Vladimir Bozinovic Maintains Chip Lead, Wins WPT Baden

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The World Poker Tour wrapped up its stop at the Casino Baden in Austria Sunday evening (afternoon in the United States) with Vladimir Bozinovic maintaining his lead throughout the final table on the way to taking down the championship.

Bozinovic came to the final table with slightly more than 400,000 chips than two-time WPT champion Marvin Rettenmaier, who was looking to become only the third man in the history of the tour to take down three titles. Paul Berende, who had hovered at the top of the WPT Baden leaderboard for much of the tournament, lurked in third place (only about 250,000 chips behind Rettenmaier) while Oswin Ziegelbecker, Kimmo Kurko and Grzegorz Wyraz filled out the rest of the six handed table.

Wyraz, on an extremely short stack of only 550K, looked to either “double up or go home” early as he clashed with Ziegelbecker. Wyraz’ chips would hit the center with pocket fives, but Ziegelbecker had him one-upped by unveiling pocket sixes. A five didn’t come on the K-10-2 (two spades) flop, and it looked even bleaker for Wyraz when a six came on the turn. It was the six of spades, however, giving Wyraz a shot at getting a fourth spade on the river to take over the hand (as he was holding the five of spades). The river was black, but it was the four of clubs, sending Wyraz home in sixth place.

Rettenmaier attempted to make his move for his third title after Wyraz’ departure, but it would end up going in the other direction. After a bet from Kurko, Rettenmaier attempted to push Kurko off his hand by moving all in. Kurko would make the call, however, showing a dominant A-Q over Rettenmaier’s K-Q. Although the flop and turn would give a potential straight draw to the German champion, he couldn’t find the completion for that straight or a King to give him the hand. After the chips were counted, Rettenmaier was the player at risk and was out of the tournament in fifth place.

Kurko was unable to use Rettenmaier’s chips, instead bleeding them away to Berende in several different clashes. His demise would be completed via a difficult beat at the hands of Bozinovic. After Kurko opened the action from the button, Bozinovic made an all-in move from the big blind. Kurko would make the call and find himself ahead with his A-J against Bozinovic’s K-9, then would find himself behind when the flop came K-10-3. No Ace would appear on the turn or river, knocking out the overall Day One chip leader in fourth place.

Two levels of play would elapse before the next elimination would occur. Bozinovic would continue his theme of coming from behind in hands when he called Ziegelbecker’s all in and showed an A-10. Ziegelbecker was ahead at the start with his Big Slick and kept that lead through the A-Q-7 flop. A ten on the turn reversed the fortunes of the men, however, pushing Bozinovic into the lead. After a deuce on the river, Ziegelbecker was out of the tournament in third place.

Bozinovic and Berende were fairly close in chips at the start of heads up play, but one hand would change the course of the match. After Bozinovic had opened the betting, Berende (in the lead) three-bet the action to 460K and saw Bozinovic move all in. Berende snap-called, tabling his A-Q against Bozinovic’s Q-J, to be in a powerful position. The board, once again, didn’t cooperate; the 10-9-2 flop brought more outs to Bozinovic and, while the five on the turn didn’t help, the eight on the river completed Bozinovic’s open-ended straight draw. The pot pushed Bozinovic into a commanding 6:1 lead, which he rode to the title after having Berende out-pipped on the final hand, A-9 to A-8.

1. Vladimir Bozinovic, $271,258
2. Paul Berende, $172,695
3. Oswin Ziegelbecker, $111,587
4. Kimmo Kurko, $81,034
5. Marvin Rettenmaier, $59,496
6. Grzegorz Wyraz, $47,820

With the end of the WPT Baden, the poker world’s attention moves on to the next stop on its Season XI schedule. The L. A. Poker Classic is underway in California at this time, having pulled in a decent 517 player field that is battling it out for a $1 million first place prize. When the WPT Champions’ Cup arrives in Los Angeles later this week, it will have a new name on it courtesy of Vladimir Bozinovic’s efforts over the past week in Europe.

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