Max Kruse
German soccer star Max Kruse won his first-ever WSOP bracelet in Rozvadov as the Wolfsburg forward won gold in Rozvadov.

The latest three World Series of Poker Europe bracelet events crowned winners from three different countries as German international soccer star Max Kruse, Malaysian businessman and super high roller regular Paul Phua were joined by Swiss mixed game star Emil Bise in the winner’s circle.


Kruse Scores First Bracelet Victory


German soccer star Max Kruse proved that his skills extend far beyond the boundaries of some of the world’s biggest soccer stadiums. Those skills very much translate around the world on the poker felt too, as he proved in winning Event #7, the €1,650 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Six-Max event.


Making King’s Casino his own, the 34-year-old Wolfsburg forward got the better of a talented and experienced final table, proving that once he hangs up his football boots, he is sure to be a force at the felt. Starting with six players, the final table kicked off with an elimination just before the final day, as Jose Ignacio Barbero left in sixth place for €20,236. Barbero was all-in with Kd4d on a board of Ad7s4h2dJh with just fourth pair. Dorian Melchers had flopped top pair with AhQs and built his stack to 6.1 million.


Next to go, and the first to lose their stack on the final day, was the second German player at the final table, Orhan Sen. Cashing for €27,482, Sen’s Ah7c was no good when committed against the Frenchman Melchers’ As8c, the board of 9s4c3h6c9c providing no help to the German player as Melchers started where he left off, busting one of his opponents.


Kruse Control


The next player who lost his seat was the Israeli player Leonid Yanovski, who departed in fourth place for €38,010. Yanovski’s stack was committed with As8c, but when Max Kruse’s Ad3s hit on the Qs4s3c flop, the German moved ahead. After the 4h turn and 9s river, Kruse was the new chip leader at the perfect time, and Yanovski was on the rail.


Three-handed, a huge all-in and call saw Colombian player Farid Jattin eliminated after his shove with Ks9s ran into Melchers’ Ac8s, with the board of AhAd6hQh4s sending the South American player home in third place for €63,874, giving Melchers a 2:1 chip lead.


Heads-up saw Kruse turn the tables on his opponent as he ground his way into a lead before the final decisive hand saw almost all of the chips at risk in a coinflip. Melchers shoved for a massive stack of over 7 million with AdQh and Kruse made the call with 2h2s. The flop of Th6c5s kept Kruse ahead, but the Qs turn changed all that, putting Melchers one card away from having 90% of the chips in play. The river, however, stunned everyone in the room, as the 2d landed to leave Kruse cheering his first-ever WSOP bracelet victory. If he continues to play after his soccer career, it’s sure not to be his last.


2022 WSOP Europe €1,650 Event #7 Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Max Kruse Germany €134,152
2nd Dorian Melchers France €87,059
3rd Farid Jattin Colombia €63,874
4th Leonid Yanovski Israel €38,010
5th Orhan Sen Germany €27,482
6th Nacho Barbero Argentina €20,236


The World Champion is the First to Leave


There were 67 total entries in the €25,000 Platinum High Roller Event #8, and with nine players reaching the final table of the event, it was the reigning 2022 WSOP Main Event world champion Espen Jørstad who left the party first for €45,242. The Norwegian professional, who won two WSOP bracelets in the summer in Vegas, was all-in with KdKh but started the hand well behind Ben Heath’s AdAc. The board of Td9h3s6h2d saw Heath build a big stack of 15 million chips at Jørstad’s expense.


Eelis Parssinen was the man who busted in eighth place, cashing for €53,129. The Finnish pro was at risk for his tournament life, committing his stack with As5d and up against Phua’s KdTc. The flop of Kc7d2s put Phua in the lead, and through the 8h turn and 4d river, Parssinen was sent to the rail.


Hong Kong’s Wayne Heung busted in seventh place for €64,835 when he ran into a monster in the form of Shaun Deeb. It was the five-time WSOP winner Deeb who shoved pre-flop with AcQh, and Heung’s call with Kc8d saw him needing help from the board to survive. He got none of that on the Ah9h9s flop, and after the 9d turn and 5d river dropped, so too did Heung.


With six left, the variance levels were through the roof. Stacks were shallow and a double-up into the chip lead for Daniel Negreanu with pocket queens led to the beaten Ben Heath’s demise shortly after. Heath’s AhQh started the hand ahead of Phua’s As9h, but a board of 7h6c2d9sKs quite literally turned Phua’s hand into the winner and Heath claimed €82,104 as he exited.


