WSOP Europe: Lukas Zaskodny Wins €2,200 PLO, Denies Allen Kessler

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Lukas Zaskodny beat Allen Kessler heads up to win his first career bracelet on Monday (WSOP photo)

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 JhTd3s, Koliofotis checked, Engelke moved all in for 61,000 and the other two called. Koliofotis and Twito checked through the 6d turn and Jc river. Engelke showed AcQs9h8c, Koliofotis tabled AsKd7s4h but Twito showed AhQc7c7h 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 Jd4c2h flop, Twito bet 400,000 and Koliofotis called all in. Twito was ahead with AcKdKsTs to Koliofotis’ QcJcTc9c. Neither the 7d turn or 5s 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 KsJsTc 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 AsKd8s5c, Twito showed AcQs6c3h for a straight while Kessler showed QhJdTs8h. The 7s turn gave Zaskodny the nut flush, but the Jh gave Kessler a full house and eliminated Twito in sixth.

On the very next hand Sergej Barbarez was all in on a AsQc4h flop with KcQsTd9c against Krasimir Yankov’s AdKs6d5h. Neither the 3s turn or 8s 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 AhKdQd7d which put him behind van Holsteyn’s AdKsKc2h. However, the board ran out Js9d6cTd7s 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 Jd5h3h 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 AdQcJs5d for two pair while Kessler was behind with QdQh8h2c. The 9s turn changed nothing but the 3d 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

  1. Lukas Zaskodny – €93,677
  2. Allen Kessler – €57,897
  3. Krasimir Yankov – €40,353
  4. Pim van Holsteyn – €28,702
  5. Sergej Barbarez – €20,842
  6. Liran Twito – €15,458
  7. Georgios Koliofotis – €11,715
  8. Willm Engelke – €9,076