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Josef Gulas Jr. Wins 2021 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event

The Czech Player Defeated A Record Field of 688 Entries To Earn €1,276,712 ($1,429,917 USD) and His First Bracelet


The 2021 World Series of Poker Europe €10,350 no-limit hold’em main event set the record for the largest field in the tournament’s history, with a 688-entry turnout beating the previous record of 593 set in 2011. The big turnout at King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic saw the €5 million guarantee easily surpassed, with the final prize pool of €6,536,000 ($7,365,418 USD) paid out among the top 104 finishers. The championship bracelet and the largest share of the prize money was ultimately secured by Josef Gulas Jr. The 24-year-old Czech player earned €1,276,712 ($1,429,917 USD) and his first piece of WSOP hardware for the win.

“It’s an incredible feeling. I am truly thankful and happy. It was a perfect tournament with a very nice structure in the best casino in Europe. Just incredible!” Gulas Jr. told PokerNews live reporters after securing the victory.

In addition to the title, the bracelet, and the money, Gulas Jr. was also awarded 2,100 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his second POY-qualified score of the year. With 2,122 total points, he now sits in 73rd place in the 2021 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker He also secured 1,200 PokerGO Tour points as the champion, putting him just outside the top 25 on that leaderboard.

The WSOPE main event began with the first of two starting flights on Dec. 3. By the end of play on Dec. 7, the record field had been narrowed to just seven players. Gulas Jr. held the lead, with Germany’s Alexander Tkatschew in second chip position and high-stakes tournament regular Johan Guilbert on the next-largest stack.

Thomas Denie was the first to fall, with his pocket queens running into the pocket kings of Athanasios Kidas. Denie earned $183,046 USD as the seventh-place finisher after he was unable to come from behind in the hand. Guilbert earned his first knockout of the final day when he called the check-raise shove of Aleksandar Trajkovski after a KClub Suit3Spade Suit2Spade Suit flop. Guilbert held 10Spade Suit7Spade Suit for a flush draw, while Trajkovski had KHeart Suit9Diamond Suit for top pair. The turn brought the 7Heart Suit to give Guilbert additional outs. The 9Spade Suit on the river gave him the flush and the pot, sending Trajkovski home with $243,996 USD for his sixth-place showing.

Stanislav Koleno’s run came to an end when his top pair of jacks clashed with an overpair of kings for Gulas Jr. Koleno was unable to come from behind after the chips went in on the flop and was eliminated in fifth place ($328,005 USD).

A cooler resulted in a lead change early in four-handed action. After action was four-bet preflop, the rest of the chips went into the middle on an 8Heart Suit6Heart Suit4Diamond Suit flop. Gulas Jr. held KSpade SuitKDiamond Suit, but was in rough shape against the ASpade SuitAClub Suit of Guilbert. The turn and river kept Guilbert ahead, earning him the double up for the lead.

Johan GuilbertGuilbert won a huge pot with K-10 against the A-K of Alexander Tkatschew, five-betting preflop and then taking down the pot on the turn with a bet after neither player meaningfully connected with the board. Guilbert had more than twice as many chips as the second-ranked Tkatschew after the hand.

A clash of the two shorter stacks saw Athanasios Kidas knocked out in fourth place. Gulas Jr. shoved from the small blind with AClub SuitJSpade Suit and Kidas called all-in from the big blind with KSpade SuitQClub Suit. Gulas Jr. flopped trip aces and held from there to narrow the field to three. Kidas was awarded $449,505 USD as the fourth-place finisher.

The next key battle saw Guilbert raise to 1,000,000 with AClub Suit2Club Suit from the button. Tkatschew called from the big blind with KClub Suit10Diamond Suit and the flop came down 10Club Suit9Club Suit2Heart Suit. It went heck-check and the 4Club Suit turn gave Guilbert the nut flush. Tkatschew bet 1,300,000 with his top pair and king-high flush draw. Guilbert called. The 7Spade Suit on the end prompted Tkatschew to move all-in. Guilbert quickly called with his unbeatable hand to eliminate Tkatschew in third place ($625,526 USD).

With that heads-up play began, with Guilbert holding roughly a 2.5:1 chip lead over Gulas Jr. to start. The two traded the lead a few times before Gulas won a massive pot with flopped two pair against the top pair, jack kicker of Guilbert. The French player was able to get away from the second-best hand on the turn, but fell to a 2:1 chip disadvantage after the hand.

Gulas Jr. had extended his lead to nearly a 6:1 advantage by the time the final hand was dealt. He open-shoved from the button with ADiamond Suit8Spade Suit and Guilbert called all-in with 2Heart Suit2Club Suit for 12 big blinds. The board ran out KClub SuitJDiamond Suit3Heart Suit7Diamond Suit8Heart Suit and Gulas rivered a pair of eights to lock up the pot and the title.

Guilbert earned $883,715 USD and 2,100 POY points for his runner-up finish. This was his ninth final-table showing of the year, with more than $2.4 million in POY earnings accrued along the way. As a result, he surged up the rankings and into ninth place on the POY leaderboard. The 789 PokerGO Tour points he took home were enough to see him climb to 14th place in that points race as well.

Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points PokerGO
1 Josef Gulas Jr. $1,429,917 2,100 1,200
2 Johan Guilbert $883,715 1,750 789
3 Alexander Tkatschew $625,526 1,400 559
4 Athanasios Kidas $449,505 1,050 401
5 Stanislav Koleno $328,005 875 293
6 Aleksandar Trajkovski $243,996 700 218
7 Thomas Denie $183,046 525 163
8 Ilija Savevski $140,058 350 125
9 Brian Kamphorst $108,931 175 97

Winner photo via King’s Resort’s official Facebook page.