Max Neugebauer, an Austrian former professional basketball player, took home a big win at the World Series of Poker Europe. At just 26 years old, he outplayed a record-breaking field of 817 entries in the €10,350 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event, winning his first WSOP gold bracelet and a whopping $1,590,000. This year’s event marked a significant uptick from last year’s 763 entries, with the prize pool soaring to €7,761,500 ($8,300,148), far exceeding the €5,000,000 guarantee.
Neugebauer’s win was sealed in a nail-biting final hand against his heads-up opponent, Eric Tsai. Maintaining his composure and trusting on his gut instincts, Neugebauer made a heroic call with a third pair against Tsai’s aggressive multi-barrel bluff, culminating in a river shove. His correct call secured him the tournament win, vastly outdoing his previous best live tournament score of $27,000.
The tournament unfolded over two starting flights and four additional days of intense competition. Notable poker elites in the field included two-time bracelet winners Daniel Dvoress and Manig Loeser, recent bracelet winner Tobias Peters, and last year’s champion Omar Eljach. The final day began with eight players, with Neugebauer initially in third place in chip count.
The day saw several intense moments, including Michael Rocco’s aces holding up against Nils Pudel and Rocco’s subsequent elimination. Neugebauer’s ascent to the lead during the four-handed play was a pivotal moment. He further solidified his position by eliminating Kasparas Klezys and Michele Tocci, leading to the final heads-up play against Tsai.
Tsai put up a strong fight, narrowing the gap between him and Neugebauer, but the final hand’s drama unfolded with Neugebauer’s J8 facing Tsai’s J9. Neugebauer’s successful call on Tsai’s all-in bluff sealed his victory. Tsai, a renowned poker vlogger from Taiwan, finished as the runner-up, adding $944,460 to his career earnings.
This victory is not just a big win for Neugebauer but also a win for the World Series of Poker Europe considering its massive turn up at the event.
Final Table Results
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