Orpen Kisacikoglu

Two more events ended in Rozvadov as British-based Turkish player Orpen Kisacikoglu and German professional Thomer Pidun both won a WSOP gold bracelet for the first time. With seven players making it to the final table of each event, two more first-time winners celebrated victory in King’s Casino, the largest cardroom outside Las Vegas, Nevada.


Turkish Kisacikoglu Crowned in King’s


An exciting end to the €50,000-entry Diamond High Roller WSOP Europe Event #11 saw Orpen Kisacikoglu crowned the champion as he beat Sam Grafton heads-up to the first gold bracelet of his career. With seven kicking off the final table, the Canadian player Daniel Dvoress was the first player to bust as he fell at the hands of the eventual winner. Dvoress called off his stack with Ah5c only to learn he was well behind Kisacikoglu’s Ad6c. The Canadian had hopes of at least a chop, but the board of Js8c3c7s2c had other ideas and he busted in seventh place for €92,787.


It was the German player Daniel-Gai Pidun who left next as he failed to emulate his brother’s triumph in Event #10 (more on that later). Calling a raise pre-flop with JdTd, the flop of KdJhJs looked a great one for Pidun, but Timothy Adams held the even better QcJc. After the 2s turn and 4s river, Pidun was on the rail with €119,492.


Adams may have come into the final day as the chip leader and started strongly with an elimination, but his own demise was next, busting in fifth as he did for €159,413. After an extended period of play, Kisacikoglu’s shove with Kd8c was taken up on by Adams with the small pocket pair, but his 5d5c couldn’t survive the AhTh6dAd]Kh board and he fell by the wayside.


Deeb Goes Close but Falls Late


With four players remaining, Nick Petrangelo became the first of two U.S. players to miss out on the heads-up. All-in with Ad7c, he was up against Shaun Deeb’s 7d5d as one short-stacked American hoped to double through the other with the dominating hand. That didn’t transpire, however, as the flop of 5h4h3s put Deeb in front and the 8c turn and 8h river confirmed Petrangelo’s exit from the event.


Despite winning that hand, Deeb was still short, and though he survived a little longer following that elimination of his compatriot, it was a stay of execution. Deeb’s call for his tournament life with JsJc was incorrect after Kisacikoglu’s four-bet shove with KdKc. With a board of As4c2s7d9d condemning Deeb to his second final table exit in WSOPE high rollers this year, this time for €313,919, the stage was set for a heads-up battle for the bracelet between two men who had never won one before.


Kisacikoglu had the chip lead with 35,400,000 chips, with Britain’s Sam Grafton some way on 9,725,000. Grafton had rallied a little to 11 million chips by the time the final hand played out, but faced a domination situation when his opponent Kisacikoglu shoved with KhQd and Grafton called with KdJh. The flop of Jd8d7h flipped the script, putting Grafton into the lead, but the 9h turn was followed by a Td on the river to give Kisacikoglu a runner-runner straight and the title. Grafton had been denied that crucial double-up and left in second place for €462,363, but for Kisacikoglu it was a first-ever WSOP bracelet and he treasured the moment with friends on the rail.


WSOP Europe 2022 Event #11 €50,000 Diamond High Roller Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Orpen Kisacikoglu Turkey €748,106
2nd Sam Grafton United Kingdom €462,363
3rd Shaun Deeb U.S.A. €313,919
4th Nick Petrangelo U.S.A. €220,045
5th Timothy Adams Canada €159,413
6th Daniel-Gai Pidun Germany €119,492
7th Daniel Dvoress Canada €92,787



Chainsaw Runs Out of Gas in Event #10


Allen ‘Chainsaw’ Kessler is famous across the world for his unique personality, but although it is fair to call him a World Series legend, he has never won a WSOP gold bracelet. With seven players making the final table, ‘Chainsaw’ crashed out for €6,612 when his QcQd was crushed by the even stronger KsKd of French player Julien Sitbon both pre-flop and post-flop.


Next to go was Nacho Barbero, who busted in sixth place for €8,516. Barbero was also a victim of Sitbon in a hand of Razz where he could never catch up on the high-flying French player. The event needed someone else to break from cover and push for victory and in Oleksii Kovalchuk, it found it, the Ukrainian opening the tournament up when his TcTs were too good for Italian Dario Alioto’s Ac2d in Limit Hold’em as no ace came to save the short-stacked player, who cashed for €11,266 in fifth place.


Despite those two early eliminations, Sitbon was unable to use them as a springboard for very long. All-in with Kh7d in No Limit Hold’em against Thomer Pidun’s Kc4c, the board of Tc4h2s8d4d decimated Sitbons stack and raised Pidun’s chances of an outright win. Sitbon, slain, went home with €15,299 but no gold.


Three-handed, Kovalchuk (2.8 million) had the lead with both Pidun (1.3m) and Philipp Krieger (900k) trailing him by some way. The gap between the eventual top two and Krieger widened considerably before the German got his final chips into the middle in Raz, losing to Pidun, who sneaked into a marginal lead as Krieger cashed for €21,311.


The final duel saw both men take the lead on separate occasions, but eventually, Pidun led ahead of one final hand of Limit Hold’em. Kovalchuk was all-in on a flop of Kd7c5c with 9s9c, some way ahead of Pidun with Jc6c, but had a flush draw and three jacks to aim for and seal a bracelet win he had dreamed of for many years. A 6h on the turn was not what he needed but the Ac on the river definitely was and with that, his flush saw him win the €49,245 top prize and his maiden gold WSOP bracelet, leaving Kovalchuk to collect €30,430.


Speaking afterwards to WSOP.com, Pidun said that since playing the same event some years ago, repeating the process helped.


“The more experience you gain the calmer you are,” he said. “I [came] in today with low expectations and I’m delighted with the victory. First I will go to the spa to relax to aid my stomach, then maybe a little drink later!”


After feeling some tension during the final table, there’s no doubt that all those butterflies have gone away now for German Thomer Pidun, 2022 WSOP Europe bracelet winner.


WSOP Europe 2022 Event #10 €2,000 8-Game Mix Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Thomer Pidun Germany €49,245
2nd Oleksii Kovalchuk Ukraine €30,430
3rd Philipp Krieger Germany €21,311
4th Julien Sitbon France €15,299
5th Dario Alioto Italy €11,266
6th Nacho Barbero Argentina €8,516
7th Allen Kessler U.S.A. €6,612