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Ilija Savevski Wins World Series of Poker Europe Mini Main Event

The Macedonian Outlasted A 1,431-Entry Field In The €1,350 Buy-In Tournament To Earn $245,319 And His First WSOP Bracelet


The largest field so far at the 2022 World Series of Poker Europe is the 1,431-entry turnout made in the €1,350 buy-in no-limit hold’em ‘mini main event.’ The sea of players that came out to the King’s Resort & Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic blew away the €1 million guarantee. As a result, a final prize pool of $1,631,340 was paid out among the top 215 finishers.

After three starting flights and two more days of action, Macedonia’s Ilija Savevski emerged victorious with the top prize of $245,319 and his first WSOP gold bracelet.

This was the largest live tournament cash yet for Savevski, surpassing the $140,058 he earned as the eighth-place finisher in the 2021 WSOPE main event. He now has nearly $530,000 in lifetime tournament earnings to his name.

In addition to the title and the money, Savevski also scored 960 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his second final-table finish of the year, with a fourth-place showing in a $1,100 buy-in event at the WSOP International Circuit stop at this same venue in early October. With 1,204 total points, Savevski now sits inside the top 350 in the 2022 POY race standings, which are sponsored by Global Poker.

Plenty of big names made deep runs in this event, including three-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Allen Kessler (146th), two-time bracelet winner Martin Kabrhel (140th), five-time bracelet winner Shaun Deeb (99th), Victoria Livschitz (82nd), and World Poker Tour champion Matthew Wantman (16th).

By the time the field combined onto a single table, Savevski was atop the leaderboard while Stefan Schoss sat in second chip position. Clement Cure ran pocket threes into the pocket aces of Peter Kamaras to finish ninth for $21,162. Emanuele De Lemmi followed close behind when his flopped flush and straight draws failed to improve against the top two pair of Schoss, who overtook the lead and sent De Lemmi home with $27,109.

Kamaras secured his second knockout at the final table when his A-Q held up against the A-10 of Braz Borges Fagundes Junior (7th – $35,124). Savevski earned his first elimination of the final table when his A-10 won a battle of the blinds against the K-3 suited of Yunho Choi. Savevski flopped top pair and held from there to narrow the field to five. Choi was awarded $46,027 for his sixth-place showing.

Jochen Kaiser got the last of his short stack in preflop with K-9. He was called in two spot, but Savevski bet Schoss out of the pot on the turn with what turned out to be a turned full house. kaiser was drawing dead and was eliminated in fifth place ($60,990).

A three-way all-in spelled the end of Kamaras and Dennis Magro. Kamaras held A-4, while Magro had pocket tens. Both were covered by Savevsk, who held K-Q suited. A king on the river sent both the main and the side pot to Savevski. Kamaras, as the short stack when the hand began, was officially the fourth-place finisher ($81,716). Magro earned $110,686 for third place.

With that, Savevski took 78,875,000 into heads-up play with Schoss, who sat with 64,075,000. Savevski pulled way out in front thanks to winning a big pot with threes full of fours beating the kings up of Schoss. Not long after that the two players got all of the chips in after a KSpade Suit8Heart Suit4Spade Suit flop. Savevski rolled over KClub Suit4Club Suit for two pair, which was leading the KDiamond Suit5Club Suit of Schoss. The 7Club Suit turn gave Schoss additional outs, but the 3Spade Suit that appeared on the river was not one of them. Schoss secured $151,554 as the runner-up finisher.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Ilija Savevski $245,319 960
2 Stefan Schoss $151,554 800
3 Dennis Magro $110,686 640
4 Peter Kamaras $81,716 480
5 Jochen Kaiser $60,990 400
6 Yunho Choi $46,027 320
7 Braz Borges Fagundes Junior $35,124 240
8 Emanuele De Lemmi $27,109 160
9 Clement Cure $21,162 80

Photo credit: WSOP.