The 2013 World Series of Poker Europe continued on Saturday with the final day of Event #6: €3,250 Mixed Max Pot-Limit Omaha and Day 1a of the €10,450 Main Event. In Event #6, both of the favorites in the semi-finals, Noah Schwartz and Ludovic Lacay, reached the final match, defeating Vitaly Lunkin and Jyri Merivirta respectively.
Despite entering the finals with a two-to-one chip disadvantage, Schwartz, who finished runner-up in a bracelet event during the summer and fourth in Event #3 at the 2013 WSOPE, rallied back to defeat Lacay. The American earned €104,580 and the elusive gold bracelet for his win.
“For me, to actually close the deal is really gratifying,” said Schwartz after the win. “Poker is very streaky. When you’re playing well and you’re confident, things seem to come in bunches.”
Event #6: €3,250 Mixed Max Pot-Limit Omaha
Schwartz and Lacay both entered the day with the chip lead in their respective matches, and the two applied serious pressure on their opponents from the onset. Lunkin was already at a disadvantage, having a sixth of Lacay’s stack, but the Russian secured a double and lingered for nearly an hour.
While Lacay and Lunkin were sparring, Schwartz ended Merivirta’s run in the other semifinal match. The Finn fell to around 10 big blinds before doubling, but it wasn’t enough. On the final hand, he called an all in with on a flop of . Schwartz didn’t have a pair either, but he was a favorite holding for flush and straight draws. The on the turn helped neither player, but the on the river gave Schwartz a winning pair of tens, and Merivirta hit the rail.
The other match came to an end when Lunkin ran an unsuccessful bluff. The WSOP bracelet winner moved all in on a board of , sending Lacay deep into the tank. The Frenchman took nearly two minutes to call, prompting the Russian to table for a busted straight draw and a pair of threes. Lacay fanned for a flush, and advanced to the finals.
At the start of the final match Schwartz was a two-to-one underdog, but evened things quickly without showing down many hands. The American took a massive lead on the 32nd hand of the match, bet-calling a sizeable raise from Lacay on a board of . The river was the , Schwartz moved all in, and his opponent folded.
“Must be nice,” the Frenchman sighed.
Thirty minutes later, the stream revealed that Schwartz flopped a set of nines with , and Lacay had straight and flush draws with .
Lacay never recovered from the hand, and was eventually all in and at risk with on a flop of . Schwartz was ahead with , and held as the turn and river came , respectively.
Schwartz has now completed two legs of the triple crown – he won the 2012 World Poker Tour bestbet Jacksonville Fall Poker Scramble – and is ready to capture the third.
“There’s not many people who have accomplished it [the triple crown],” Schwartz said. “I guess we got the right pony.”
2013 WSOPE Main Event
The 2013 WSOPE Main Event kicked off on Saturday with Day 1a, attracting a total of 171 entrants – a 20 percent decrease from 2012. Registration is still open throughout Day 1b, and players may enter the tournament up until the start of Day 2 on Monday.
Leading the survivors in the first flight Paul Kuzmich. Kuzmich bagged 145,825, edging out his tablemate Martin Hanowski (142,150) by just under 4,000 chips. The pair battled alongside Austrian Thomas Muehloecker and Canadian Sorel Mizzi throughout the day, and in the end Kuzmich and Hanowski ended up on top.
During the final level of play, Kuzmich and Mizzi played what could’ve been a monstrous pot. According to WSOP.com, Four bets went in preflop before the pair saw the dealer fan . Kuzmich led out for 16,200, Mizzi called, and the turn brought the . Kuzmich led out for another 25,700 – nearly the amount of a starting stack – and Mizzi tank-folded.
Hanowski, who finished fourth in a bracelet event this summer, starting things off with a bang on Day 1a. In Level 2, he flopped a straight against Sean Jazayeri, who had a pair and an inside straight flush draw, and Yury Gulyy, who had an ace-high flush draw. All of the money went in the middle, and Hanowski held as the turn and river came , respectively.
Other players to survive Day 1a include Daniel Weinman (109,050), Scott Clements (91,650), James Dempsey (85,000), Dominik Nitsche (73,650), David “Devil Fish” Ulliott (71,000), Jeff Rossiter (51,650), and 2009 WSOPE Main Event champion Barry Shulman (40,475).
Legendary cricketer Shane Warne gave the honorary shuffle up and deal at the start of play on Saturday, but he was unable to survive. After a series of betting, Warne moved all in with on a flop of . Tuan Le called with a dominating pair of kings, and improved to a set on the river, eliminating the Aussie.
Rettenmaier found himself all in and at risk with on a flop of , and he was in great shape to double up against an opponent’s . The on the turn changed nothing, but the spiked on the river to give his opponent two pair, and the German hit the rail.
McLaughlin was eliminated by a former November Niner, 2011 WSOP Main Event ninth-place finisher Sam Holden. The Canadian moved all in preflop with and was called by the Brit, who tabled . The dealer fanned , giving McLaughlin a leading pair of aces, but the turn and river came , respectively, giving Holden a straight to the ten.
The Day 1a survivors will return on Monday at noon for Day 2, and Day 1b of the 2013 WSOE Main Event will begin on Sunday at noon as well.
PokerNews will be on hand for feature pieces and recaps of the other three events at the 2013 WSOP Europe in France.