Poker's Ted Lasso? Assistant Soccer Coach Becomes First-Ever WSOP Europe Mystery Bounty Champion (92,300)

Poker's Ted Lasso? Assistant Soccer Coach Becomes First-Ever WSOP Europe Mystery Bounty Champion (92,300)

The New York City Marathon may have wrapped up on the weekend, but a handful of poker players at King's Resort in Rozvadov have added a different kind of miles onto their bodies over the last few days. Yesterday's six-max bracelet event saw a select few take part in a 17-hour poker session, and several more bracelet hopefuls put in a similar shift during Event #9: 1,100 NLH Mystery Bounty, which has just wrapped up proceedings.

Despite the mental and physical toll, it was all worth it for Tobias Garp, who was crowned champion of the first-ever Mystery Bounty tournament at the World Series of Poker Europe. The newly minted bracelet winner topped the 803-entry field and was awarded their first piece of WSOP hardware alongside the 92,300 first-place prize.

Garp beat Adi Rajkovic in heads-up for the largest slice of the 562,100 regular prize pool. Rajkovic took home the 57,000 runners-up prize, and Koray Korkmaz rounded out the podium finishes for a 40,400 payday of his own. The trio were also recipients of tickets worth 10,350 for the rapidly approaching 2023 WSOPE Main Event.

Event #9: 1,100 NLH Mystery Bounty Final Table Results

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize (EUR)
1Tobias GarpSweden92,300
2Adi RajkovicAustria57,000
3Koray KorkmazTurkey40,400
4Benjamin PitounFrance29,050
5Otto LemkeGermany21,200
6Stanislaw MiadzelPoland15,700
7Alexander RommeGermany11,800
8Martin SchamaunSwitzerland9,000
9Yehor ShumeikoUkraine6,990

Winner's Reaction

"I'm feeling great despite the long day," said the 35-year-old as his rail looked on with smiles on their faces. The mood in his camp is jubilant as Garp has been around the game for nearly two decades. However, the last five years have seen him step away from the table as he pursues his other passion, which is being an assistant soccer coach. Garp nurtures a Swedish football club's youth side that plays in the fourth tier of their domestic league.

"I started playing pokerin school when I was like 17 or 18, and then I played full time for a decade, but the last five years, I have been splitting my time between the two," Garp told PokerNews.

His triumph marks the biggest cash of his career and sees his live tournament earnings breach the $600,000 mark. He'll be looking to add to that as the Main Event, which kicks off on Friday, November 10. Garp said he's only hoping to fire one bullet into the series' showstopper, and he's already booked his place after securing a ticket.

His achievement from today hasn't tempted him back into playing full-time as he prefers his current life balance.

Final Day Action

Day 2 had 161 players return to felt, which saw each of them receiving a Mystery Bounty token. 240,900 worth of bounty prizes were up for grabs, with the top bounty being 30,000, of which there were three to claim. Two of those went to players who made the final table. Otto Lemke took the first, while Adi Rajkovic took the second. Ercan Atmaca was the last player to pull the big one en route to his 12th-place finish.

Not everyone who made Day 2 was in the money, as the 1,100 min-cash was reserved for the top 121 players. Bracelet winners Ilija Savevski, Manig Loeser, and Nacho Barbero were just some of the notable names to leave empty-handed. The bubble burst when Riadh Farhat called for his tournament life with two pair but saw that Cedric Schwaederle bested him with a jack-high straight.

Click the link to see the full list of payouts. The likes of Alexandra Botez, Andrea Dato and Ana Marquez all added another WSOP cash to their resumes.

Start-of-day chip leader Jacob Amsellem had a premature exit, bowing out in 48th place. Coincidentally, his son Anthony was also in contention for the bracelet, but any hopes of a father-son heads-up clash were quashed in an instant as he followed in his father's footsteps to the rail just a few seconds later.

The field began to casually whittle down, and the final table was reached after 11 hours of play. Portugal's Hugo Machado ran into the pocket kings held by Benjamin Pitoun to set up the final nine. Garp came onto the FT as the biggest stack and was one of the more experienced players to make it to that stage.

Ukraine's Yehor Shumeiko was the first player vanquished when the players merged onto one table. He ran into Rajkovic's aces and banked 6,990 for his efforts. While the bracelet was out of reach, he found some consolation in being awarded one of the bounties worth 15,000.

Next to leave was Martin Schamaun and Alexander Romme. Despite quadrupling up two hands prior, Schamaun found himself all in again but failed to usurp Korkmaz's ace-rag holding. Romme lost a flip the following hand to bring the tournament to six-handed play. The eliminated duo tried their luck at the Mystery Bounty podium as they headed to the payout desk. They could only find the min-bounties of 300, only adding to the heartbreak of missing out on etching their name in poker's history books.

Rajkovic continued the flurry of bust outs as he sent Stanislaw Miadzel to the rail in sixth place. The pair got their stacks in the middle with top pair and second pair, respectively, but Miadzel found no help on the turn or river. Shortly after, Korkmaz notched his second elimination at the final table and saw off Lemke after he made trip tens in an all-in preflop encounter.

While the final table action was at sprint speed for the early going, when four remained, it became a war of attrition with the average stack at 50 big blinds. Rajkovic and Garp took turns being the chip leader, while Pitoun and Korkmaz found it difficult to halt the momentum of the big stacks.

Garp then began to pull away from the rest of the pack after taking sizeable pots of Rajkovic and Pitoun, as well as stealing the blinds with ICM considerations on display by his tablemates. In the end, someone had to give, and that was Pitoun. He ran into Korkmaz's superior ace to make it a hattrick of FT casualties for the Turkish native. Pitoun collected 29,050 and then added another 3,000 to that figure in bounty prizes as he made his way towards the exit.

Rajkovic looked like he was going to be heading out in third after Garp turned a baby flush, but a fifth diamond on the board resulted in a chopped pot. From there on, it continued to be Garp show, with all the chips heading his way. However, it was Rajkovic who would see off Korkmaz to set up heads-up, in which he faced a monumental mountain to climb.

Garp sealed the deal after his eights held out against Rajkovic's pocket fours, and the pair exchanged some nice sportsmanship before the champion headed to take his winner's pictures.


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