Rozvadov, Czech Republic (30 October 2017) – For the second time at this year's 2017 World Series of Poker Europe, a Czech player has won a WSOP bracelet on his home soil. Lukas Zaskodny won Event #6: €2,200 Pot-Limit Omaha, earning €93,677.
"It’s an amazing feeling," Zaskodny said with a huge smile after the tournament. "I’m really happy. It’s special for every poker player to win a bracelet, and I have it now." He added afterward, "I’m happy that my friends could be here with me," alluding to winning on his home turf. And he indeed had a big crowd of friends and supporters join him for the traditional post-victory photos.
Less than a week ago, Zaskodny's countryman Martin Kahbrel became the first Czech winner at this year's WSOP Europe. And in Las Vegas at the WSOP earlier this year, another Czech - Artur Rudziankov - won a bracelet, making it three Czech winners so far in 2017. Zaskodny is not surprised by this success. "In the Czech Republic, there are a lot of really good poker players. I think you will hear of more in the future. [...] There is so much poker action in the Czech Republic, so we do not need necessarily to travel. We have a lot of possibilities to stay at home and play."
Zaskodny defeated Allen Kessler heads-up. Kessler is near the top of the list of players with the most WSOP cashes, but no bracelet. He now has 58 career cashes.
Kessler came very close to removing himself from that list altogether, and he nearly emerged victorious on the first hand of heads-up play. On the river, Kessler completed a flush. But the card also gave Zaskodny a full house. He doubled up, and Kessler was left short-stacked. But a few minutes later, Kessler doubled up and almost pulled even, and the players battled it out for another hour before Zaskodny secured the victory.
Prior to facing off against Kessler heads-up, Zaskodny, Kessler, and Krasimir Yankov endured a grueling three-handed marathon. Three-handed play lasted roughly five hours before Yankov was eliminated in third place. Zaskodny said he fully expected the lengthy match. "It was really deep, and my opponents were really good," he explained.
Zaskodny is an amateur poker player, although he is quite a serious amateur. "I don’t play poker for a living, but I play quite regularly," he said. He is an entrepreneur, and he owns a company that imports consumer electronics and small appliances to the Czech Republic.
The tournament started Saturday, October 28 with 191 entries. The top 29 players made the money, including Dario Alioto (9th place), Sebastian Langrock (10th), Mike Leah (20th), and Chris Ferguson (29th). Alioto won his bracelet at the first ever WSOP Europe, held in London a decade ago.
Here are the final table payouts. Click here for full results.
1 – Lukas Zaskodny - €93,677
2 – Allen Kessler - €57,897
3 – Krasimir Yankov - €40,353
4 – Pim van Holsteyn - €28,702
5 – Sergej Barbarez - €20,842
6 – Liran Twito - €15,458
7 – Georgios Koliofotis - €11,715
8 – William Engelke - €9,076