Wednesday, November 8, 2023 6:15 AM Local Time
Tobias Peters Claims First WSOP Gold Bracelet in Event #7: €1,650 NLH 6-max (€143,100)
Tobias Peters has finally done it. Eleven years after quitting his job and starting a new journey in the poker world, the Dutchman has earned his first WSOP gold bracelet at the 2023 World Series of Poker Europe. In the short-handed variant with six players at each table, Event #7: €1,650 NLH 6-max took until six max, in the morning that is at the King's Resort in Rozvadov. Nearly 17 hours after the cards went in the air for the final day, Peters defeated Barny Boatman in heads-up to claim the elusive hardware, a cash prize of €143,100.
The tournament drew a total of 495 entries, surpassing the attendance of the previous year by almost 20%, and generated a prize pool of €705,375. On top of their cash prizes, the top three finishers also earned a ticket worth €10,350 for the upcoming 2023 WSOP Europe Main Event.
Rafi Elharar recorded his third top-three finish in a WSOP bracelet event and came up short of victory once more, it being his birthday made things even more bittersweet. Elharar lost consecutive all-in showdowns to Peters and went from chip leader to third-place finisher in a matter of two minutes.
"You already have two. Give me one," Peters joked to Boatman moments after his victory when both shook hands. By then, it was nearly 6 a.m. local time, and Peters was all smiles after finally crossing this particular item off of his poker bucket list.
Final Table Result Event #7: €1,650 NLH 6-max
|Prize (in EUR)
* the top three finishers also received an entry to Day 1a of the 2023 WSOPE €10,350 Main Event
Seasoned pro Peters came into the series after a rough time at EPT Cyprus as he "fired so many bullets and bricked everything", but the fortune changed very swiftly in Rozvadov. It was the Dutchman's third cash of the series, and follows his fifth place in Event #5: €550 NLH Colossus. The monetary aspect wasn't really that important to him, however, as it was all about the chase for the coveted gold bracelet.
"I didn't care about the €200,000 [in the Colossus]. The sixty thousand was nice, but I wanted the bracelet. The day after, I jumped into the Six-Max, and then I won the bracelet," Peters said, all smiles despite the early morning hours. Peters had reached the final table and came up short, then late-registered this very event thereafter to end Day 1 with an average stack out of 120 survivors.
He already had a WSOP Circuit ring to his name, but the hardware back then felt like any of his other victories. Even the shiny trophies from Asia hold a special place in his heart, which was made more special by his girlfriend watching the entire final table from up close. Two years ago, he moved back from Asia to his native Netherlands, where his girlfriend created a special trophy cabinet at the new home to reignite the spark while celebrating his already impressive resume. Some cherished pieces even found a place in the bedroom to serve as inspiration right after waking up.
"But for this one [pointing at the gold bracelet], I really didn't care about the money. I only cared about the bracelet because I didn't have it. I already finished in almost every spot on the final table in WSOP tournaments."
It wasn't an easy route to victory as the Dutchman entered the final table last in chips with just five and a half blinds. The short-handed battle to get there was a tedious and nerve-wracking affair.
"In any other tournament, I would put my chips in much earlier because the money jumps were not important to me at that stage. But just because it was a bracelet event, I was so careful with my chips and I really wanted to stay alive as long as possible."
He texted a friend that the only way to win a bracelet would be two quick double-ups on the seven-handed final table because he was far from confident in going all the way as last in chips on the leaderboard. Those two double-ups came, and he even made up after losing all-in showdowns thereafter against Boatman. He fell back to six big blinds and "even folded deuces on the button" because he knew he was getting called and didn't want to take a chance with 50%.
"I think I made the whole final table. They let me do so many things, and every time I ground up the chips, I lost two times random all-ins against Barny," Peters clarified in the winner interview. The setbacks didn't have any emotional influence on his play as he is used to grinding long hours during live poker stops.
Action of the Final Day
The final day saw 120 players return to their seats, and 75 of them reached the money stages. Some of the notables who had to leave empty-handed were Adi Rajkovic, Antoine Vranken, Pascal Pflock, Ori Hasson, David Hu, and 2023 WSOPE bracelet winner Lukas Pazma. It was then Bogdan Munteanu who became the bubble boy after he came up second-best in two clashes with Andrea Dato.
It didn't take long after to rapidly reduce the field with Miroslav Forman leading the way in the early and mid stages. Fabio Peluso was denied a shot at a second bracelet, and 2022 WSOP Main Event finalist Aaron Duczak saw his deep run cut short as well.
