2021 World Series of Poker Europe is off to a strong start at King's Resort

Jon Pill
Posted on: November 23, 2021 23:43 PST

The World Series of Poker is winding down. However, bracelet chasers needn't hang up their spurs for 2021 just yet. The World Series of Poker Europe has begun.

Antonello Ferraiuolo was the first man to win a WSOPE bracelet in two years when he took down 2021 WSOPE Event #1: €350 Opener.

The Opener was the first 2021 WSOPE event to kick-off, and the first to crown a winner. Despite the brutally high rake on low buy-in events like this, the WSOP was still able to get 1,789 entrants to cough up and buy in.

"WSOPE Opener attracts monstrous numbers!" wrote the King's Resort Twitter team. "The €300k event produced €535,358 from 1789 entries. Guarantee has been surpassed by over €235K!"

€350 is worth about $393 at the current exchange rate. That puts the prize pool of €535,358 at around $601,447 in U.S. fiat.

The Opener was billed with a €300,000 guarantee, which broke on Day 1B with a third Day 1 flight to come. Clearly, the continent has been gasping for a chance to play poker.

Ferraiuolo took down the Opener for €77,570 (~$87,150). He and the other podium finishers (Levent Efe in second and Ion Tabacaru in third) also each won a ticket to the €10,000 WSOPE Main Event.

Shuffle up and deal

The 2021 WSOPE is being hosted by King's Resort in Rozvadov, Czechia. King's, and indeed the Czech Republic in general, is a popular poker destination and one of the main poker hubs on that side of the Atlantic. King's Resort has a second location in Prague which will play host to the European Poker Tour next month.

Compared to most of Europe's cardrooms, King's has been open for a while. It rolled back the shutters in May 2020. Few places in Europe have been open that long (Russia being the notable exception). Rob Yong has only just begun to reopen Dusk Till Dawn in the UK.

King's do have COVID protocols in place to lower the risk of playing during a pandemic. Unlike the WSOP(US) unvaccinated players will be allowed to play. Players can enter without proof of vaccination so long as they can show a negative test or proof that they have had COVID and recovered in the last 180 days.

While this won't satisfy everyone, it may placate some of the anti-vaxxers.

Also finishing today are Events #2: €550 Pot-Limit Omaha and Event #3: €1,350 NLH Mini Main Event.

The Opener's final table was live-streamed on the WSOP Youtube account with Maria Ho and Ali Nejad in the commentator's booth.

2021 WSOPE Event #1: €350 Opener complete final table results

Position Player Name Country Payout
1st Antonello Ferraiuolo Italy €77,570*
2nd Levent Efe Israel €47,939*
3rd Ion Tabacaru Romania €35,229*
4th Narcis Nedelcu Romania € 26,157
5th Logi Laxdal Iceland € 19,623
6th Roberto Bizaj Switzerland € 14,876
7th Gal Aviv Israel € 11,397
8th Marius Gicovanu Romania € 8,826
9th Andy Schlegel Germany € 6,909

Featured image source: Twitter