Germany's Maximilian Silz won the €125,000 guaranteed Pokercode Festival Bratislava €550 Main Event for €23,169 after agreeing to a heads-up deal with his friend Tim Van Loo and then coming from behind to win the festival's inaugural Main Event trophy.
Silz more than doubled his live tournament earnings with the win but this does not mean he wasn't a very experienced player.
"I’m usually not playing live, I am playing mostly cash games online," Silz shared with PokerNews. "I have played some tournaments in Germany but this is my biggest cash by far. It was great to get heads-up against my friend Tim (Van Loo) and to ship the event. It was an amazing finish to a special festival and it was a great trip.”
2021 Pokercode Bratislava Main Event Final Table Results
|2||Tim Van Loo||Germany||€19,395*|
|6||Isuf Hoxha||Czech Republic||€6,010|
*Reflects heads-up deal.
Silz didn't necessarily come out to Banco Casino Bratislava to play poker. For him, it was more about having a great experience after he was invited to come by some of the Pokercode crew.
“I am friends with Steffen Sontheimer, Fedor Holz, and Rainer Kempe," Silz explained. "They asked me to join and I just wanted to come out and have a fun weekend. Poker wasn’t a priority for this trip but the cash games were great."
Nearly every poker player PokerNews chatted with during the festival had a common message about how friendly the atmosphere was. Pokercode made the festival as fun as possible for the Pokercode community and others visiting with not only an amazing tournament schedule but also many side activities including a pub quiz, a party, and a football competition. Silz shared this sentiment as well.
"The festival was great because the focus wasn’t on the poker side of things but the community and the hanging out," Silz said. "I think more festivals should have this focus to give players a fun poker holiday and a break from the grind."
Final Table Action
The Pokercode Festival Bratislava Main Event attracted 253 entries. The final table of nine players began on Sunday after Pokercode cash game coach Steffen Sontheimer hit the rail in 10th place.
Alexander Baier began the final table with the chip lead. Baier had an interesting path to even come to the event. First, Baier won a three-month subscription at Pokercode during Sontheimer's cash promo. As if this wasn't enough, Baier won a package for Bratislava through an MTT promo hosted in the Pokercode community Slack channel hosted by Pokercode tournament coach Simon Rønnow.
The chip lead bounced around early on between Baier, Van Loo, and Leonard Hermann during which time Isuf Hoxha, Filip Jurga, Konstantin Hammermueller, and Vladimir Bednar all hit the rail.
Silz got his first taste of the lead during five-handed action. Van Loo was back with the chip lead during three-handed play after both Fabian Bernhauser and Hermann hit the rail.
Baier continued to hang on but eventually, time ran out for the German student after he got it in with top pair holding jack-eight only to have kicker issues against Van Loo with queen-jack.
While Baier didn't win, the third-place prize of €11,950 certainly will make life easier for him as he is a self-described broke student. He was even worried about how to pay for his parking ticket in Bratislava.
Van Loo entered heads-up play with a nearly 3:1 chip advantage against Silz. Almost immediately after heads-up action began, Silz was able to get two big bluffs through successfully to even up the stacks with his friend Van Loo.
The duo asked the tournament director to pause the clock as they discussed a deal. They eventually agreed to a deal awarding €19,395 for Van Loo and €18,913 for Silz with €4,256 and the trophy left to play for.
Silz held a 2:1 chip advantage against Van Loo when the final hand took place.
Tim Van Loo limped from the small blind and Maximilian Silz checked back from the big blind.
Both players checked the flop before pandemonium broke loose on the turn. Silz check-raised from 200,000 to 1,000,000. Van Loo jammed for 4,000,000 and Silz called.
Tim Van Loo:
Van Loo had the better flush draw but Silz paired up his deuce. The river completed the board and Maximilian Silz won the inaugural Pokercode Festival Main Event.
This brings an end to the PokerNews coverage of the Pokercode Festival Bratislava Main Event. Be sure to come back to PokerNews as we follow the biggest poker action around the world.