Jack Sinclair has won the 2018 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event for €1,122,239. He saw off a field of 534 to banish memories of his eighth-place finish in the WSOP Main Event in 2017 and win his first WSOP gold bracelet.
Coming into the day fourth in chips, he doubled through the second biggest stack at the start of the day, Milos Skrbic in the second level. Later, Sinclair eliminated Krasimir Yankov to bring the tournament to a heads-up against start-of-day chip leader, Laszlo Bujtas of Hungary.
Former WSOP Main Event Champion Ryan Riess had a frustrating day and eventually finished fourth for €337,778.
It was a dominant heads-up performance from Sinclair, limiting his opponent to two small doubles – for just 12 and 22 big blinds – but each time Sinclair came roaring back to have Bujtas on the ropes.
On his third try, Sinclair got it in ahead and after he flopped a pair, he sealed the deal on the turn to take down the title and his second career seven-figure score.
“It’s like being in a dream at the moment,” said Sinclair after taking down the tournament. “The whole week has been absolutely insane; just super smooth and not like any other tournament I’ve ever played. I never really lost a big pot as far as I can remember and just got all the hands when I needed them.
“Every time I felt like things were getting precarious I instantly won a big pot. I’m very happy with how I played and even more happy with how I ran!”
In winning this event, Sinclair becomes only the second U.K. WSOPE champion after James Bord took down the title in 2010. He also joins Antoine Saout (2009 & 2017) and Ben Lamb (2011 & 2017) as players whose top two career cashes have come at the WSOP Main Event final table.
“I thought about [the 2017 WSOP final table] once at the final table when I had jack-four off-suit against Laszlo. That was a somewhat important hand at the WSOP last year and I got the bluff through this time, which was good.
“But apart from that, I wasn’t thinking about it. It was a completely different tournament. Vegas was huge for me but it’s in the past now and I don’t think about it now. Vegas was my first ever time playing a $10k and the first time in Vegas in general. The whole thing has been so surreal from the start of my poker career until now.
“I’m not used to it really but . . . I don’t wanna get used to it!”
Most poker players have aspirations of winning a major Main Event and winning a WSOP gold bracelet, and Sinclair has now done both in a single tournament.
“I haven’t come to terms with it yet. It’s just ridiculous but I’m kind of getting used to these ridiculous things happening.”
Runner-up Laszlo Bujtas was left devastated after finishing in second place.
“I’m sad at the moment,” he told PokerNews. “Going into heads-up confident but card dead. My opponent played well so congratulations to him. Of course, I’m not 100% happy at the moment but . . . it happens.”
Railed all the way by two-time WSOP bracelet winner Norbert Szecsi, Bujtas ran out of steam heads-up to finish as runner-up to Sinclair, taking home €693,573.
“He helped a lot,” said Bujtas, “He’s been watching the stream telling me the hands some of the time. He helped me with how to adapt to the opponents and it helped a lot.”