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Ivey, Hellmuth, and Burns Among Top Stories 2019 WSOP Europe

Kahle Burns Wins Again

Prior to the start of the 2019 World Series of Poker Europe, we published a piece talking about the top stories to watch. Today, we will take a look back at those stories and see how they panned out. Overall, the WSOP Europe provided highly successful and while this wasn’t a predictions list, it does seem like we were a bit psychic about the biggest stories.

Negreanu Pulls Out Player of the Year – But it Took Till the Last Day

Daniel Negreanu was in third place in the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year race heading into the 2019 WSOP Europe. However, he put on an amazing performance during the series to take the POY lead. He cashed seven times and finished sixth in the Mixed Games Championship.

Negreanu managed a min-cash in the final event and those points mattered as Shaun Deeb made the final day of the Colossus. However, an early exit on the final day of the series left Negreanu as the first player to win WSOP Player of the Year three times.

He is also the only player to win the title without winning a WSOP bracelet in the POY campaign. That has already stirred controversy and will likely result in future changes to the POY formula.

Ivey Showed Up and Played Well

Phil Ivey was the one player I figured was a strong pass for the 2019 WSOP Europe. Boy was I wrong. Not only did he show up, but he cashed in three events. He finished 9th, 8th, and 18th respectively.

What was perhaps most impressive was the pair of runner-up finishes in a pair of Short Deck side events. His trip to Rozvadov resulted in $1.66 million added to his career earnings. We even speculated whether Phil Ivey is “back” after his runs at Rozvadov. Time will tell.

Phil Hellmuth Just Misses Out on #16 – Twice!

Phil Hellmuth made the trip to Rozvadov and showed the poker world why he is still the greatest player in WSOP history. While he only cashed four times, two of those cashes were final table appearances. He finished third in the 8-Game and runner-up int he Mixed Games Championship, just missing out on bracelet #16.

Allen Kessler speculated that Phil may have had a shot at Player of the Year had he not took two weeks off during the Summer. Who knows. Maybe that two-week vacation allowed him to have enough left in the tank to compete in this series. Regardless, this was a fantastic performance for Hellmuth.

Kahle Burns Surprise Story of Series

If there was one story “we didn’t see coming,” it was the rise of Kahle Burns at the WSOP Europe. Burns went on a remarkable run at the series, cashing three times and winning two bracelets. He won the Platinum High Roller and the €2,500 Short Deck Event.

Burns came into the Main Event on fire and even finished one of the starting flights as the chip leader. This led to thought of a charge to the top of the POY leaderboard. Burns was knocked out on Day 2 of the Main Event but still managed to finish 8th overall in the POY race.

Burns joins Robert Campbell as multi-bracelet winners from Australia in 2019 and was certainly the surprise story of this series.

No Worries for the Future Based on 2019 Numbers

Overall, the 2019 World Series of Poker Europe drew solid fields. Part of this was the decision to add additional High Roller events and non-Hold’em events to the schedule. The High Stakes community showed up and participated and high profile players like Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth doing well did nothing but help overall attendance.

While we don’t have the figures presently, all events drew well compared to 2018 and there were no problems meeting guarantees. As such, there’s no reason to believe that the World Series of Poker Europe will be canceled. If anything, King’s Casino seems like the perfect venue for the WSOP Europe and one we would not be surprised to see the WSOP lock up for years to come.

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