Bjorn Verbakel Wins First Bracelet for €59,250 in Event #2: €550 Pot-Limit Omaha
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.