The World Series of Poker Europe has started with a shock victory for Makarios Avramidis. The Greek-born German restaurateur beat Frederic Schwarzer in heads-up action to capture his first gold bracelet and €105,00 in prize money.
The German nation has witnessed a few shocks these past few days. The World Champions lost to the Republic of Ireland in a European Championship qualifier, and the relatively unknown Makarios Avramidis has won the opening event of the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE).Europe has sorely missed the company of the most prestigious tournament series in the world. The Aussies pulled them away for a single season, the Germans will be trying to establish a more regular mooring.
197 entrants paid the €2,200 entry fee to compete in Event #1: Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em at the Spielbank Berlin Casino creating a prize pool of €328,180. Various heavyweights made it to the final table including the double World Poker Tour (WPT) Champion Marvin Rettenmaier, WSOP bracelet winner Paul Michaelis and 10-time WSOP final tablist Stephen Chidwick.
It was Rettenmaier who hit the rail first after getting it in with pocket nines, only for Michaelis to wake up with the rockets. Then Chidwick took control of proceedings when he axed Rick Alvarado in fifth. It was a cooler, with the pair getting it in two pair v two pair; Chidwick’s [Qh] [5h] beating Alvarado’s [Qd] [2d] on [6s] [5c] [2h] [Qs] [Ts].
According to the WSOP.com live reports, this is where Chidwick put his foot on the gas, and for a long while it looked like he would break his terrible run of results at WSOP final tables. But poker is a fickle thing. The Brit lost four all-ins, against inferior stacks, including two against Michaelis before the German delivered a knockout blow AK>AQ that Chidwick must still be feeling today.
After Michaelis had eliminated Chidwick it looked like he would push on and win his second bracelet of the year, but once again the Poker Gods had other ideas. Michaelis had a third of the chips in play until he was cut down to a size before being eliminated by Frederic Schwartz TT<JJ.
Despite Schwartz taking the final scalp he still sat down to play heads-up facing a 2:1 chip deficit. The pair had battled for over an hour before the final hand played out as follows.
Avramidis opened to 125,000; Schwarzer moved all-in for slightly below 350,000, and Avramidis made the call. It was [Kd] [9h] for Schwarzer and [Ah] [6c] for Avramidis. The dealer fanned [Ad] [Tc] [4h] across the flop to increase Avramidis’s stranglehold over the hand, and the [4s] meant Schwarzer was drawing dead on the turn. A meaningless [9d] signifying the end of the first event, and crowning an unbelievable three days for a man who runs a restaurant and only plays poker as a hobby.
Final Table Results
1st. Makarios Avramidis – €105,000
2nd. Frederic Schwarzer – €64,930
3rd. Paul Michaelis – €45,860
4th. Stephen Chidwick – €32,600
5th. Ricardo Alvarado – €23,310
6th. Marvin Rettenmaier – €16,740
Other notables to cash included: Jeff Lisandro (7th), Max Pescatori (8th), Giacomo Fundaro (11th), Oliver Price (12th), Igor Yaroshevsky (14th), David Yan (16th), Scott Clements (17th) and Dylan Linde (18th).
WSOP POY Race
1st. Mike Gorodinsky – 2157.19
2nd. Brian Hastings – 1961.82
3rd. Anthony Zinno – 1942.72
4th. Paul Volpe – 1889.46
5th. Shaun Deeb – 1803.99
The first event changed nothing in the top five spots; Stephen Chidwick did rise to 6th after his 4th place finish, and Max Pescatori moved to 10th. Stuart Rutter dropped out of the Top 10 to make way for The Pirate.