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The 2015 World Series of Poker Europe is underway and two bracelets have already been awarded. Makarios Avramidis took down the opening event while Dietrich Fast won the €550 Oktoberfest Event, the largest in WSOP-E history.

Meanwhile, Max Pescatori and Ismael Bojang are both looking to move up the leader board in the chase for WSOP Player of the Year. Both have made the final of the Eight-Handed PLO Event but are facing a stiff cast of characters.

Makarios Avramidis Wins Event #1

The opening event of the WSOP Europe was the €2,200 Six-Handed NL Hold’em Event. A field of 197 players took to the felt to stake their claim to the final six-max bracelet of 2015.

Several big names made deep runs in this event. Alex Rocha, Scott Clements, David Yan and Oliver Price all made the money in this event. Max Pescatori made a deep run in this event but fell two spots shy of the final table. His eighth place finish not only earned him €12,120 but also helped propel him to 10th in the chase for 2015 WSOP Player of the Year.

Australia Poker Hall of Famer and six-time WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro just missed the final table, finishing 7th in this event. This was his third WSOP cash of 2015 and his first final table since winning the A$1,650 PLO at the 2014 WSOP APAC.

Paul Michaelis went into the final table as chip leader, headlining a stacked final. He won a bracelet during the summer and was looking to become the latest two-bracelet winner in 2015. Joining him at the final was Ricardo Alvarado, Marvin Rettenmair and Stephen Chidwick.

Chidwick was 8th in the WSOP POY standings heading into the WSOP-E and made up ground with his deep run in this event. He ultimately finished 4th, earning 222.89 POY points and moving up to 6th overall with 1764.68 points. Mike Gorodinsky still leads with 2,157.19 points.

Paul Michaelis was a dominating chip leader with three players left but in two big hands went from first to eliminated. Both times Michaelis was all-in with pocket tens and both times, he lost to pocket jacks. The first hand doubled Makarios Avramidi and the remainder of his chips went to Frederick Schwarzer.

Schwarzer began heads-up with a 2:1 chip lead over Avramidis but that lead would not hold. Over the next hour, Avramidis went from a 2:1 underdog to a 4:1 chip leader. Finally, Schwarzer put the last of his chips in with Kd-9h against the Ah-6c of Avramidis. An ace on the flop would be enough to give Avramidis the hand and the first bracelet of the 2015 WSOP Europe.

Event 1 Winner Photo

Courtesy of

This was the German’s first live poker victory and easily the largest score of his career. In addition to the bracelet, he won €105,000 in prize money.

Dietrich Fast Wins Record Setting Oktoberfest Event – John Gale Finishes Second

The second event of the 2015 WSOP-E was the €550 Oktoberfest Event. This event was expected to shatter records for attendance and it did not disappoint. With two starting days and two flights each day, 2,144 players entered this event over the weekend. This shattered the record for attendance. The previous mark was 771, set during the €1,090 NL Event during the 2011 WSOP-E.

Phil Hellmuth made a run for his 15th career bracelet during this event but fell just short, finishing in 61st. Other big names making the money in this event included David “ODB” Baker, Shaun Deeb, Shannon Shorr, Noah Bronstein and Alex Rocha.

A pair of bracelet winners headlined the final table in this one. Adrian Apmann and John Gale came to this final looking to increase their bracelet count. Gale won a bracelet earlier this summer and was the fan favorite heading into this final.

Gale would get a shot at his third bracelet as he made it to heads-up play against Dietrich Fast. Fast started with a better than 2:1 chip lead at the start of heads-up but Gale mounted a charge to come back and take nearly a 3:1 lead. Unfortunately, he could not hold that lead and Fast mounted his own comeback and retook the lead.

Finally, Gale made a pre-flop shove with Kc-6c and Fast made the easy call with As-Jc. The board ran out Jh-7h-3h-Jd-Qs to give Fast trip jacks and his first career bracelet. Gale’s runner-up finish earned him €97,804.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

During the summer, Fast finished 39th in the Lucky 7’s event at the 2015 WSOP and had a runner-up finish in a Daily Deepstack event. He’s now taken the next step with his first career bracelet. In addition to the bracelet, he earned €177,721, the largest score of his poker career.

Bojang, Leah and Pescatori Headline Eight-Handed PLO Final Table

Event #3 is the €3,250 Eight-Handed PLO Event. A field of 161 players turned out for this tournament on Sunday and after day two, the final table was reached. This final has several big names looking to take the bracelet, including a pair of players in contention for Player of the Year.

Ismael Bojang and Max Pescatori both made the final of this event. As mentioned earlier, he just moved up to 10th place in the POY rankings after his run in the Six-Max Event. Bojang is presently 7th with 1563.32 points. A win in this event would put him in striking distance of Gorodinsky. Pescatori starts the final table as the short stack and Bojang starts as the third shortest stack.

They will have some stiff competition at this final table. Mikkel Plum heads into the final table as chip leader with 482,000. Joining him are EPT Champion Roberto Romanello and WSOP bracelet winner Mike Leah. Romanello is also featured in our contest to crown the most memorable TV poker hand in history.

The final table will play to a conclusion on Tuesday.

James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.