Seasoned Pro Tobias Peters Ends 11-Year WSOP Bracelet Pursuit
Tobias Peters has finally done it. Eleven years after quitting his job and starting a new journey in the poker world, the Dutchman has earned his first WSOP gold bracelet at the 2023 World Series of Poker Europe. In the short-handed variant with six players at each table, Event #7: 1,650 NLH 6-max took until six max, in the morning that is at the King's Resort in Rozvadov. Nearly 17 hours after the cards went in the air for the final day, Peters defeated Barny Boatman in heads-up to claim the elusive hardware, a cash prize of 143,100.
The tournament drew a total of 495 entries, surpassing the attendance of the previous year by almost 20%, and generated a prize pool of 705,375. On top of their cash prizes, the top three finishers also earned a ticket worth 10,350 for the upcoming 2023 WSOP Europe Main Event.
Rafi Elharar recorded his third top-three finish in a WSOP bracelet event and came up short of victory once more, it being his birthday made things even more bittersweet. Elharar lost consecutive all-in showdowns to Peters and went from chip leader to third-place finisher in a matter of two minutes.
You already have two. Give me one, Peters joked to Boatman moments after his victory when both shook hands. By then, it was nearly 6 a.m. local time, and Peters was all smiles after finally crossing this particular item off of his poker bucket list.
Final Table Result Event #7: 1,650 NLH 6-max
|Prize (in EUR)
Seasoned pro Peters came into the series after a rough time at EPT Cyprus as he "fired so many bullets and bricked everything", but the fortune changed very swiftly in Rozvadov. It was the Dutchman's third cash of the series, and follows his fifth place in Event #5: 550 NLH Colossus. The monetary aspect wasn't really that important to him, however, as it was all about the chase for the coveted gold bracelet.
"I didn't care about the 200,000 [in the Colossus]. The sixty thousand was nice, but I wanted the bracelet. The day after, I jumped into the Six-Max, and then I won the bracelet," Peters said, all smiles despite the early morning hours.
He already had a WSOP Circuit ring to his name, but the hardware back then felt like any of his other victories. Even the shiny trophies from Asia hold a special place in his heart, which was made more special by his girlfriend watching the entire final table from up close. Two years ago, he moved back from Asia to his native Netherlands, where his girlfriend created a special trophy cabinet at the new home to reignite the spark while celebrating his already impressive resume. Some cherished pieces even found a place in the bedroom to serve as inspiration right after waking up.
"But for this one [pointing at the gold bracelet], I really didn't care about the money. I only cared about the bracelet because I didn't have it. I already finished in almost every spot on the final table in WSOP tournaments."
It wasn't an easy route to victory as the Dutchman entered the final table last in chips with just five and a half blinds. The short-handed battle to get there was a tedious and nerve-wracking affair.
"In any other tournament, I would put my chips in much earlier because the money jumps were not important to me at that stage. But just because it was a bracelet event, I was so careful with my chips and I really wanted to stay alive as long as possible."
He texted a friend that the only way to win a bracelet would be two quick double-ups on the seven-handed final table because he was far from confident in going all the way as last in chips on the leaderboard. Those two double-ups came, and he even made up after losing all-in showdowns thereafter against Boatman. He fell back to six big blinds and "even folded deuces on the button" because he knew he was getting called and didn't want to take a chance with 50%.
"I think I made the whole final table. They let me do so many things, and every time I ground up the chips, I lost two times random all-ins against Barny," Peters clarified in the winner interview. The setbacks didn't have any emotional influence on his play as he is used to grinding long hours during live poker stops.
Action of the Final Day
The final day saw 120 players return to their seats, and 75 of them reached the money stages. Some of the notables who had to leave empty-handed were Adi Rajkovic, Antoine Vranken, Pascal Pflock, Ori Hasson, David Hu, and 2023 WSOPE bracelet winner Lukas Pazma. It was then Bogdan Munteanu who became the bubble boy after he came up second-best in two clashes with Andrea Dato.
It didn't take long after to rapidly reduce the field with Miroslav Forman leading the way in the early and mid stages. Fabio Peluso was denied a shot at a second bracelet, and 2022 WSOP Main Event finalist Aaron Duczak saw his deep run cut short as well.
Day 1 chip leader Besmir Hodaj couldn't crack the pocket kings of Florian Kraft before the rise of Adem Marjanovic started with a double through Forman. The latter then cracked the jacks of Sergiu Covrig with nines only to end up second-best to Marjanovic once more in a large pot, which set up the final three tables. Julien Sitbon was not taking his seat for that anymore, as he lost a flip to Marjanovic in the last hand before the redraw.
The hot streak of the Austrian continued when he dispatched Dennis Wilke in a flip, turning a set of eights against ace-jack suited. Rafi Elharar was surviving as one of the shorter stacks, but he knocked out Kraft and never looked back and surged to the chip lead ahead of the unofficial final table.
Once the final seven players combined to a single table, all three shorter stacks earned double-ups, promising a long night ahead. Peters doubled three times in total to join the big stacks before Artsiom Panasiuk got it in with nines against the queen-nine of the Dutchman. A queen on the flop reduced the field to the final six, with Peters suddenly second in chips.
Boatman was left short but doubled back into contention, and the same applied to Ufano, who put a dent into Marjanovic's stack. Minutes later, Marjanovic headed to the payout desk after his chips moved one seat over to Elharar. Koloszar escaped elimination once, but Elharar turned Broadway for a second time to bring the field down to the final four.
Short stack ninja Ufano then failed to get there with king-jack against the pocket jacks of Elharar, and the WSOPE Main Event ticket bubble burst. What followed was a roller coaster of double-ups in which Peters came out on top in the early morning hours after a gruesome and fierce battle, while Elharar went from chip leader to third-place finisher in two consecutive hands.
Peters made short work of Boatman, who was denied a double-up with aces after a flush run out on the board. Peters sealed the win moments later after his ace-nine remained best against Boatman's queen-ten.
In this Series
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