They may not be household names in the States of America, but they have certainly etched their names into the record books for European poker. Four events are now complete at the 2022 World Series of Poker Europe, with each bracelet garnering the same respect that those won in Las Vegas receive. Those who have won have also picked up some nice cash, as every tournament to this point has cracked its guarantee by a healthy amount.
Fabio Peluso Wins “The Opener”
Earlier this week, Fabio Peluso was able to emerge from the massive 2454 entry field to take home the trophy in the first event of the 2022 World Series of Poker Europe. From appearances, Peluso is a latecomer to the world of poker, earning his first cash in an event only last year. The Italian rookie has been able to earn over $450,000 since picking up tournament poker, with a majority coming from this WSOPE event.
Each member of the final table earned a €10,000 seat in the Main Event later this month, so it was almost like they were all winners. In the end, however, Peluso would go against his Italian compatriot Carlo Savinelli. After starting at about a 2:1 disadvantage, Peluso would chip away at Savinelli’s lead before eventually putting him away in a classic race. Holding pocket fives, Peluso faded the 6-J-4-10-2 board and Savinelli’s A-7 to capture the tournament and the biggest championship of his career.
1. Fabio Peluso (Italy), €95,670
2. Carlo Savinelli (Italy), €59,032
3. Stefan Vogt (Germany), €43,813
4. Kevin Fluegel (Germany), €32,801
5. Dennis Wilke (Germany), €24,773
6. Gennaro Proscia (Italy), €18,875
(each final table player also earned a seat to the 2022 WSOPE Main Event)
Helmut Phung Reigns in PLO
Event #2, the €500 Pot Limit Omaha tournament, may have had a smaller guarantee of €200,000, but it brought out the best players to compete for it. This tournament also was able to crack its guarantee with its 566-entry field, and the final table was graced with Czech legend Martin Kabrhel among its leaders. But Phung had a plan – to put max pressure on the opposition – and it worked like a charm.
Phung battered the players around the felt, eventually working his way down to the heads-up battle against Norway’s Martin Almaas. Keeping with the pressure approach, Phung pushed out a raise pre-flop and Almaas called to see a monochrome A♥ 10♥ 4♥ flop. Both players would check their actions and a second Ace hammered on the turn. Almaas originally checked his option and, after a bet from Phung, plopped his stack in the center. Phung was more than happy to make the call and show his K♥ 9♥ 6♦ 6x, which completely dominated Almaas’ 8♥ 7♥ 7x 6x. Looking for a seven, Almaas would instead see the Q♦ come on the river to deliver the tournament to Phung.
1. Helmut Phung (Germany), €55,132
2. Martin Almaas (Norway), €34,051
3. Pascal Foged (Germany), €23,848
4. Jakob Madsen (Denmark), €16,987
5. Gregory Sellam (France), €12,310
6. Andreas Zampas (Greece), €9,078
7. Bartlomiej Staszczak (Poland), €6,815
8. Misel Bosancic (Bosnia & Herzegovina), €5,210
9. Martin Kabrhel (Czech Republic), €4,057
“Mini-Main” Massive Win for Ilija Savevski
Winning nearly twice as much as his total career earnings, Macedonia’s Ilija Savevski overcame the 1431 entries in Event #3, the €1,000 “Mini-Main” No Limit Hold’em tournament. Savevski was able to overcome the efforts of Stefan Schoss of Germany, who led most of the way before a massive clash led to Savevski taking an unbeatable edge.
With play down to four players, Peter Kamaras pushed all in, and Savevski, in the small blind, pushed his stack to the center. This was enough to get Dennis Magro, in the big blind, to put his tournament existence at stake. Once the hands hit the felt, Magro had the preflop edge, but there were five cards to come:
Magro: pocket tens
A J-6-4 flop helped Kamaras by pairing his four, but he was still trailing Magro. An eight on the turn didn’t help anyone, but the King on the river thundered across the felt. In one swing, Savevski knocked out Magro in third and Kamaras in fourth and would take a decent chip lead to heads-up action against Schoss.
Schoss was never able to make a dent in that lead. Schoss would commit his final chips to the center on an 8-4-K flop and Savevski made the call with the goods. Savevski flopped two pair with his K-4, while Schoss could only muster a solo pair with his K-5. Needing the board to pair his five or the eight, Schoss would instead see a seven and a trey finish the run, earning the title for Savevski after a deep run in the 2021 WSOPE Main Event.
1. Ilija Savevski (Macedonia), €245,319
2. Stefan Schoss (Germany), €151,554
3. Dennis Magro (Germany), €110,686
4. Peter Kamaras (Hungary), €81,716
5. Jochen Kaiser (Germany), €60,990
6. Yunho Choi (South Korea), €46,027
7. Braz Borges Fagundes (Portugal), €35,124
8. Emanuele de Lemmi (Italy), €27,109
9. Clement Cure (France), €21,162
(Final twelve players also earned a seat to the 2022 WSOPE Main Event worth €10,000)
Third Time Lucky for Anson Tsang
Next year, this tournament might just be called the Anson Tsang Invitational. After winning this tournament in 2018 and picking up the bracelet in 2020 on GGPoker in the “online” WSOPE, Tsang came back against the 221 entries in the €2,000 Pot Limit Omaha event at the 2022 World Series of Poker Europe to work his magic once again. This time around, it took a bit more of a battle to get through Tomasz Gluszko of Poland to capture the jewelry.
There were a few familiar faces around the final table for this tournament. Jorryt van Hoof made it into the fray, but he left in a disappointing ninth place on the day. Farid Jattin also battled to make the final table, but surely he wasn’t happy with his seventh-place finish. Dario Alioto of Italy went a bit deeper, but he also would succumb to Tsang’s mastery in departing in fourth.
Tsang was catapulted to his championship run after doubling his way through Jattin, whom Tsang admitted was his toughest opponent. For his part, Gluszko would be a pesky opponent for Tsang, never really drawing close to the three-time bracelet winner, but never being really on the ropes at all. It took a final hand nut flush for Tsang to knock off Gluszko, earning the third piece of jewelry for a highly unlikely participant.
1. Anson Tsang (Hong Kong), €95,461
2. Thomasz Gluszko (Poland), €58,988
3. Shawn Stroke (USA), €40,232
4. Dario Alioto (Italy), €28,162
5. Oswin Ziegelbecker (Austria), €20,245
6. Vivian Saliba (Brazil), €14,959
7. Farid Jattin (Colombia), €11,368
8. Pavel Izotov (Belarus), €8893
9. Jorryt van Hoof (Netherlands), €7168