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Bjorn Verbakel has won his first gold WSOP bracelet and €59,250 in Event #2: €550 Pot-Limit Omaha. Verbakel is the seventh bracelet winner for the Netherlands and the third Dutchman to win in the Pot-Limit Omaha format after Vincent van der Fluit (2012) and Ronald Keijzer (2018).
The second event of the 2021 World Series of Poker Europe drew a total of 623 entries, creating a prize pool of €295,925, surpassing the guarantee by nearly 50%.
Verbakel collected the top prize of €59,250 after coming out on top of a short-lived heads-up duel with Zhao Feng who won €36,617.
WSOP Europe Event #2: €550 Pot-Limit Omaha Final Table Results
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in EUR)|
|5||Alfredo Vega Meister||Spain||€13,078|
|8||Martin Kabrhel||Czech Republic||€5,494|
The Dutchman fired multiple entries but mentioned that it wasn't about the money on the final table but rather the coveted gold bracelet as he considers himself as a "retired card player". He actually earned two payouts as he was among those to bust on Day 1a minutes before bagging up. He collected €1,003 and re-entered into Day 1b to start his journey to glory with the second-biggest stack at the end of the night.
He is a 34-year-old e-business owner from Beek en Donk in the Netherlands and will stick around for another week at the King's Resort in Rozvadov to compete. Howver, the €10,350 WSOPE Main Event is not included in the planning as his wife and family back home come first.
A total of seven different countries were represented on the final table and the action was broadcasted on the WSOP YouTube channel with commentary provided by Ali Nejad and Len Ashby. Ken Beckers, Richard Toth, Alfredo Vega Meister, fellow Dutchman Tobias Peters, Mikkel Plum and Martin Kabrhel joined Verbakel and Feng on the big stage.
He overcame the arguably biggest obstacle on the final day in the first orbit after sending two-time WSOP bracelet winner Kabrhel to the rail. Both were the big stacks heading into the live-streamed showdown and Kabrhel was caught bluffing in just the second hand for Verbakel to claim a commanding lead. The Dutchman seemed unfazed by the table antics of Kabrhel and happily engaged in table chat with his foe throughout the last few days.
"He is just an annoying guy, everybody agrees on that, I guess. I already played with him once before and he is always acting like this, talking all the time and slowing down the game," Verbakel said when asked about the only previous WSOP bracelet winner on the final table. He also admitted adjusting accordingly because he was aware that Kabrhel was bluffing a lot and utilized more check-calls in his range as there was "nothing more you could do".
The hand that changed the table dynamics was one of such calls. "If he bets the river, it's pretty difficult. I think it's fifty-fifty, I guess, because I have the blocker with the nine but I didn't have any diamonds. I know he is capable of bluffing and against all other players at the table, I would have folded."
With a gargantuan lead at his disposal right out of the gates, even more so after sending Kabrhel to the rail shortly after, the Dutchman was seemingly running over the table despite one mishap in which he doubled eventual runner-up Feng.
"I played one hand really bad. I thought I had a flush draw but I didn't check again. I made a mistake and gave him the chance to have a lot of chips as well. Luckily for me, he played really tight when he had chips," Verbakel clarified with regards to Feng.
The entire final table was a rather brief affair with a one-sided leaderboard. It left Verbakel and Feng near the top until the heads-up stage was reached while one short stack after the other succumbed to the increasing blinds.
Third-place finisher Ken Beckers was the only one to threaten the duopoly after staging a comeback from fewer than two big blinds. However, an ill-timed move ended the run of the Belgian in third place and set the stage for a short-lived heads-up duel that lasted only 15 minutes.
Bjorn Verbakel raised to 900,000 with the for Zhao Feng to call with the to leave him with 1,100,000 behind.
The flop came for Feng to flop a pair of sevens and a gutshot to a straight. He opted to push his last 1,350,000 in for Verbakel to snap-call.
The flip didn't go Feng's way as the rest of the board was completed with the on the turn for Verbakel to improve to a set while the river completed the board with the . Feng gets to collect $36,617 for finishing as the runner-up while Verbakel laid claim to the WSOP bracelet and $59,250.
The seventh bracelet for the Netherlands and the first for Verbakel himself.
A recap of the final table is to follow.
Feng limped in on the button with the and Bjorn Verbakel opted to check with the .
The flop came , Verbakel quickly checked but Feng took some time before opting to check too.
The turn was the for Verbakel to quickly check with the straight. They both checked to the on the river. Verbakel bet 750,000 for Feng to contemplate for a bit, look at his cards again, and then folded.
- Slepe stave:
Bjorn Verbakel found the on the button and limped in for Zhao Feng to check with the .
The flop came , Feng check-called the 250,000 bet of Verbakel.
The turn was the for Feng to improve to two pair. They both checked to the on the river for Feng to better his hand to a full house. Feng bet 800,000 for Verbakel to look at his cards once more before folding.
Bjorn Verbakel found the and asked how much Zhao Feng had behind. After hearing the amount, Verbakel opted to call on the button. Feng looked down as his and decided to check too.
The flop came for Feng to check, Verbakel bet 325,000 with his flopped full house. Feng took some time and then decided to make the call.
The turn was the to keep Verbakel ahead. Feng checked again. This time, Verbakel fired a bet of 725,000 into the pot and Feng Folded.
Zhao Feng found and decided to raise to 750,000 for Bjorn Verbakel to make the call with the .
The flop came for Verbakel to hit a straight immediately who bet for Feng to fold.
Play has resumed as Bjorn Verbakel and Zhao Feng begin their heads-up battle.
Bjorn Verbakel raised the button to 525,000 and Ken Beckers then opted to three-bet the pot for 1,825,000 in the small blind. Zhao Feng was in the tank in the big blind with the , which he then let go.
Verbakel moved all-in and that sent Beckers into the tank, who had some 2,200,000 behind and invested nearly half of his stack by now. The crying call of Beckers followed and Verbakel instantly told Feng "I knew you had kings."
"Optimistic three-bet," Verbakel joked and then added "you can't fold anymore."
The flop gave Beckers gained some equity. He improved on the turn but the river counterfeited the two pair of Beckers to eliminate the Belgian in 3rd place for €25,530.
There will now be a break of more than 20 minutes before the heads-up battle for the gold bracelet gets underway.