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Vangelis Kaimakamis Wins Fifth Greek Bracelet in Event #3: €1,350 Mini Main Event No-Limit Hold'em (€167,056)
Another international winner at the 2019 World Series of Poker Europe has been crowned! Vangelis Kaimakamis of Greece claimed his first-ever WSOP gold, the fifth bracelet in the southern European country's history. Kaimakamis defeated Israel's Shahar Levi heads-up after the two had plowed through the other finalists in rapid fashion.
The Greek received €167,056 and a WSOPE Main Event ticket worth €10,350 for his victory, Levi walked away €103,216 richer and also got a ticket. Jose Rivas of Venezuela completed the podium and cashed €72,474. With the win, Kaimakamis follows in the footsteps of Aristeidis Moschonas, who won a bracelet earlier this summer at the WSOP in Las Vegas.
Hailing from Katerini, Greece, Kaimakamis used to be a cash gamer but transitioned to tournaments a few years ago. While none of his earlier cashes came even close to the near $200K he banked today, it's been a successful transition even before the career-defining victory; the Greek had already racked up nearly a quarter-million US dollars over the course of three years. Last year, Kaimakamis nearly tasted WSOP gold already by just missing out with a third place in the €1,100 Turbo Bounty Hunter.
"I went close once earlier and now I've won my first bracelet. It's a big achievement for me," the proud Greek said to PokerNews directly after his victory.
Event #3: €1,350 Mini Main Event No-Limit Hold'em Final Table Results
|Place||Player||Country||Prize (EUR)||Prize (USD)|
|1||Vangelis Kaimakamis||Greece||€ 167,056*||$184,218|
|2||Shahar Levi||Israel||€ 103,216*||$113,819|
|3||Jose Rivas||Venezuela||€ 72,474*||$79,919|
|4||Markus Jordan||Germany||€ 51,628*||$56,932|
|5||Didier Rabl||Switzerland||€ 37,321*||$41,155|
|6||Andrew Bak||United Kingdom||€ 27,382||$30,195|
|7||Luigi Macaluso||France||€ 20,396||$22,491|
|8||Leonid Yanovski||Israel||€ 15,426||$17,011|
|9||Gerardo Giammugnani||Italy||€ 11,850||$13,067|
* plus €10,350 WSOPE Main Event Ticket
WSOPE Main Event Tickets Create Big Pay Jump
Coming into the day as one of the shorter stacks, Kaimakamis' original plan wasn't so much about outright winning the coveted prize, it was more about survival. With five €10,350 WSOPE Main Event tickets up for grabs, a substantial double-bubble effect was created between places five and six, altering play at the final table.
"The plan for the day was to make the top 5 first," Kaimakamis explained how the big pay jump affected everyone's plan. "I think everyone was thinking about that. I played a bit tight because of that, but after, I played normal," he added.
It was clear chip leader Levi was also ogling the substantial rift between the payouts, as he came out blazing with his big stack. Despite losing a bit in the early stages, the Israeli quickly got things back on track by winning a lot of pots. In one of them, he knocked out Luigi Macaluso with ace-queen versus king-jack to bring the field to the bubble-eqsue spot.
After some back and forth tangling between the remaining six, it ultimately was Andrew Bak who'd miss out on one of the five tickets. With everyone now guaranteed an extra €10K in value, the brakes went off and chips started flying everywhere. When the dust had settled, Didier Rabl, Markus Jordan, and Jose Rivas were all gone, and a field of five was reduced to its last two hopefuls within the span of just one level.
Big Race Decides Heads-up
After a short break, the heads-up commenced with 80 big blinds for Levi versus 45 bigs for Kaimakamis. The Greek claimed an early pot to take the chip lead by a hair, then extended it slightly further before one monster clash would decide it all.
Despite a ton of blinds still being in play between them, the two got it in after a raising war to create a pot worth over 90% of the chips in play. First to act, Kaimakamis looked down at king-queen and kicked it off with standard raise. Levi then put in a three-bet to which Kaimakamis responded by four-bet shoving all in. He received a snap-call Levi holding pocket tens, who called the all-in shove for 60 big blinds effectively.
"He reraised big, that's why I shoved him. I didn't think he had a monster when he three-bet to 11 big blinds," the Greek explained his thought process. With Levi's call, they were off to the races and Kaimakamis caught a king on the flop, as well as a queen on the river for good measure to win the tournament on the spot.
Levi, the start-of-the-day chip leader who held the chip lead throughout almost all of the final table, ultimately had to settle for second, while Kaimakamis celebrated the victory with his friends on the rail.
That wraps it up for PokerNews coverage of Event #3, with the sixth bracelet of the 2019 World Series of Poker Europe now awarded. Nine more are still up for grabs, so keep following along with live reporting of all bracelet events.
Photos by Katerina Lukina / King's Resort.
Vangelis Kaimakamis raised to 1,600,000 from the button and Shahar Levi looked at his cards and three-bet to 8,000,000. Kaimakamis glanced at his cards once more before deciding to shove with the bigger stack. Levi snap-called for the 35,550,000 he had behind.
The flop came for Kaimakamis to find a king to pair up with.
The turn was the which didn't change things.
The river completed the board with the to give Kaimakamis two pair to win the €1,350 Mini Main Event with for €167,056, the €10,350 WSOPE ME Ticket and his first WSOP bracelet.
Levi disappointedly made his way to the payout desk to collect €103,216 and the WSOPE ME ticket for finishing as the runner-up.
On an flop, Shahar Levi checked, Vangelis Kaimakamis bet 800,000 and Levi called. The turn got checked by both players.
The river was the and Levi check-called 2,900,000 from the Greek, only to be shown the bad news with .
Shahar Levi raised to 1,500,000 from the button and Vangelis Kaimakamis made the call.
They both checked through the flop to the on the turn. Kaimakamis check-raised the 800,000 bet of Levi to 3,150,000 which Levi called.
The river completed the board with the , Kaimakamis fired a bet of 7,200,000 over the line. Levi cut out calling chips, contemplated for a while, and then made the call but mucked when Kaimakamis tabled for two pair.
- Slepe stave:
Vangelis Kaimakamis raised to 1,200,000 from the button and Jose Rivas shoved in the big blind. Kaimakamis asked for a count and the dealer confirmed Rovas had 11,275,000 behind. Kaimakamis cut out calling chips, looked at the remainder of his stack, took some more time to consider what to do, and then put in a stack of chips for the call.
The board ran out to not bring any help to Rivas as he was eliminated in third place for €72,474 and the WSOPE Main Event ticket.
Shahar Levi and Kaimakamis agreed to go for a 25-minute dinner break and play will resume at 6:10 p.m local time.
Vangelis Kaimakamis raised to 1,100,000 on the button and Shahar Levi three-bet to 4,100,000 in the small blind. Jose Rivas spent three minutes in the tank before folding the big blind, showing an unknown hand to his railbirds, and Kaimakamis folded as well.
The next hand, Levi opened to 1,000,000 on the button and Kaimakamis defended. The flop went check/check. Kaimakamis bet 1,350,000 on the turn, Levi raised to 4,200,000, and Kaimakamis folded.
Vangelis Kaimakamis shoved from the small blind and Markus Jordan looked down at his cards in the big blind adn contemplated for a while. In the end, he made the call for his 7,000,000 or so.
The flop came to keep Kaimakamis ahead.
The turn was the to give Kaimakamis a set of fours and the Greek rail celebrated loudly.
Jordan was drawing dead and the completed the board on the river for Jordan to be sent to the payout desk to collect €51,628 and the WSOPE Main Event ticket for finishing in fourth place.