Three players from Lithuania have won World Series of Poker gold bracelets. Vincas Tamasauskas, Gediminas Uselis, and Vladas Burneikis all secured their WSOP hardware in online events. That meant that when Karolis Sereika outlasted a 1,441-player field in the fast-paced 2021 WSOP $1,500 super turbo bounty no-limit hold’em freezout, he became the first player from his home country to take down a bracelet in a live event.
“This is the first live Lithuanian WSOP bracelet, so that means a lot to me and all Lithuanian players, I’m very happy and very excited,” he told PokerNews live reporters after securing the win. “Just so many emotions, I really wanted it with all my heart.”
In addition to the hardware and the $195,310 first-place prize, Sereika also secured 960 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event. This was his first POY-qualified score of the year, but it alone was enough to see him climb within striking distance of the top 200 in the 2021 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker.
This event sported 20-minute blind levels and a fast structure. It kicked off at 11:00 a.m. local time on Tuesday, Oct. 19, and the final hand concluded at around 3:45 a.m. the following morning.
The official final table was set at approximately 1:00 a.m. with the elimination of Rupesh Pattni (10th – $13,628). Sereika secured all but one knockout at the final table. He started by making a wheel with A-5 suited to crack the pocket jacks of Alexander Holmberg (8th – $21,986). His A-K then beat out the top pair of queens of Romuald Pycior (7th – $28,406), with an ace hitting the turn.
Sereika continued to act as the table grim reaper, picking up pocket kigns against the A-J of Alexander Gould and holding to further narrow the field. Gould earned $37,114 as the sixth-place finisher. Soon after that Sereika called the all-in of Steve Buell with pocket nines. Buell produced pocket fours, and was drawing dead after the flop gave Sereika quads. Buell was awarded $49,033 for his fifth-place showing.
A battle of the blinds saw Sereika shove with J10 and receive a call from Pierre Calamusa in the big blind with AK. the board brought four diamonds and Sereika made a flush to take down the pot and eliminate Calamusa in fourth place ($65,494).
Lorenzo Adams’ run in this event came to an end when his A7 was unable to beat out the J9 of Sereika. A nine on the flop gave Sereika a lead that he never relinquished. Adams placed third, earning $88,435.
With that Sereika took more than a 4:1 chip lead into heads-up play with Brazil’s Pedro Padilha. The shorter stack was able to battle his way into the lead, but Sereika won a sizable pot with pocket aces against the flopped middle pair of Padilha to regain control in time for the final hand. Padilha shoved from the button for around 16 big blinds with K8 and Sereika called out of the big blind with A9. The board came down Q1062A, giving Sereika a pair of aces for the win. Padilha was awarded $120,700 as the runner-up finisher.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:
Winner photo credit: WSOP / Melissa Haereiti.