On numerous occasions during the final table of the 2012 WPT Copenhagen Main Event, Swedish player Emil Olsson found himself on the brink of elimination. And just when it seemed that the rail was calling him, Olsson found another way to stay alive in the tournament.
In the end, Olsson rode a combination of guile, skill, and luck to somehow win, against seemingly long odds, to become the first ever WPT Copenhagen champion. Sure, the title’s great, as is the first prize money of DKK1.2 million ($229,938); but history will remember Olsson for being the first to hold up the WPT Copenhagen title, even if it was far from a leisurely road to the ‘chip.
Entering the six-handed final table with the chip lead, it didn’t take long for Olsson to hit a rough patch. Denmark’s Phillip Jacobsen came out with guns-a-blazin’, catching fire at the right time and almost catching up to Olsson for the chip lead with barely five minutes into the final table. Jacobsen’s hot start was highlighted by him taking down Jan Djerberg, who ended up being the first to bust, finishing in sixth place and pocketing $49,989.
From there, it was Robin Ylitalo ($51,237) who saw his tournament plug get pulled out from him by Steve Barshak. But Barshak’s turn in the spotlight was momentary, to say the least. Shortly after taking down Yitalo, Barshak got involved in a massive pot with Olsson and Jacobsen. Showing that his aggression wasn’t for thrills, Jacobsen muscled both Barshak and Olsson out of the enormous pot, shooting himself up to the lead and leaving Barshak running on fumes.
It don’t take long for poor Stevie to hit the rail after going heads-up with Olsson only to see his hand dominated. From there, the fat lady was on hand to invite Barshak to a duet in the hotel lounge. All she wrote for Stevie, who collected $68,316.
The battle of the titans soon ensued between Olsson and Jacobsen. And for all it was worth, the showdown was as dramatic as any seen in the felt in recent months. One hand, in particular, saw Olsson push all in from the small blind with a 4d4s only to see Jacobsen call him on the move with dominant 10c10s.
As soon as the flop of Js10d2d was shown, the stage seemed set for Olsson’s exit. But the turn went 6d, giving him a glimmer of hope of hitting a flush draw. That hope turned into ecstatic reality when, inexplicably, the 7d turned up on the river, giving Olsson a runner-runner miracle from the heavens, and effectively ending Jacobsen’s night, who busted soon thereafter and taking home $93,080.
While all of this was happening, Morten Klein, who began the final table in last place, was letting the chaos ensue with him playing the role of spectator. The strategy worked beautifully as he found himself in a heads-up duel with Olsson for the WPT Copenhagen title. While his shot at the title was long at best, Klein gave a good showing, forcing Olsson to run the duel for nearly an hour before finally taking down the title. By finishing second, Klein was able to snag $145,164, a pretty good total considering he came into the final table as the short stack.
In the end, though, it was Olsson winning the title and the prize money while also making history as the first ever WPT Copenhagen champion.