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Stojanovic Captures Event #3 Bracelet at WSOPE; O’Brien Misses Another Opportunity

Darko Stojanovic has won Event #3 at the World Series of Poker Europe in the Mix-Max Event for €188,160. He outlasted 140 players and overcame a 3:1 chip disadvantage at the beginning of heads-up play. This marks yet another close, but not close enough finish for Dan O’Brien, who has two other top-3 finishes at WSOP events in his career. He still takes home an impressive €116,280 for his 2nd place score, so it’s unlikely that too many people are going to be crying him a river.

The Mix-Max Event attracted 140 runners and featured a really interesting format. As opposed to a similar event seen in Las Vegas earlier this summer, this tourney started off 9-handed and played down to 36, where it then transitioned to 6-handed until there were 16 players left. From there, it changed to 4-handed play until it was down to the last 4 players, then went heads-up in two matches with the two winners of those contests meeting for the bracelet. This change was something many players liked, as there was no 4-handed play at the Las Vegas WSOP version this past summer, or in years past. It will be interesting to see if this format will be repeated at next summer’s WSOP to make for a true “mix-max” event.

The final 16, representing those cashing, featured some really fun names. Mark Newhouse finished in 12th place, continuing the trend of people waiting to compete in the November Nine performing exceptionally well in the months before the WSOP Main Event resumes. James Dempsey, who has a bracelet to his credit, finished in 11th place. He was shortly followed to the rail by Phil Ivey, who has been making some waves at the WSOPE with his performances. Shannon Shorr finished in 5th place and took home €30,695, just missing out on the final two heads-up matches and getting less than half of what 3rd and 4th place received at €62,770.

The matches to play down to the final two players where held the night before with the chip leader winning each of those heads-up contests. Noah Schwartz and Jason Mann, both accomplished tournament players, were the unlucky two to get eliminated and not have a chance at winning the gold bracelet. The heads-up affair started with O’Brien having over 1.5 million chips to Stojanovic’s 500k chips. The second hand of the match ended up bringing everything much closer as Stojanovic made two pair on the turn to defeat O’Brien’s pocket pair.

From that point on, Stojanovic displayed good control over the match and was able to complete the full comeback for the win and the bracelet in just 53 hands.  The World Series of Poker Europe has not been short of surprise winners this year, as two of the first three events have featured relative unknowns in the poker world. Many see this as a good thing for poker in Europe, as was the case with poker in the USA when Moneymaker and others won events early in the poker boom. We will have to wait and see if this has a positive effect on poker in Europe, but one thing is for sure, we have lots of interesting stories to report.  PokerUpdate will continue to bring you results from the tournament action in Paris as more events unfold and we draw closer to the start of the WSOPE Main Event.

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Andrew Schupick