Kid Poker Crushed by Yet Another Bad Beat


Five players remained, and after French player Julien Martini lost out in fifth for €107,752, that was four, including WSOP Player of the Year rivals of old, Daniel Negreanu and Shaun Deeb. It was Negreanu who busted next for €146,370, but in extremely unfortunate circumstances as his perceived run of bad luck at final tables persisted. All-in with 5h5d, he was in great shape when Phua called with 4s4c. But the flop of Jh4h2c set him behind and the 2h and As turn and river sent him home, wishing everyone “GG”.


Deeb lasted only a short time longer. All-in with As3s, he was behind Phua’s 7s7d pre-flop and even more so post-flop as the dealer spread 7h6s5h. The Qc turn didn’t help Deeb and the American was out after the 2s fell on the river, claiming €205,566 in third.


Heads-up, Phua had an almost 4:1 chip lead and made use of it very soon afterwards, despite an initial flurry of pots for Gab Yong Kim. Phua was all-in with the superior Ac3h against Kim’s Kc9c and after the board of 8c7c7d5dAh rivered him a pair of aces, held aloft the bracelet he’d coveted so badly.


Watch the WSOP Europe 2022 Event #8 final table play out in all its glory right here:



2022 WSOP Europe €25,000 High Roller Event #8 Final Table Results:

Place Winner Country Prize
1st Paul Phua Malaysia €482,433
2nd Gab Yong Kim South Korea €298,163
3rd Shaun Deeb U.S.A. €205,566
4th Daniel Negreanu Canada €146,370
5th Julien Martini France €107,752
6th Ben Heath United Kingdom €82,104
7th Wayne Heung Hong Kong €64,835
8th Eelis Parssinen Finland €53,129
9th Espen Jorstad Norway €45,242


Bise Beats Ramos and Company to Gold in Event #9


In an entertaining Event #9, the €2,200 Short Deck event saw Brazilian Felipe Ramos come close to breaking his bracelet duck in third place. In the end, the Swiss player Emil Bise sealed a maiden bracelet win in Rozvadov.


Just seven players reached the final table of an event with 91 players and a top prize of €49,521, and the first of them to leave was Israel’s Tom Orpaz for €6,570. Orpaz was all-in with As7h but fell to Simeon Tsonev’s KcKh who turned the nut straight and held with ease to reduce the field to a half-dozen hopefuls.


At that stage, each of the five other players were chasing a massive chip leader in the form of home-grown Czech player Jakub Koleckar, who had roughly three times anyone else’s stack, but things were about to change. Tsonev’s own exit in sixth for €8,498 came after his AsKd lost to the eventual winner Emil Bise’s QhJh, a straight cutting the field to five and boosting Bise’s stack to that of second in chips.


An immediate elimination by Koleckar kept up the pacesetter’s speed, Italian Giuliano Bendinelli crashing out for €11,278, before the Event #2 winner Helmut Phung was taken out in fourth by the chip leader too, Phung’s KdQd unable to overcome Koleckar’s KhKc for a score of €15,351.


Brazilian poker pro and GGPoker ambassador Felipe Ramos is one of the truest examples of a player who is good for the game of poker around the world. His quest to break his bracelet duck, having also come second in recent years too, ended in third place when Koleckar took him out too. Ramos’ QdJd saw him shove on the turn of a board showing KcJhTd8c, but he was called by the Czech player who held AcQs and the inconsequential 8s on the river sent Ramos home with €21,416, two places short of the gold.


After the drama of Anson Tsang’s third bracelet win coming in Event #4, both players vying for the title in Event #9 were going for their first-ever WSOP bracelet and it was Bise who got to the promised land. He came from 3:1 down in chips to do it, too, after grabbing the lead back in a hand that didn’t go to showdown.


One hand from victory, Bise pressed his edge of the bigger chip stack impressively and won with AhTh against Kolckar’s QdQs with all the chips going into the middle pre-flop. The board of JsJh6cAs6d broke the partisan rail’s collective heart on the turn as Bise scooped a top pair that would seal the deal one card later for his maiden bracelet in dramatic fashion.


2022 WSOP Europe €2,200 Event #9 Short Deck Final Table Results:

Place Winner Country Prize
1st Emil Bise Switzerland €49,521
2nd Jakub Koleckar Czech Republic €30,602
3rd Felipe Ramos Brazil €21,416
4th Helmut Phung Germany €15,351
5th Giuliano Bendinelli Italy €11,278
6th Simeon Tsonev Bulgaria €8,498
7th Tom Orpaz Israel €6,570