The The World Series of Poker Europe 2023 is underway at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, and it was notable that new names appeared on the medal stand. In the first four tournaments, players who are not household names took home the gold bracelets. That doesn’t mean they aren’t successful players, they’re just not known to the general public. It added a fresh touch to the 2023 WSOP-E.
“Opener” and PLO start the schedule
In the “opener” of the €300 No Limit Hold’em, Slovakian Lukas Pazma prevailed from the 3,503 field of participants (out of 2,554 in 2022) and secured the title. On the final day, Pazma pushed his way to the front and by the time the unofficial ten-man final table was set, he had a sizable lead over the rest of the field and never looked back. Despite facing a significant heads-up challenge from Andras Balogh, Pazma continued his strong recent play (he was also at the final table of the WPT Prime Lichtenstein tournament in September) and took 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 Grauch (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, which attracted 719 participants. A well-known name from the European poker world prevailed against none other than the defending champion of the WSOP-E Main Event, Omar Eljach. Eljach was able to dominate on the way to the final table and at times had twice the number of chips of his nearest competitor. Overall, Eljach was able to eliminate six of the seven opponents at the final table, including runner-up Diana Volcovschi, en route 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 (Czech Republic), €8700
8. Anson Tsang (Hong Kong), €6,700
Sokratis Linaras and Hokyiu Lee compete in events #3 and #4
Four Day Ones fielded a field of 1,729 competitors, and Greece’s Sokratis Linaras defeated them all on his way to winning the Event #3 bracelet in the €1,000 Mini-Main Event. Linaras only started playing two years ago, but he already has a preliminary round win on the European Poker Tour. After defeating Daniel Lehmann in this tournament for the WSOP gold medal, Linaras must be considered one of the most important players 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
Buy-ins for the 2023 WSOP-E continued to rise, with Event #4 featuring the highest event entry fee to date. In the 2000 Pot Limit Omaha test, a cash game pro, Hokyiu Lee from Hong Kong, emerged victorious. The final table was notable in that five players had previously won a WSOP bracelet, but Lee was able to overtake them all and snag 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 (UK), €19,785
6. Bruno Stefanelli (Italy), €14,673
7. Zhengfa Ye (Austria), €11,168
8. Namhyung Kim (South Korea), €8,732
There are still eleven events on the program for the WSOP-E 2023, with some of the bigger names likely to find their way to Rozvadov in the next few days. The €10,000 main event begins on November 10, while the day before the €50,000 Diamond High Roller tournament hosts the first of its two-day tournament. The action is set to get even more hectic next week as the 2023 WSOP-E gets underway at King’s Casino.