Day 1 chip leader Besmir Hodaj couldn't crack the pocket kings of Florian Kraft before the rise of Adem Marjanovic started with a double through Forman. The latter then cracked the jacks of Sergiu Covrig with nines only to end up second-best to Marjanovic once more in a large pot, which set up the final three tables. Julien Sitbon was not taking his seat for that anymore, as he lost a flip to Marjanovic in the last hand before the redraw.
The hot streak of the Austrian continued when he dispatched Dennis Wilke in a flip, turning a set of eights against ace-jack suited. Rafi Elharar was surviving as one of the shorter stacks, but he knocked out Kraft and never looked back and surged to the chip lead ahead of the unofficial final table.
Once the final seven players combined to a single table, all three shorter stacks earned double-ups, promising a long night ahead. Peters doubled three times in total to join the big stacks before Artsiom Panasiuk got it in with nines against the queen-nine of the Dutchman. A queen on the flop reduced the field to the final six, with Peters suddenly second in chips.
Boatman was left short but doubled back into contention, and the same applied to Ufano, who put a dent into Marjanovic's stack. Minutes later, Marjanovic headed to the payout desk after his chips moved one seat over to Elharar. Koloszar escaped elimination once, but Elharar turned Broadway for a second time to bring the field down to the final four.
Short stack ninja Ufano then failed to get there with king-jack against the pocket jacks of Elharar, and the WSOPE Main Event ticket bubble burst. What followed was a roller coaster of double-ups in which Peters came out on top in the early morning hours after a gruesome and fierce battle, while Elharar went from chip leader to third-place finisher in two consecutive hands.
Peters made short work of Boatman, who was denied a double-up with aces after a flush run out on the board. Peters sealed the win moments later after his ace-nine remained best against Boatman's queen-ten.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 5:59 AM Local Time
Barny Boatman Eliminated in 2nd Place (€98,850)
Tobias Peters moved all in from the small blind and was called by Barny Boatman for 3,250,000 in the big blind.
Neither player improved on the flop of , but Boatman was drawing dead on the turn to give Peters top pair. The completed the runout to eliminate Boatman in second place for €98,850.
This means Peters picks up his first-ever WSOP Bracelet and first-place prize money of €143,100 and a seat into the WSOPE Main Event after an exhausting 14 hours of play.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 5:51 AM Local Time
Boatman Denied Double-Up in Cruel Fashion
Neither player had noticed that the blinds went up and Tobias Peters limped the small blind. Barny Boatman raised to 550,000 and then snap-called when Peters limp-shoved.
"It's a good hand to make two pair," Peters told his friend on the rail.
The flop saw Peters change his mind, as he added "I need two clubs".
Sure enough, the turn and river brought a flush on the board for an unlikely split pot.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 5:47 AM Local Time
Peters Makes First Blow in Heads Up
Tobias Peters limped from the small blind and Barny Boatman checked his option.
Both players checked the flop, but Peters made the first aggression with a bet of 450,000 on the turn and was called by Boatman.
The came on the river and Peters bet 900,000. Boatman made the call and Peters tabled for two pair to take the pot and left Boatman super short.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 5:45 AM Local Time
Level 35 started
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 5:42 AM Local Time
Heads-Up Play Underway
With the morning soon to be approaching 6 a.m. local time, the final two players are back in their seats.
Tobias Peters was the first to move all-in from the button and Barny Boatman folded. One hand later, Boatman jammed and Peters let go.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 5:32 AM Local Time
Rafi Elharar Eliminated in 3rd Place (€60,100)
Exactly one hand after the double-up for Tobias Peters, the Dutchman was in the small blind and checked the tournament info screen carefully. He then announced all-in and Rafi Elharar instantly called for what appeared to be 24 big blinds effective.
"Six on the flop," a friend of Peters said but the prediction didn't come true just yet on .
The six then came on the turn to leave Elharar drawing dead prior to the river, ending his run on his birthday in third place for €60,100.
There will now be a short break ahead of the heads-up duel between Peters and Barny Boatman with a three-to-one lead for the former.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 5:30 AM Local Time
Elharar Sleepwalks Into Peters Pocket Aces
After over 15 hours of play Rafi Elharar moved all in from the button covering his two opponents. Barny Boatman folded, but Tobias Peters snap-called for 4,325,000.
A dream scenario for Peters as he woke up with the goods in the big blind. The runout of gave Peters a scare when the flush draw appeared for Elharar on the turn, but the brick on the river gave Peters the chip lead once again.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 5:21 AM Local Time
Boatman Binks a Double Through Peters
Tobias Peters raised to 600,000 on the button and called the big blind shove by Barny Boatman.
