November and December have become two of the busiest months on the calendar over the last few years, with major tournaments spread throughout the world. With so much attention cast in so many different directions, you’d be forgiven if you overlooked an annual staple among the chaos – World Series of Poker Europe.
From October 25 through November 15, poker players descended on King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic to compete for 15 WSOP gold bracelets and the biggest prize of the festival – the €10,350 WSOP European Championship.
With the final two events wrapping up Wednesday night, what better time than now to look back on the results of the last few weeks to highlight the stars and storylines coming out of Rozvadov.
Max Neugebauer Claims WSOP European Championship
The WSOPE Main Event (notably labeled the WSOP European Championship for the first time this year) drew an all-time record 817 entries and smashed its €5 million guarantee. Max Neugebauer, a 26-year-old from Austria, claimed the top prize of €1.5 million ($1,601,435) along with his first career WSOP gold bracelet. American Michael Rocco, who finished in ninth place at the 2022 WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas and has multiple major final tables to his credit, finished fifth. Other notables who made deep runs include Dario Sammartino (14th), Davidi Kitai (33rd), Adrian Mateos (42nd), Stephen Chidwick (44th) and Viktor Blom (55th).
Neugebauer’s $1.6 million win is made all the more impressive when compared to the rest of his live results. His previous best cash of $27,000 came earlier this year via a seventh place finish in a $2,500 buy-in tournament at The Venetian in Las Vegas over the summer. Prior to starting his poker career, Neugebauer spent two seasons playing center in the Austria Bundesliga, the top level of professional basketball in the country – most recently for BC Vienna during the 2015-16 season. His height is listed at 6-foot-8.
|5th||Michael Rocco||$364,060||United States|
Daniel Dvoress Continues to Pile Up High Roller Results
Canadian Daniel Dvoress has had a consistent presence in poker’s High Roller scene since 2017. In that time, Dvoress has 17 cashes of at least $500,000, including four $1 million-plus results. That includes two Triton Super High Roller wins, an EPT London High Roller title and a $250,000 Super High Roller Bowl win in Nassau, Bahamas for over $4 million.
Dvoress also won just shy of $1.5 million and his first career WSOP gold bracelet back in August 2020 in a massive online $1,500 buy-in Millionaire Maker event that drew 6,299 entries.
Dvoress extended his record of success in High Rollers in Rozvadov, winning his second career WSOP gold bracelet in the €25,000 WSPOE GG Million$ tournament. He took home $644,150 for his efforts, and defeated Michael Rocco heads-up to do so. Dvoress almost made it a High Roller double in Rozvadov, too, finishing 3rd in the €50,000 Diamond High Roller.
Between his second-place finish in this tournament and fifth in the WSOP European Championship, Rocco banked more than $750,000 in Rozvadov.
|2nd||Michael Rocco||$391,858||United States|
|3rd||Martin Kabrhel||$279,132||Czech Republic|
|4th||Gab Yong Kim||$202,907||South Korea|
Santhosh Suvarna Captures €50,000 Diamond High Roller Title
Santhosh Suvarna started popping up on the High Roller scene in September 2022, as he cashed a $75,000 buy-in Triton Super High Roller Series event. Suvarna won his first Triton title in May of this year in a $25,000 tournament in Cyprus, and the vast majority of his cashes since then – 14 in total – have come in Triton events.
Suvarna logged his first career WSOP cash in July, finishing 11th in the $50,000 High Roller in Las Vegas. In Rozvadov, Suvarna broke through for his second career live tournament win and first WSOP gold bracelet in the €50,000 Diamond High Roller, pocketing $695,291.
Suvarna is the sixth Indian-born poker player to win a WSOP bracelet.
|4th||Christopher Brewer||$197,891||United States|
|5th||Ioannis Angelou Konstas||$144,407||Greece|
|6th||Martin Kabrhel||$111,166||Czech Republic|
2022 WSOPE Main Event Champ Omar Eljach Doubles Bracelet Total
Omar Eljach was the breakout star at WSOP Europe in 2022, outlasting a then-record field of 763 players to win the WSOPE Main Event and $1,418,280. He also finished second in a €5,000 Pot Limit Omaha event last year.
Eljach put on another clinic in 2023, making three final tables and cashing five times. He won a €550 PLO tournament to secure his second career WSOP bracelet, and added a second-place finish in the same event in back-to-back years – €5,000 PLO – along with fourth in the WSOPE Mini Main Event.
Roland Israelashvili Makes 3 Final Tables, Nearly Ends Bracelet Drought
When it comes to consistency in the world of tournament poker, few players can measure up in any category to the likes of Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth. But in at least one all-time category, Roland Israelashvili is up there in that heady territory. Negreanu’s 242 cashes in WSOP bracelet events is first all-time, and Hellmuth has 202, good enough for third. In between them sits Israelashvili, with 230.
The difference is that Israelashvili doesn’t own a single WSOP gold bracelet. Despite 10 career WSOP Circuit wins, and titles elsewhere, Israelashvili has never finished better than third place in a WSOP bracelet event, most notably taking fifth in the 2012 $50,000 Poker Players Championship. He had five career WSOP bracelet event final tables coming into WSOPE 2023.
Israelashvili had three separate shots at ending his drought in Rozvadov at final tables, but ultimately matched his career-best result in bracelet events with a 3rd place finish in the €550 PLO event won by Eljach.
Fresh Faces, Few Americans
Outside of Eljach and Dvoress, the 13 other champions at WSOPE were first-time WSOP bracelet-winners. The winners came from a wide spectrum of regions as well, representing Finland (3x), Hong Kong (2x), Germany (2x), Slovakia, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Canada, Lithuania, India, and Austria.
According to Hendon Mob, only two American-born players – Rocco (fifth) and Alex Keating (43rd) cashed in the WSOP European Championship. Despite one American player making a final table in each of the three biggest buy-in tournaments in Rozvadov, zero Americans won bracelets at WSOPE.