When the final table of Event #4 (€2,200 Pot Limit Omaha) at 2017 WSOP Europe began, Allen Kessler was looking for his first career bracelet. The player affectionately known as “the Chainsaw” had cashed 53 times at the WSOP, but has never won an event. Three times in his career he has been the bridesmaid, finishing second to Brian Rast, Frank Kassela and Todd Brunson.
And now a fourth time, to Lukas Zaskodny.
Zaskodny beat out 190 other players, including runner-up Kessler, to win €93,677 ($109,015 US) and his first career bracelet.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Zaskodny said. “I’m really happy. It’s special for every poker player to win a bracelet, and I have it now.”
It took just 45 minutes to go from eight players to seven. Georgios Koliofotis raised to 55,000 from UTG, the next two players to act. Willm Engelke and Liran Twito, both called. The flop came , Koliofotis checked, Engelke moved all in for 61,000 and the other two called. Koliofotis and Twito checked through the turn and river. Engelke showed , Koliofotis tabled but Twito showed to win the pot with two pair and eliminate Engelke.
Twito and Koliofotis clashed again almost 90 minutes later. Koliofotis raised to 75,000 from UTG+1, Twito raised 261,000 and Koliofotis called from the hijack After the flop, Twito bet 400,000 and Koliofotis called all in. Twito was ahead with to Koliofotis’ . Neither the turn or river improved Koliofotis’ hand and he was out in seventh.
Just over 20 minutes later, Twito was involved in yet another elimination – his own. Twito raised from the button to 75,000 and Kessler and Zaskodny both defended their blinds. After the flop, Twito bet 145,000, Kessler moved all in for 407,000, Zaskodny called before Twito re-jammed 1,709,000. Zaskodny called and tabled , Twito showed for a straight while Kessler showed . The turn gave Zaskodny the nut flush, but the gave Kessler a full house and eliminated Twito in sixth.
On the very next hand Sergej Barbarez was all in on a flop with against Krasimir Yankov’s . Neither the turn or were any help for Barbarez and he was out in fifth place.
The quick pace of eliminations claimed another victim just 20 minutes later. From UTG, Pim van Holsteyn raised to 80,000, Zaskodny re-raised to 270,000 from the small blind and van Holsteyn moved all in for 834,000 total. Zaskodny called and showed which put him behind van Holsteyn’s . However, the board ran out to give Zaskodny Broadway and eliminate Holsteyn in fourth.
Three-handed play lasted nearly six hours before Kessler picked up another elimination to get heads up for a bracelet again. Kessler button-raised to 200,000 and Yankov called from the big blind to see a flop. Yankov checked, Kessler bet 200,000 and Yankov re-raised to 1,040,000 before Kessler moved all in for 2,100,000. Yankov called and showed for two pair while Kessler was behind with . The turn changed nothing but the river gave Kessler a better two pair and eliminated Yankov in second.
Heads-up play began with Kessler holding a 3-2 chip lead over Zaskodny, but it took just 90 minutes for Zaskodny to take that lead and eventually eliminate Kessler to win his first career bracelet.
Final Table Payouts
- Lukas Zaskodny – €93,677
- Allen Kessler – €57,897
- Krasimir Yankov – €40,353
- Pim van Holsteyn – €28,702
- Sergej Barbarez – €20,842
- Liran Twito – €15,458
- Georgios Koliofotis – €11,715
- Willm Engelke – €9,076