It may have taken an extra day, but it was well worth the wait for Antoine Vranken who captured his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet in Event #6: €1,650 PLO/NLH Mixed. Vranken will also take home the first-place prize of €113,000 after overcoming 339 total entries en route to his victory.
Vranken entered the final day as one of the short stacks but he remained patient throughout the day and managed to move his way up the leaderboard.
“I just waited for good cards today. I think I only bluffed once or twice,” Vranken said after his victory. “Last night I was looking up my opponents and they were all pretty good so I just had to stay patient.”
Vranken also entered the heads-up battle with Moncef Karoui with a chip deficit but managed to find an early double-up to take the lead. Just moments later, the players got all of their chips in the middle again while playing pot-limit Omaha.
Vranken held pocket kings with one suit while Karoui had pocket aces with no suits. However, Vranken used his other two cards to flop a full house and Karoui was unable to spike an ace on the turn or river. The Dutch rail cheered as Vranken let out a sigh of relief but a big smile showed just how much this victory meant to him.
“I can’t believe it. It’s real now,” Vranken said enthusiastically as his eyes could barely leave the WSOP bracelet sitting in front of him.
Final Table Payouts
|1st||Antoine Vranken||Netherlands||€ 113,000|
|2nd||Moncef Karoui||Tunisia||€ 69,831|
|3rd||Carter Newhof||United States||€ 47,286|
|4th||Claudio Di Giacomo||Italy||€ 32,787|
|5th||Stanislav Koleno||Slovakia||€ 23,296|
|6th||Mikkel Plum||Denmark||€ 16,971|
|7th||Manuel Fritz||Austria||€ 12,685|
|8th||Fahredin Mustafov||Bulgaria||€ 9,734|
|9th||Julien Sitbon||France||€ 7,675|
It was a mixed event that Vranken didn’t have a lot of experience in as he mostly plays the no-limit hold’em variant, but he did get some practice recently. “I just started playing Omaha tournaments last week,” Vranken laughed. “I played some cash games before but I prefer playing tournaments and I’ve done well.”
Final Day Action
There were 10 players who returned to the felt for an unscheduled Day 3 of this tournament. It took a while for the action to get rolling but Danny Covyn became the first casualty to bring the field down to an official final table of nine. Julien Sitbon, Fahredin Mustafov, and Manuel Fritz all fell short of running up their short stacks as they exited the tournament in order.
Mikkel Plum entered the day as the shortest stack of them all, and at one point had less than three big blinds on Day 2, but managed to spin up a stack and even take the chip lead. However, a couple of tough coolers did not go his way and he eventually hit the rail in sixth place. Stanislav Koleno and Claudio Di Giacomo were grinding the short stack for quite some time but eventually, the blinds caught up with them. Koleno fell on the river to Carter Newhof and Di Giacomo got an unlucky river against Karoui.
That left the final three players to battle for the bracelet and they all took their swings. Newhof took down the first big pot to take the lead but he then doubled up Vranken which left him as the short stack. He then got in a coin flip against Karoui but came out on the losing side which eliminated the American in third place.
Vranken and Karoui took a few heads-up photos which actually took longer than their heads-up match. Vranken won both of the big pots the two players decided to play and he ended the match in a timely fashion.