On Sunday, Georgios Sotiropoulos won Greece's third bracelet at the 2015 World Series of Poker Europe in Berlin, Germany. A monumental feat, considering the country had exactly none coming into the 10-event series.
Sotiropoulos, who had five cashes at the 2015 WSOP, including a final table appearance in Event #8: $1,500 Pot Limit Hold'em, won the 2015 WSOPE's Event #8: €1,100 Turbo No-Limit Hold’em to collect €112,133, following up on fellow Greeks Pavlos Xanthopoulos' and Makarios Avramidis' earlier bracelet wins.
"It feels great," Sotiropoulos said."It feels amazing. Winning a bracelet has always been one of my dreams, probably my number one dream in poker."
While the country had not won a WSOP bracelet prior to the 2015 WSOPE, Sotiropoulos said he expects there will be even more to come.
"The Greeks are good players and that's it," he said. "We play good poker."
The tournament's second and final day began with 46 of 546 entries remaining, but was quickly whittled down to a final table due to its turbo structure.
World Poker Tour Season XIII World Championship winner Asher Conniff was the first player out at the final table, getting it in with the against two-time 2015 WSOP bracelet winner Brian Hastings' nines. He turned an open-ender, but bricked out on the river.
GPI Player of the Year leader Byron Kaverman then shoved and was picked off by Paul Tedeschi with nines. Kaverman flopped a gutshot, but never got there, finishing eighth.
2015 WSOP bracelet winner Benjamin Zamani then doubled through Hastings with queens versus ace-jack to leave Hastings short. Hastings tripled up the very next hand, but was all in again with the against Rafal Tomczak's immediately after and failed to connect, busting seventh while picking up enough 2015 WSOP GPI Player of the Year points to make it a neck-and-neck race with Mike Gorodinsky going into the WSOPE Main Event.
2010 WSOP Main Event runner-up John Racener then busted sixth when his weak ace was outflopped by Tedeschi. At this point, Andre Lommel doubled not once, but twice to stave off elimination and Sotiropoulos doubled through Tedeschi with the versus to take the lead, leaving Tedeschi in push-or-fold mode.
Eventually he doubled with the versus Zamani's and it was the latter's turn on life support.
Zamani doubled back through Tedeschi before Tomczak busted fifth, getting it in with the versus Sotiropoulos' and missing.
With Tedeschi firmly in the lead and the rest of the stacks relatively shallow, it was push or fold all around until Zamani and Lommel busted in the same hand against Sotiropoulos, getting it in with a small pair and a gutshot respectively as the Greek turned a flush draw into a pair of queens on the river to win.
The heads-up match between Tedeschi and Sotiropoulos began just about even, but it wasn't long before Sotiropoulos inched ahead and eventually got it in with the versus the Frenchman's , sealing the win with a roll out.
Sotiropoulos said the competition was tough, but it was just simply his day.
"I got some key hands I won some key all ins and that worked out for me," he said. "It was really tough. Brian Hastings, John Racener and Byron Kaverman are really good players and the rest were playing really good, but I won. I think I played OK. I don't know what to say."
Here's how the final table finished up:
|4||Benjamin Zamani||United States||€37,636|
|6||John Racener||United States||€21,600|
|7||Brian Hastings||United States||€16,703|
|8||Byron Kaverman||United States||€13,094|
|9||Asher Conniff||United States||€10,402|
As the 2015 WSOP Europe rolls on, be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for continued coverage.