €175,000.
Andrew Lichtenberger was the next to exit. He started the day second in chips behind MacPhee, but lost some chips early on. He was eliminated about 20 minutes after Kramer. Lichtenberger is still looking for his first WSOP bracelet, but otherwise has a poker resume envied by just about anyone. He has 30 WSOP cashes, and over $7 million in live tournament earnings.
It was only about another 20 minutes before JC Alvarado was eliminated in third place (€315,000). He got his chips in with Ace-King against David Lopez’s Ace-Queen, but Lopez caught a queen, sending Alvarado to the rail. Alvarado has nine previous WSOP cashes, including two final tables, and he came to Berlin riding a hot streak. He recently finished fourth in an EPT high roller in Barecelona, and was able to improve on that finish with a third here today.
The succession of four quick eliminations left Kevin MacPhee heads up against David Lopez, and MacPhee still enjoyed a substantial chip lead. However, the stacks were deep. Lopez had over 70 big blinds worth of chips, so both players had a lot of room to maneuver. Lopez did, in fact, pull ahead, and the players exchanged the lead a few times. But MacPhee flopped a full house in a key hand, and Lopez rivered a flush. That hand catapulted MacPhee into the lead for good, and soon after, he collected the rest of the chips.
The 2015 WSOP Europe Main Event began nearly a week ago, on Sunday, October 18. A total of 313 unique entries ponied up the €10,450 entry fee, generating a prize pool of €3,067,400. The top 32 made the money, including three-time bracelet winner Jason Mercier (32nd place, €20,000), Jeff Gross (28th place, €20,000), Roland Israelashvili (27th place, €20,000), Benjamin Pollak (26th place, €20,000), Dominik Nitsche (20th place, €23,500), and Erik Seidel (7th place, €100,000).
Here are the results from the final day of the 2015 WSOP Europe Main Event. Click Here for Full Results.
1 – Kevin MacPhee – €883,000
2 – David Lopez – €475,000
3 – JC Alvarado – €315,000
4 – Andrew Lichtenberger – €225,000
5 – Kilian Kramer – €175,000
6 – Felix Bleiker – €130,000