Boatman's suited two-gapper improved with the flop and he retained it on the turn.
"Slowly the ace or queen," Peters clarified but the river let Boatman double for 3,225,000.
Rafi Elharar then raised the button to 600,000 and Peters forfeited his big blind. Peters jammed the next small blind to get some chips back before opening to 600,000 on the button, gaining the blinds and big blind ante.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 5:18 AM Local Time
Peters Burns Fingers With New Approach
Tobias Peters took a different line in the battle of the blinds by betting over three big blinds with a wager of 850,000 from the small blind.
Rafi Elharar in the big blind was nonplussed by this tactic and moved all-in comfortably covering the Dutchman. Peters grimaced and threw his hand into the muck.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 5:09 AM Local Time
Jorge Ufano Eliminated in 4th Place (€41,600)
After losing a portion of his short stack just prior with the preflop limp, Jorge Ufano pushed all-in on the button.
Tobias Peters asked for an exact count and folded when it was deemed to be for 1,425,000. Rafi Elharar instantly called and the cards were turned over.
The flop saw Peters mention he had folded an ace. No help arrived on the turn or river, sending Ufano to the payout desk in fourth place. He collects €41,600 for the efforts and joked to his compatriots "good luck in the Main Event" as they all locked up the entry worth €10,350 with his elimination.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 5:02 AM Local Time
Peters Ramping Up Pressure on Opponents
Barny Boatman limped from the button, as did Jorge Ufano in the small blind.
Tobias Peters in the big blind cut his chips in deep thought and elected to shove which gained quick folds from his opponents.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 4:53 AM Local Time
Peters Takes Chip Lead From Elharar
Tobias Peters limped from the small blind and Rafi Elharar raised to 600,000 from the big blind that Peters called.
The flop came and Elharar continued for 400,000 which was called by Peters.
Both players checked the turn, but Peters bet 900,000 on the river. Elharar assessed his stack but decided to fold, giving Peters the pot and the chip lead.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 4:49 AM Local Time
Level 34 started
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 4:44 AM Local Time
Peters and Elharar Tangle Twice
In a battle of the blinds, Tobias Peters bet the river for 300,000 and Rafi Elharar called.
Peters' won the pot as Elharar had the slightly inferior kicker with .
Peters then opened to 400,000 on the button. Elharar carefully studied the stacks of Jorge Ufano and Barny Boatman before three-betting to 1,300,000 in the small blind. It folded back to Peters, who gave his table neighbour a stare down and let go.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 4:40 AM Local Time
Daniel Koloszar Eliminated in 5th Place (€29,400)
The action folded to Daniel Koloszar in the hijack and he moved all-in. Rafi Elharar on the button asked for a count and once it was determined to be for 1,750,000, just shy of nine big blinds, he moved all-in over the top to force out the blinds.
Elharar recorded the showdown with his smart phone and was at risk of suffering another setback on the flop. He then made broadway with the turn and needed to fade only jacks and tens.
The river was the and Koloszar was eliminated in 5th place for €29,400.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 4:35 AM Local Time
Ufano gets a Double from Elharar
Jorge Ufano moved all in from the cutoff for 1,500,000 and was snap-called by Rafi Elharar in the big blind.
Ufano only had three direct outs and managed to hit an ace on the flop on the completed board of to takedown the pot and secure a precious double-up.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 4:30 AM Local Time
Boatman Overtakes Peters
Barny Boatman bet 400,000 from the cutoff and was called by Tobias Peters in the big blind.
Both players checked the flop, but Boatman bet 300,000 after the turn that was called by Peters.
The completed the board and Boatman bet 900,000. Peters mulled it over for more than a minute and folded.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 4:22 AM Local Time
Koloszar Doubles Through Elharar
Barny Boatman raised to 400,000 and Tobias Peters in the big blind inquired about his stack size, then pushed all-in. The Brit counted his stack behind and folded some fifteen seconds later.
Daniel Koloszar then pushed all-in for 975,000 on the button and Rafi Elharar called the four additional big blinds on top of what he had already invested in the big blind himself.
It was a mighty sweat after the flop but the turn as well as river ensured the double of the Hungarian.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 4:16 AM Local Time
Peters Takes Some Back From Boatman
Tobias Peters bet 400,000 from the cutoff and was called by Barney Boatman in the small blind.
The action was checked to the river after a board of and Peters bet 650,000. Boatman assessed his stack and opted to wave the white flag and folded his hand.