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Kolonias crowned WSOP Europe Main Event winner

2 November 2019

Alexandros Kolonias

Alexandros Kolonias (photo by WSOP)

Name: Alexandros Kolonias
Nationality: Greece
Age: 33
Number of WSOP Cashes: 6
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 1
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament): 1
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 19th at 2016 WSOP
Number of WSOP Circuit Cashes: 0
Total WSOP Earnings: $1,469,612

A champion has been crowned in the 2019 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) €10,350 Main Event and it was Alexandros Kolonias who lifted the coveted gold bracelet for the winner shots after defeating Claas Segebrecht in heads-up to claim his maiden bracelet and a payday of €1,133,678.

Kolonias came out on top of a 541-entry strong field in the second-biggest WSOPE Main Event to date in the third edition of the festival in Europe's biggest poker arena at the King's Resort in Rozvadov, which created a prize pool of €5,139,500.

"I still haven't figured it out in my mind what actually happened. I am really happy about the way I played in the beginning, One level was not so good when we had four left, but things worked out for me," Kolonias said in the interview after his victory.

Never known to play many live events per year, Kolonias earned his first seven-figure score and he plans to keep the usual routine of five to six festivals per year going forward. He had arrived just one day prior to the start of the €10,350 Main Event and participated in one event only.

"I never played many live events per year, and it was, of course, great to make this one count. I think I will do the same and play online, and do five or six live tournaments a year."

Whether or not a trip to Las Vegas for the 2020 WSOP to chase further WSOP bracelets is up in the air for now, but the year of the Greek continues. It was the third bracelet in 2019 and sixth overall for his home country, and the victory also vaults Kolonias into the top spot of the Greek all-time money list with more than $3.7 million in recorded cashes on the live circuit.

The 32-year-old was born in Volos but calls London his home these days where he mainly focuses on the online grind. He is known under the moniker "mexican222" and has already earned more than $3.1 million in cashes.

Kolonias also emphasized that the final table draw was one of the key reasons for his success.

"I had a very good position, I was second in chips with position on the chip leader and on my left the short stack. If I had to choose positions for every player where we'd start for the final table, I would pick it exactly like this. This was very important"

The nine-handed final table featured players from nine different countries and among the six hopefuls that returned to their seats for the final showdown were also the two 2019 WSOP Player of the Year contenders Dario Sammartino and Anthony Zinno. The former had to settle for 4th place while Zinno ended up in 3rd place after a roller coaster ride.

WSOP bracelet winner Rifat Palevic was the first to depart and local player Anh "David" Do, who won his Main Event entry in a King's promotion as part of their ongoing live event schedule in 2019, finished 5th for a payday of €244,653.

The cinderella story of the final day was certainly 26-year-old businessman Do from Prague, who won his entry for the €10,350 flagship event of the festival thanks to a deep run in the €230 German Poker Masters at King's in which he finished 8th out of nearly 7,000 entries.

After ensuring one pay jump once short stack Rifat Palevic ran with king-deuce into his pocket queens in a battle of the blinds, Do opened up his game and was involved in a lot of hands. He escaped from elimination once when he cracked the kings of Anthony Zinno with ace-jack.

However, his fate was all but sealed when Dario Sammartino hit a two-outer with jacks versus queens to leave Do on a nub. Soon after it was all over when he could not find a miracle himself with king-nine suited against the pocket kings of Claas Segebrecht.

That left the final four with two big stacks and Sammartino as well as Zinno as the short stacks.

For the Italian it was quite a remarkable year. Sammartino had eight cashes during the summer in Las Vegas including three final table appearances and his memorable second place finish in the Main Event before heading to King's Resort. After an 8th place in Event #6: €25,500 Short Deck High Roller, he became the fourth player to reach the WSOP and WSOPE Main Event final table in the same year.

Destined to finally shake the monkey off his back, the Italian experienced a roller coaster day. Sammartino quickly dropped to a short stack and carefully waited for a spot to double. In dramatic fashion he got there against Do but his own fortune ran out with four players remaining.

Zinno put a major dent into Sammartino's stack when his king-ten suited flopped top pair against ace-jack. One double up of Sammartino brought back memories from Las Vegas as the Italian rail started chanting once more but their voices fell silent when ace-king ended up second-best to jack-ten.

Down to the final three players, pocket treys would play a crucial role. Zinno was seeking his third bracelet and a victory would have also given him a serious chance to topple Daniel Negreanu in the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year ace.

A big jam with pocket treys against eventual champion Kolonias, who called with ace-jack suited and flopped an ace, left Zinno with just over three big blinds. He would triple up and double up after but Kolonias finished the job he had started when jack-ten beat ace-nine in a preflop all-in.

In order to win the prestigious WSOP POY title, Zinno and Sammartino will have to win The COLOSSUS and depend on the results of Daniel Negreanu, Shaun Deeb and Robert Campbell.

Heads-up started with a 3-2 advantage for Kolonias and he quickly pulled into a commanding lead when he turned a set and jammed into Segebrecht. The stacks were getting closer again after Segebrecht flopped a set of aces and improved to a full house on the river as Kolonias made trips tens.

Not even half an hour after the battle one-versus-one had started, it was all over already. Segebrecht three-bet shoved with pocket treys and Kolonias snap-called with ace-king suited. A king on the flop let the Greek rail celebrate and spades on turn and river even gave Kolonias the nut flush to seal the victory.

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)

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