WSOP Europe: Mike Watson Looks For WSOP Gold As Steve “MrSmokey1” Billirakis Wins Second WSOP Bracelet

Mike “SirWatts” Watson

Although Sam Chartier came up short yesterday in his hunt for a World Series of Poker bracelet yesterday at the WSOP Europe, Mike “SirWatts” Watson is attempting to earn his own jewelry during today’s play in Cannes, France.

Chartier was a part of the final table in the €5000 Pot Limit Omaha event on Wednesday, but was eliminated in the early going in eighth place. After a break for dinner, the United States’ Steve “MrSmokey1” Billirakis dominated play as he stormed to the championship.

Billirakis started his trek to the championship by ending the night for Jerome Bradpiece. With a gut shot straight and flush draw, Billirakis called the all-in of Bradpiece, who caught two pair on the flop with a gut shot straight redraw. Although an Ace on the turn kept Bradpiece in the lead, the Ace on the river completed Billirakis’ flush, eliminating Jerome Bradpiece in fifth place.

After winning the hand, Billirakis was only 20K behind Jelassi for the chip lead and he continued to mount the offensive. He was the first player to surpass the million chip mark as the rest of the table tried to keep pace with him. After Di Lauro dispatched of Trickett in fourth and Billirakis took out Jelassi in third to get to heads up play, it only took two more hands for the tournament to conclude.

Billirakis took a million chip pot from Di Lauro to move to over a 4:1 lead over the Italian, then ended it the next hand. After a raise from Di Lauro, Billirakis three bet the hand to 130,000 and Di Lauro called. On the A-K-7 flop, Billirakis put out a smallish 70K bet and Di Lauro made his stand by moving all in. After Billirakis called and showed A-K-Q-3 (flopped two pair), Di Lauro was left looking for his redraw to hit with A-J-10-4 (gut shot straight). Once the turn and river didn’t bring the saving Queen for Di Lauro, the tournament was over and Steve Billirakis had captured the title.

1. Steve Bilirakis (United States) €238,140

2. Michele Di Lauro (Italy) €147,171

3. Ramzi Jelassi (Sweden) €105,937

4. Sam Trickett (United Kingdom) €77,642

5. Jerome Brad piece (United Kingdom) €57,912

6. Konstantin Uspenskiy (Russia) €43,950

7. Erich Kollmann (Austria) €33,922

8. Sam Chartier (Canada) €26,610

9. Eoghan O’Dea (Ireland) €21,221

The victory by Billirakis etches his name into the annals of WSOP history. He won his first WSOP bracelet back in 2007 in the $5000 Mixed Hold’em event and was, at the time, the youngest player to ever win a bracelet (broken by Annette Obrestad at the inaugural WSOP Europe). The second bracelet win might be sweeter as Billirakis stated following the tournament, “I really did not know what I was doing at the time, compared to now. I did not have much fear back then. Now, my game is definitely much better than it was.”

Play on Thursday kicked off with all eyes on the stacked final table that is the €3000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout event. The U. K.’s Max Silver started the day holding a slim lead over Canada’s Michael “SirWatts” Watson and the rest of the field includes such names as James “Flushy” Dempsey, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Richard Toth, EPT London runner-up Steve O’Dwyer and Emil Patel.

Michael has made the most of his chip stack in the early going, moving into the lead after three hours of play. After the elimination of John Armbrust, Dempsey, Taylor Paur and Patel in tenth through seventh places respectively, Michael cut a huge chunk of chips out of Grospellier’s stack. At this moment, the leaderboard looks like this:

1. Michael Watson, 650K

2. Max Silver, 430K

3. Richard Toth, 350K

4. Tristan Wade, 250K

5. Steve O’Dwyer, 200K

6. Bertrand Grospellier, 200K

The winner of this tournament will take down the WSOP bracelet and a nice payday of €182,048.

Other events going on today include Day Two action in the €10,000 Split Format No Limit Hold’em tournament (or the “Mixed-Max,” as the players have come to call it), where Shawn Buchanan and Jonathan Duhamel are the only Canadians left. Day One play in the €1500 Six Handed Pot Limit Omaha tournament (plenty of action for the adrenaline junkies!) has also begun, although the final field size has yet to be determined.


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