Instead of Phil Hellmuth celebrating his 16th bracelet, it was Norwegian Espen Sandvik celebrating his first World Series of Poker title.
Sandvik bested a 71-entry field in the €2,500 8-Game Mix event at the World Series of Poker Europe to earn his first title and €75,246. He also earned 252 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. The 2019 POY race is presented by Global Poker.
This was Sandvik’s first career WSOP cash and resulted in the first win of his career. Sandvik bested Finland’s Ville Haavisto heads-up after Hellmuth busted in third. Haavisto earned €46,613 and Hellmuth left with €31,058 for their efforts.
Despite a lackluster career record in tournaments, Sandvik credited his work away from the table for a dominant final table performance.
“More confidence and more inspiration to work harder,” Sandvik told WSOP reporters after his win.
Sandvik busted Joao Vieira in seventh-place, which set the six-handed final table and gave Sandvik the chip lead at the outset of the final table. It was a lead that he would never relinquish as he steamrolled the final table, barely losing any pots along the way.
At the start of the final table, Sandvik held 1.28 million chips with limits of 30,000-60,000, nearly a third of the chips in play. At no point during the final table did another player cross the million-chip mark as Sandvik eliminated every player at the final table.
He took care of Jochen Kaiser in sixth in 2-7 triple draw when he made an 8-7 low after the first two draws and Kaiser couldn’t improve to better than an ace-low.
He continued the run by sending Thomer Pidun to the rail in fifth when he made a 10-low in razz against Pidun’s queen-low.
He hit running spades to crack Jeff Madsen pocket 10s in limit hold’em and eliminate the American pro in fourth before turning his attention to Hellmuth.
Hellmuth was gone in third in triple draw. Sandvik won a big pot with an 8-7 low to leave Hellmuth with 1.5 big bets. Hellmuth was all in after the first draw and ended up with a pair of fours, while Sandvik made a 9-8 low.
Following Hellmuth’s departure, Haavisto was facing a nearly insurmountable chip deficit. Haavisto started heads-up play with 183,000 to Sandvik’s 3.367 million. It only took one more hand of triple draw for Sandvik to secure the rest of the chips in play.
Here are the final table results:
Place Player Payout POY Points
1 Espen Sandvik $83,723 252
2 Ville Haavisto $51,740 210
3 Phil Hellmuth $34,474 168
4 Jeff Madsen $23,738 126
5 Thomer Pidun $16,911 105
6 Jochen Kaiser $12,479 84