The 2022 World Series of Poker Europe has now crowned another champion here at the King's Resort in Rozvadov. The star-studded field saw 34 runners return for half a day's worth of high-caliber poker in Event #7: €25,000 Platinum High Roller and when the final last chance saloon had closed for business, it was Triton co-founder Paul Phua sitting atop the podium to earn his first bracelet, along with a cool €482,433 for this victory.
"It's a very different kind of feeling, you know. You don't get to do this all the time. Not often. I didn't expect to win because there are so many players around. But the structure at the end is very short which suits players like me," smiled a very elated Phua.
The Triton co-owner has amassed over $26 million in live earnings and has changed the poker community for the better with his unique High Roller events in Asia. "In terms of growing the game, we founded Triton. I think I want to run more special tournaments, bring more sponsors in and get money so we can put it back into the game and benefit the players."
Danny Tsang and Paul Phua Celebrate First Bracelet
Phua has won many High Roller events, but never a WSOP bracelet. "This is the highlight of my poker career. I'm lucky enough that money doesn't matter. I just try to play my best, and try to be competitive against pros. You know, we don't get to study every day. But as I play more I think I get a little bit better and have a better chance."
Phua had a giant rail of supporters waiting for him to win once the final table started. "I have a bunch of great friends you know. I would like to thank all of my supporters and friends."
"I think the older generations support me more because they like to see the older guys beat the young guys," laughed Phua.
Final Table Results in Event #7: €25,000 Platinum High Roller
Final Day Action
The late registration period remained open until cards hit the air on Day 2, having four more sign up during this time which brought the total number of registrants to 67 for this event, creating a €1,565,790 prize pool. Once the final day kicked off, 34 runners were spread across five tables and just 11 were set to land at least a min-cash of 40,098 with the eventual winner pocketing €482,433 for their victory.
Leading the field to start was Wayne Heung and right on his tail was two-time WSOP champion Nick Petrangelo who fizzled out early, sending most of his stack over to Laszlo Bujtas before eventually sending his last few blinds to Negreanu. It was not long before the bubble went from, on the horizon to in the rearview mirror. But the hand-for-hand journey in between was a long stretch en route to hitting the money.
Ben Heath finished the event with a 6th place finish
Ben Heath took charge when 12 were left and extended his lead with the passive environment. Eventually, the time came for short-stacked Vaclav Lattner to shove with his ace-duck and Espen Jorstad hooked him up with a call, holding ace-queen. Lattner almost went runner-runner to survive but was instead dubbed the bubble boy of this event.
Instantly Timothy Adams found his stack go in with ace-jack and was up against the nines of Heath. The board ran out clean for Heath, making Adams the first payout desk visitor. Laszlo Bujtas pushed just moments later with queens and was called by Heung who had kate. A cowboy on the flop sent Bujtas to the rail and the final table was then set.
A cooler started the final table off in classic fashion when Jorstad picked up kings and four-bet shoved into the aces of Heath. Another uneventful runout sent the chips to Heath as Jorstad took an exit. Phua then jumped into the action with king-ten, calling a shove of just over a million by Eelis Parssinen who had ace rag. A king-high flop dropped Parssinen and sent a much-needed stack over to Phua.
The start-of-day leader was next on the chopping block after he whittled down to a short stack and was faced with an all-in decision with king-eight. He elected to call and was up against a strong ace held by Deeb. A bullet on the flop sent Heung out in seventh. Phua was picking up steam and Heath was spiraling in the opposite direction. Eventually, Heath put his last chips in with ace-queen, Phua and Kim called. Phua turned a nine and bet Kim off the pot. Heath failed to catch up and had to settle for a sixth-place finish.
Julien Martini was sweating on the bubble but was steadily building a stack afterward but Phua had different plans. Martini three-bet jammed with jacks and Phua called with cowboys. Martini flopped a set but Phua completed a straight on the river to eliminate one more. Negreanu was eyeing another bracelet and found an optimal spot when he shove a pair of fives into the sailboats of Phua. Lady luck was still on Phua's side and he landed a set of fours when the flop was spread. Negreanu failed to catch up and was eliminated in fourth place.
Shaun Deeb Finishes in Third-Place
Just hands later it was Shaun Deeb
taking a shot at slowing down the red-hot Phua when he jammed with ace-trey of spades. Phua snapped it off with sevens and instantly flopped a set. Deeb had a straight draw but missed on the runout and had to settle for third.
The heads-up portion of this event saw Phua enter with a commanding lead but Kim started it off with a double to bridge the gap. Kim quickly sent most of the chips back when he attempted to push Phua off a pot. His attempt was met with raise by Phua and Kim quickly folded, dropping down to the danger zone. Kim shoved his remaining chips in with king-nine and Phua called with ace-three. Kim flopped a flush draw but missed the next two streets, taking home a respectable €298,163 for his runner-up finish.
Event #7: €25,000 Platinum High Roller Results