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From Raffle to WSOP Champ: Henrik Johansson wins World Series of Poker Europe Event 2

Swedish Henrik Johansson virtually hit the jackpot! After securing his spot at the WSOPE Event 2 by winning a raffle on 888poker, Johansson went all the way and won his first gold bracelet.

He showed the entire world that poker is a sublime combination of luck, opportunity and skill. Luck because he entered the tournament after a raffle! He then took that amazing opportunity, put his skills to the challenge, and voila: Henrik Johansson, World Series of Poker Champion. “It was good fun. It’s been a good experience. I’m more comfortable playing live now than I was going into the tournament,” the winner said.

It was his first major live tournament result. Before the event, the Swede had only $15,275 in live tournament earnings. Now he is €129,700 richer plus a priceless WSOP gold bracelet. And he is only 21!

But do not be fooled by Johansson’s lack of live cashes. He has very limited experience in live play, but strong results when it comes to online poker. And the online momentum transcended in his live play. Johansson dominated the event and built his stack tenaciously. He entered the final table with a chip lead of almost 100 big blinds. American poker pro Daniel Weinman was not so far behind and threatened the Swede’s domination. Also, Ausie pro Daniel Laidlaw was sitting in 3rd place with over 50 big blinds. But neither Weinman nor Laidlaw got the initiative at the final table. Laidlaw finished 6th after bluff-shoving the river with Ace high. His opponent, Adriano Torre-Grossa, called with top pair. Weinman had to settle for 4th place and almost €44,000. He was eliminated by Johansson after three-bet shoving with Ace-Nine. Johansson cold-called with Ace-Ten from the big blind and the American was done for the evening.

The crucial moment came afterwards. The Swede took a commanding chip lead after winning a gigantic pot three-handed. He went all in with his pocket Kings only to run into a set of fours belonging to Yaniv Botbol. But Lady Luck smiled on Johansson once again and the river gave him an overset. Botbol was eliminated and the 21-year-old player was preparing for victory. “As a high stakes pro, it is pretty standard to two-out people on the river. I’m pretty used to it,” Johansson jokingly told CardPlayer.com.

Just 22 hands later, Johansson eliminated the last opponent remaining, Torre-Grossa, who won slightly more than €80,000 in runner-up prize money. Johansson became only the 6th Swede to win a WSOP gold bracelet.

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Florian Gheorghe

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