Max Neugebauer has won his first WSOP bracelet after winning Event #13: €10,350 Main Event European Championship at WSOP Europe. Neugebauer defeated Eric Tsai heads-up to win the €1,500,000 first-place prize and the WSOP gold bracelet.
The 26-year-old former professional basketball player from Austria had just over $84,000 in live lifetime tournament earnings before winning his first WSOP bracelet. Neugebauer's biggest score was for $27,000 earlier this year at Venetian Las Vegas, while this is his first podium finish in his short career that began in 2016 with his first live result in Austria.
WSOP Europe was held in London, France, and Germany before settling at King's Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, in 2017. Following WSOP Europe not being held in 2020, the return in 2021 saw a record-breaking field of 688, with Josef Gulas emerging victorious. In 2022, another record-breaking field was set as the 763-entrant field was won by Omar Eljach. Now, in 2023, the field size has grown once again, with a new record being set of 817 entrants.
The penultimate day of play would see the final nine players combine, and after Yulian Bogdanov was eliminated in ninth place, play ended with Eric Tsai holding the chip lead with roughly 95 big blinds. Sweden's Alf Martinsson exited in eighth place when his ace-three failed to improve against the pocket tens of Italian Michele Tocci. Ukraine's Ruslan Volkov exited next when the ace-ten of Kasparas Klezys outdrew his pocket tens, as the field was trimmed to six as Tocci now held the chip lead.
Germany's Nils Pudel was eliminated in sixth when he shoved with ace-five, but ran into the pocket aces of Michael Rocco. The board blanked out, and as Pudel headed to the rail, Rocco held the chip lead five-handed. Unfortunately for the American, he would four-bet jam with ace-nine and run into the pocket aces of Tsai. Now the short stack, Rocco exited in fifth when his ace-seven couldn't outdraw the pocket tens of Tocci. Neugebauer began to make his move by taking pots from Tsai as he held more than half the chips in play.
Kasparas Klezys was eliminated in fourth place when he shoved with queen-eight and was called by Neugebauer's king-jack. Neugebauer flopped top pair and turned two pair to reduce the field to the final three before Tocci exited next when Neugebauer's king-four outdrew his pocket jacks. Neugebauer would hold a seven-to-two advantage as he entered heads-up play with Tsai.
Tsai drew first blood as both players took pots from each other before the final hand played out that saw Tsai triple-barrel bluff with jack-high. Neugebauer check-called Tsai's all-in river shove with just third pair to be crowned the 2023 WSOP Europe Main Event champion and awarded the €1,500,000 first-place prize and his WSOP gold bracelet.
Max Neugebauer's first-ever PGT also sees him rocket up the PGT leaderboard into 19th place with 1,250 PGT points. Neugebauer trails WSOP Main Event final tablists Ruslan Prydryk and Dean Hutchison, while 17-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth sits in 16th place with 1,304 PGT points.
Following his runner-up finish, Eric Tsai moves into 42nd on the PGT leaderboard with 917 PGT points, having collected a 37th-place finish in the $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller at the 2023 WSOP, which Isaac Haxton won for his first WSOP bracelet.
Michele Tocci sits in 70th on the PGT leaderboard with 639 PGT points, while Michael Rocco's fifth-place finish pushes him into 68th place with 669 PGT points from his four PGT cashes in 2023. Rocco's career on the PGT includes a Stairway To Millions victory in 2022 for $61,750.
The PGT returns to Las Vegas for four ARIA High Rollers at the PokerGO Studio from November 27-30 before attention will be placed on the inaugural WSOP Paradise. There will be six qualifying events at WSOP Paradise for players to earn points, while the last series for this PGT season is PGT Last Chance running from January 2-7, 2024. The two highest-ranked players on the PGT Last Chance leaderboard who do not qualify for the Top 40 will earn the final two Dream Seats and receive direct entry into the PGT Championship $1,000,000 freeroll..
For complete PGT schedule information, check out pgt.com/schedule.
*Max Neugebauer winner picture courtesy of WSOP.com
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