The World Series of Poker Europe has crowned its first bracelet winner of the series as Event #1: No-Limit Hold’em 'The Opener' has reached it’s conclusion after three days of play that saw a field of 2,454 play down to the lone €95,670 grand prize winner.
That winner ended up being Fabio Peluso who took down his first WSOP bracelet and first major win of his poker career. The Italian pro is a native of the small 15,000-person town of San Nicandro Garganico in the province of Foggia, Apulia region. He has now amassed more than $450,000 in career earnings with this score, which is also the second-largest of his career thus far, trailing only an EPT Monte Carlo runner-up result from April.
Every one of Peluso’s poker results are within the past 16 months as his earliest registered cash is from July 2021. When asked about how long he has been playing Peluso said “I have been playing a lot more live poker in the past year. I used to play only online and I have now been playing professionally for about two years.”
Peluso has truly made 2022 his breakthrough year with the aforementioned runner-up result for $228,545 and a slightly more than $50,000 result from the Netherlands in March and now with this victory he has won 80% of his career earnings from just the year 2022.
“I have been studying a lot and discussing spots with my poker friends” he credited to why 2022 has been good to him so far. “And of course the run good helps too” he added with a smile, that he seemingly could not wipe off of his face, still beaming from the excitement of winning.
With this win Peluso earns not only the grand prize money, a gold bracelet and WSOPE Main Event Seat, but also a coveted seat at the 2023 Tournament of Champions $1 million dollar freeroll which will be held after the 2023 WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas.
Final Table Results:
1st place: Fabio Peluso - €95,670 + €10,350 WSOPE Main Event Seat
2nd place: Carlo Savinelli - €59,032 + €10,350 WSOPE Main Event Seat
3rd place: Stefan Vogt - €43,813 + €10,350 WSOPE Main Event Seat
4th place: Kevin Fluegel - €32,801 + €10,350 WSOPE Main Event Seat
5th place: Dennis Wilke - €24,773 + €10,350 WSOPE Main Event Seat
6th place: Gennaro Proscia - €18,875 + €10,350 WSOPE Main Event Seat
7th place: Miroslav Navratil - €14,509
8th place: Simone Andrian - €11,254
9th place: Gabriel Jansen Falcao Baleeiro - €8,809
Action of the Day
The final day began with three tables left, and the field was very quickly shrunk down to the final table in under three hours as eliminations came fast and furious on a day jam-packed with action.
The final table included four Italians, three Germans, a Brazilian and a Czech local. It began with Dennis Wilke (pictured below) in the lead and Carlo Savinelli in second place. The first few eliminations stayed true to chip count form as the short stacks steadily departed until Gennaro Proscia was eliminated in sixth to become the first player to win the €10,350 WSOPE Main Event seat in addition to prize money, a nice consolation for the brutal fashion in which he was eliminated. In what ended up being one of the more memorable hands of the final table, Proscia held pocket aces in a preflop all in vs the ace-king of Peluso. There was a king on the flop to provide some sweat and another king came on the river for the ultimate dagger to end Proscia’s run.
Dennis Wilke dominated early on the final table
Start-of-final table chip leader Wilke was the next to depart in fifth place as he ultimately fell victim to Savinelli after losing several key hands to Peluso. Play would go to three-handed pretty quickly after that as Kevin Fluegel hit the door just a few minutes later in fourth place.
Peluso held a substantial chip lead heading into three-handed play and it looked like it may be smooth sailing for him from that point. But his two opponents had other ideas as three-handed play began to stretch out as Stefan Vogt and Savinelli chipped away at the big stack. Eventually Savinelli would take the chip lead on an interesting hand where he just called with the second nuts to take a pot from Peluso.
Vogt would stay alive after he was on the brink of elimination when he shared a king with Peluso and turned two-pair with his inferior side card to suddenly make Peluso the shortest of the three remaining stacks.
But Peluso would fight back some to move back up and eventually after about two hours of three-handed play, Vogt would be eliminated by Savinelli to set up heads-up play.
The all-Italian heads-up affair would be a contrast in experience as the vast majority of Savinelli’s best results were from several years ago in the early 2010s vs Peluso’s more recent run of form. Savinelli would begin with a chip lead that equaled 52 big blinds vs 29 big blinds. But that lead would go away as after about 30 minutes of play, Peluso took the lead after a series of medium sized pots went his way and just continued on with that momentum to shrink Savinelli down to a short stack, which he would not be able to claw back from when Peluso ultimately held with pocket fives on the final hand.
That wraps up WSOP.com’s coverage of the first event of the 2022 WSOPE. Stay tuned for many more events to come here in Rozvadov.
Relive the action through 'The Opener' live updates
Full results for Event #1: €350 No-Limit Hold'em 'The Opener' can be found here.