One week ago, Greece was a country without a World Series of Poker bracelet. Now it’s a country laying claim to two.
Greece’s Pavlos Xanthopoulos took down the 2015 WSOP Europe Event #6: €3,250 No-Limit Hold’em Friday night in Berlin, Germany, collecting €182,510 and the most coveted prize in all of poker – a WSOP gold bracelet.
"I am super excited," Xanthopoulos told PokerNews. "This is my first big tournament win."
The win comes less than a week removed from Greek native turned German restaurant owner Makarios Avramidis‘ victory in Event #1: €2,200 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em at 2015 WSOP Europe, claiming Greece’s first-ever piece of WSOP hardware.
Xanthopoulos couldn’t have been more happy to join the newly formed Greek bracelet winner’s club, but cautioned against expecting all that much from his home country going forward.
"I am very excited that this is our second bracelet in Berlin," he said. "But the poker community is small in Greece. There are only one or two tournaments a year, so I don’t expect a lot more results."
Xanthopoulos came into Friday’s final nine second in chips trailing only Argentine Mario Lopez by a slim margin. After beating Lopez heads-up to win the bracelet, he credited early patience and late aggression with the win.
"I had a lot of chips," he said of the start of the final table. "I was second in chips and there were three big stacks. At first I played tight, but as time went on and three or four players busted, I began to play aggressive. I think that aggression is what won me the tournament."
The UK’s Sergio Reixach was the first out, running his short stack and a pair of nines into Canadian Sam Chartier’s and a rivered straight.
Chartier also took care of the UK’s Arthur Dedusha a hand later, calling his short-stack shove and holding with the over Dedusha’s . WSOP bracelet winner Fabrice Soulier was the next to go, finishing seventh when his pocket queens were outdrawn by Lopez’ ace-queen.
American Alex Rocha notched his third cash of the 2015 WSOP Europe taking sixth when Xanthopolous turned big slick into three kings against his nines. Farid Jattin was then eliminated in fifth place getting short and getting outckicked by Lopez in what would be his final hand.
Chartier lost a race with tens to Frenchman Thierry Gogniat’s ace-queen and his tournament life was snuffed out in fourth, leaving Lopez to enter three-handed play with a substantial chip lead.
Xanthopolous got Gogniat’s stack with aces over sevens all in preflop and came into heads-up trailing Lopez only slightly.
Lopez, who also finished runner-up in the 2015 WSOP $1,111 The Little One for One Drop, was simply run over by Xanthopoulos’ continued aggression and eventually fell when he shoved fives and Xanthopolous called with the , flopped two pair and faded the two outer.
While Xanthopolous said the tax situation will keep him from chasing bracelet number two next year in Las Vegas, he was excited to bring this bracelet back home.
"I will celebrate with my friends and family back in Greece," he said. "We will go out for drinks and everything."
Here’s how the the final table finished up:
As the 2015 WSOP Europe rolls on, be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for continued coverage.
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