The King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, has been a hotbed of activity over the past week with the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe in action on its grounds. It’s about to kick up another notch as the European version of “The Colossus” hits full stride, while it is also time to celebrate as the fourth bracelet of the schedule has been awarded.
Event #4 – €1500 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em
After being advised not to play in the tournament because it would be a “tough field,” France’s Theodore McQuilkin decided to go ahead and win his first WSOP bracelet and a first-place payday of €88,043.
McQuilkin came into the final table on Saturday in the bottom half of the standings with his 754,000 in chips, better than only Maksym Shulga and Petr Setka. Leading the way was hometown favorite Jan Bednar, whose 1.761 million in chips was closely followed by Andrej Desset and Jerry Odeen. Sitting smack in the middle of the pack in fourth place was the dangerous Ognjen Sekularac, the Serbian pro who only has $1.45 million or so in career earnings in his pocket.
The seven men were not quite at the “official” final table, needing to knock off one more player, and they took their time determining that unfortunate soul. Surprisingly it was Sekularac, who had trouble gaining any traction in the first 90 minutes of action. After he saw Odeen open for a bet and McQuilkin call, Sekularac went for the squeeze by moving all in. Odeen was undaunted, moving his stack all in “over the top” and McQuilkin quickly got out of the way. Odeen was sitting on Big Slick, completely dominating Sekularac’s A-2, and the King-high board changed nothing as Sekularac surprisingly was out in seventh place.
That was the last time that McQuilkin would seemingly be on the losing end of a hand. Only five hands into the official final table, McQuilkin knocked off Shulga in sixth to thrust the Frenchman into the championship mix. He slowly built that stack up until, on Hand 77, he knocked off Odeen in fourth to take a dominant lead three handed. Even after Bednar eliminated Desset in third place, he was still a 2.5:1 underdog against the massive stack of McQuilkin.
Heads up would last all of two hands. On Hand 110, McQuilkin raised the action to 165K with pocket Kings and he got exactly what he had hoped for. Bednar woke up with a big hand himself, Big Chick (A-Q), and pushed all in, which was happily called by McQuilkin. The 10-8-5-9-A four-club board improved McQuilkin to the unnecessary nut flush as he sent Bednar home in second as McQuilkin seized the championship.
1. Theodore McQuilkin, €88,043
2. Jan Bednar, €54,410
3. Andrej Desset, €35,714
4. Jerry Odeen, €24,046
5. Petr Setka, €16,618
6. Maksym Shulga, €11,797
Event #5 – €500 “The Colossus” No Limit Hold’em
There’s already a huge buzz building around “The Colossus” and it hasn’t even reached the midpoint of its series of Day Ones. Four flights have racked up 760 players to this point, with 44 of those surviving to be eligible to move on to Day 2 on Wednesday. With six more flights to build the field, it is completely illogical to even look at the leaderboard, but so far Konstantinos Misailidis (419,000) has come out of the carnage with the chip lead. Others so far in the mix for Wednesday’s play include John Racener (334,000), former “November Niner” Kenny Hallaert (206,000) and Racener’s fellow POY contender Alex Foxen (189,000).
Event #6 – €2000 Pot Limit Omaha
Day One of the highest Euro buy in event for Omaha saw 191 entries come to the tables, including many of the contenders for the POY race. When the tournament restarts on Sunday, 31 players will be in action, with current POY leader Chris Ferguson, Mike Leah and Racener in the mix. They will be chasing Liran Twito (802,000), whose stack thoroughly outpaces second place Pim van Holsteyn (627,000) atop the leaderboard.
Player of the Year Race
Although he came into the WSOP-E with a slim lead, Ferguson has been able to expand it during the first week of the schedule. With 1005.71 points, he is the only player over that threshold. Ryan Hughes (961.23) has passed John Racener (914.32) for second place on the rankings, while (an absent from the WSOP-E) John Monnette (865.21) and Alex Foxen (786.76) round out the Top Five (Foxen’s chances at the POY may be slim and none and slim is leaving the building).