Austria’s Max Neugebauer has emerged as the winner of the 2023 World Series of Poker Main Event to capture a €1,500,000 payday and his first gold bracelet to conclude a topsy-turvy final table on Wednesday at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.
Neugebauer started Day 5 in third place among the Main Event‘s final eight players, but he was well behind early leader Eric Tsai’s start-of-day stack. When Tsai lost a couple of large pots early on, however, a multi-way battle ensued for the rest of the day, with several players taking turns in the lead. The jumble included Neugebauer, who before this event had less than $85,000 in career live-event earnings. Those earnings included four small prior WSOP cashes for the Vienna resident.
Neugebauer, like the others, saw his stack size bounce up and down through the day’s numerous showdowns. He finally took control during three-handed action and eliminated Taiwan’s Tsai in the tournament’s final hand, after Tsai had recovered from his own early setbacks. That final hand found Neugebauer correctly calling an all-in river bluff from Tsai after Tsai had flopped a gutshot draw to a straight flush, but missed improving his hand on both the turn and river. Neugebauer’s call with a modest pair of eights turned out to be good, sending the last of Tsai’s chips and the bracelet Neugebauer’s way.
Neugebauer was former basketball pro
Neugebauer, who played professional basketball in Austria before turning to poker, stayed atop or near the top of the counts for most of the Day 5 finale. The short stacks held by most of the final eight players meant all-in collisions would arrive early and often, but after Sweden’s Alf Martinsson busted in eighth in the first few hands, the shorter stacks managed double-ups to shuffle the leaderboard.
Neugebauer himself was in shortest-stack mode with six players remaining, but he landed his own double-through against Italy’s Michele Tocci to move back toward the top of the counts. Tsai retook the lead by knocking out American Michael Rocco in fifth spot with pocket aces, and Neugebauer then busted Kasparas Klezys in fourth to set up three-handed play with Tsai and Tocci. He then added chips to his stack during the three-handed stretch to put both of his remaining foes at short-stacked risk.
Tocci lost most of his remaining stack with sixes against Tsai’s deuces when Tsai spiked a third deuce on the turn, and Tocci busted to Neugebauer shortly after. Neugebauer still maintained more than a 3:1 edge, and the hand with the big river call against Tsai’s busted straight-flush draw then transpired, giving Neugebauer the win.
The official final-table finishers and payouts in the 2023 WSOP Europe Main Event were as follows:
Max Neugebauer (Austria) – €1,500,000
Eric Tsai (Taiwan) – €891,000
Michele Tocci (Italy) – €639,000
Kasparas Klezys (Lithuania) – €464,000
Michael Rocco (United States) – €341,000
Nils Pudel (Germany) – €255,000
Ruslan Volkov (Ukraine) – €193,000
Alf Martinsson (Sweden) – €148,000
Yulian Bogdanov (Bulgaria) – €115,300
Featured image source: YouTube / King’s Resort
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