The 2023 World Series of Poker Europe is underway at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, and it has been notable in that new names have appeared on the medal stand. In the first four tournaments, players who aren’t household names have been taking the gold bracelets. This isn’t to say they aren’t successful players, they just aren’t known to the general public. It has given the 2023 WSOP-E a fresh touch on the proceedings.

“Opener” and PLO Start the Schedule

In the €300 No Limit Hold’em “Opener,” Slovakia’s Lukas Pazma emerged from the 3503-entry field (up from 2554 in 2022) to capture the title. Pazma pushed his way into the lead on the final day and, by the time the unofficial ten-player final table was determined, had a sizeable lead over the rest of the field and he never looked back. Although he faced a significant challenge from Andras Balogh in heads-up play, Pazma continued his strong play of late (he was also at the final table of the WPT Prime Lichtenstein tournament back in September) by capturing the gold.

1. Lukas Pazma (Slovakia), €110,000
2. Andras Balogh (Hungary), €66,000
3. Stanislav Koleno (Slovakia), €48,000
4. Florin Bilan (Romania), €35,000
5. Stephan Glausch (Austria), €26,500
6. Iman Ghashayar (Netherlands), €20,000
7. Alessandro De Michele (Italy), €15,500
8. Stefan Drusca (Romania), €12,000

The first non-Texas Hold’em event was Event #2, the €500 Pot Limit Omaha Eight Max saw a 719-entry field come together. This was one in which a notable name from the European poker world emerged on top in none other than the defending WSOP-E Main Event champion, Omar Eljach. Eljach was able to dominate on his way to the final table, at one point holding two times the chips of his nearest competitor. All totaled, Eljach was able to eliminate six of the seven opponents at the final table, including runner-up Diana Volcovschi, on his way to his second WSOP bracelet.

1. Omar Eljach (Sweden), €65,900
2. Diana Volcovschi (Portugal), €40,700
3. Roland Israelashvili (USA), €29,100
4. Michael Rodrigues (Portugal), €21,000
5. Ihar Pilashko (Belarus), €15,500
6. Martino Cito (Italy), €11,500
7. Patrik Jaros (Czechia), €8700
8. Anson Tsang (Hong Kong), €6700

Sokratis Linaras, Hokyiu Lee Take Events #3 and #4

Four Day Ones built a field of 1729 entries, and Greece’s Sokratis Linaras took them all down on his way to winning the Event #3 bracelet in the €1000 Mini-Main Event. Linaras only started playing two years ago, but he has already put a European Poker Tour preliminary event victory under his belt. After defeating Daniel Lehmann for the WSOP gold in this tournament, Linaras must be considered a major player in the European poker world.

1. Sokratis Linaras (Greece), €310,350
2. Daniel Lehmann (Norway), €183,850
3. Jamel Ghizaoui (France), €136,750
4. Omar Eljach (Sweden), €103,350
5. Bayar Saran (Mongolia), €79,650
6. Georges Chehade (Lebanon), €62,550
7. Aleksej Grenz (Germany), €50,050
8. Francis Klar (Germany), €40,195

The buy-ins kept going up for the 2023 WSOP-E, with Event #4 featuring the biggest entry fee yet for the events. In the €2000 Pot Limit Omaha test, it was a cash game pro, Hokyiu Lee of Hong Kong, who emerged as the victor. The final table was noteworthy in that five players had previously captured a WSOP bracelet, but Lee was able to outlast them all on his way to grabbing his first piece of jewelry.

1. Hokiyu Lee (Hong Kong), €91,183
2. Dario Alioto (Italy), €56,358
3. Gab Yong Kim (South Korea), €38,800
4. Daniel Smuskovics (Germany), €27,366
5. Barny Boatman (United Kingdom), €19,785
6. Bruno Stefanelli (Italy), €14,673
7. Zhengfa Ye (Austria), €11,168
8. Namhyung Kim (South Korea), €8732

There are still eleven events left on the schedule for the 2023 WSOP-E, which should start to see some of the bigger names make their way to Rozvadov in the next few days. November 10 is the start of the €10,000 Main Event, while the day before the €50,000 Diamond High Roller will play the first of its two-day tournament. The action should get more frenetic over the next week as the 2023 WSOP-E settles in at King’s Casino.

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