History of World Series of Poker Europe 01 Nov

World Series of Poker Europe is already underway in Rozvadov, Czech Republic with the first smaller buy-in events. Lots of poker superstars have confirmed their attendance including the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Espen Uhlen Jorstad, ElkY, Fedor Holz, Hossein Ensan, Sam Grafton, Timothy Adams, Shaun Deeb, Yoh ViraL, and many more.

Before the big events start, let’s have a quick look at history of WSOP Europe.
World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) is the first expansion of the World Series tournaments outside of Las Vegas with the inaugural WSOPE held in 2007 at The Empire Casino, London. Three events were organized – a £2,500 H.O.R.S.E. tournament won by Thomas Bihl who was the first person winning a bracelet outside of US, a £5,000 Pot Limit Omaha won by Dario Alioto, and a £10,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event with Annette Obrestad becoming the youngest player ever to win a WSOP bracelet at only 18-years of age.

The next three WSOPE were also held at the Empire Casino in London, awarding Main Event bracelets to John Juanda in 2008, Barry Shulman in 2009, and James Bord in 2010 before the European part of the series moved to France.

The fifth WSOP Europe took place in Cannes, which ended up as a very successful series with the Main Event having 593 entrants, a big improvement from the year before with 346 entrants.

2012 World Series of Poker will go down in a history books as Phil Hellmuth wins the Main Event for his record 13th bracelet. He is also the only player who managed to win Main Events in both Las Vegas and Europe.

WSOPE was part of WSOP Player of the Year calculations since 2011, but it wasn’t until 2013 that results in the Old World actually changed the outcome of the race. 2013 POY was Daniel Negreanu, who won two bracelets that year, funnily enough, none in Vegas. First, he won Main Event at WSOP Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC – third expansion of WSOP besides Africa) and later secured the Player of the Year at WSOP Europe, winning €25,600 High Roller event.

European part of WSOP was not held in 2014 and 2016 as it was announced that WSOP Europe and WSOP Asia Pacific will begin to rotate annually with WSOPE being held in odd-numbered years. In 2015 Germany was a host for the first (and last) time ever. It featured 10 bracelet events, with the smallest Main Event up to date with only 313 entrants.

In 2017 WSOPE moved to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic where the European tournaments are held to this day. Chris Ferguson won Player of the Year award, cashing 23 times. 6 of those came in Europe, with a very important last result as Ferguson recorder his only win at €1,650 PLO8 event which secured him the title, beating John Racener in 2nd.

€100,000 King’s Super High Roller tournament with 95 entrants was held at 2018 World Series of Europe which was won by Martin Kabrhel for €2,624,370 and €10,350 Main Event went to Jack Sinclair for €1,122,239.

In 2019 there were 15 bracelet events for the first time ever, many of those were prestigious high roller events, including €250,000 Super High Roller that didn’t count towards POY and was won by James Chen. €550 Colossus was once again proved as the most popular event, attracting 2,738 entrants, which was taken down by the face of King’s Casino Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier.

World Series of Poker was postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic, including European part. Later it was announced that Main Event will still be held, but in different format including online play on GGPoker with a final table at King’s Casino for international players, and American part online at WSOP.com with final table later at Rio. Damian Salas was the winner of the international pool in Rozvadov and also won heads-up match for additional $1,000,000 and Main Event title against Joseph Hebert, winner of American part of hybrid Main Event.

Year 2021 was 13th edition of World Series tournaments in Europe that proceeded regardless of many pandemic restrictions imposed by Czech government. Amazingly, it still broke the record for the largest ever WSOP Main Event with 688 entries and it was won by hometown boy Josef Guláš Jr. for €1,276,712, who got the ticket through €250 satellite.

World Series of Poker Europe Main Event Winners

Year Winner Country Entrants Prize
2007 Annette Obrestad Norway 362 £1,000,000
2008 John Juanda Indonesia 362 £868,800
2009 Barry Shulman United States 334 £801,603
2010 James Bord United Kingdom 346 £830,401
2011 Elio Fox United States 593 €1,400,000
2012 Phil Hellmuth United States 420 €1,058,403
2013 Adrián Mateos Spain 375 €1,000,000
2015 Kevin MacPhee United States 313 €883,000
2017 Marti Roca de Torres Spain 529 €1,115,207
2018 Jack Sinclair United Kingdom 534 €1,122,239
2019 Alexandros Kolonias Greece 541 €1,133,678
2021 Josef Gulas Czech Republic 688 €1,276,712