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Online Qualifier Stanislav Zegal Wins First WSOP Paradise Main Event ($2,000,000) Stanislav Zegal

Online Qualifier Stanislav Zegal Wins First WSOP Paradise Main Event ($2,000,000)

WPT Global EditedStanislav Zegal

Thursday, December 14, 2023 7:41 PM Local Time

Online Qualifier Stanislav Zegal Wins First WSOP Paradise Main Event ($2,000,000)

The first-ever World Series of POKER ( WSOP ) Paradise Main Event champion has been crowned as Germany’s Stanislav Zegal took down the $5,000 buy-in event for $2 million and his first WSOP bracelet. The GGPoker qualifier defeated heads-up opponent Michael Sklenicka of the Czech Republic to wrap up a final day that only lasted four hours.

The inaugural WSOP Paradise Main Event at the five-star Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas drew 3,010 players for a prize pool that just squeaked past the $15 million guarantee. The field included dozens of online qualifiers, including Zegal, who was able to parlay his online POKER prowess into a life-altering seven-figure victory.

“I was so lucky, the cards just fell my way all the time,” Zegal told PokerNews in a winner’s interview. “I think I played well too, but obviously (there’s) tons of luck … “This is what you call life-changing money, I guess.”

Zegal was joined at the international final table by Brazil’s Gabriel Schroeder, Portugal’s Rui Sousa and American Matt Glantz, who was looking to bring “TeamLucky” a second Main Event title this year after his good friend Daniel Weinman won $12.1 million earlier this summer.

  Place Player Country Prize
  1st Stanislav Zegal Germany $2,000,000
  2nd Michael Sklenicka Czech Republic $1,200,000
  3rd Daniel Neilson Australia $900,000
  4th Matt Glantz United States $685,000
  5th Rui Sousa Portugal $510,000
  6th Gabriel Schroeder Brazil $400,000
  7th Montgomery McQuade United Kingdom $300,000
  8th Luke Graham United States $250,000

“I Felt Comfortable Here”

When asked about his POKER background, Zegal told PokerNews he “started playing with friends in home GAMES 18 years ago” for “a couple of Euros.” He took a few years off from poker before he started studying and playing more in 2016, the year he started playing poker professionally.

Stanislav Zegal

The German was at a loss for words after winning $2 million and said “it has to settle first.”

“It was somewhat exhausting and needs to settle,” he said. “You always make plans for when stuff like this happens, but then when it happens it’s so overwhelming.”

How will the seven-figure score change Zegal’s plans? “I guess I’m going to do something for myself, for my health more, study more poker and just enjoy the time (with) friends and family … But I won’t play higher. I felt comfortable here.”

“TeamLucky” Denied On Day 4

Day 4 got off to a quick start with seven players returning as McQuade was eliminated in just the second hand as he lost a flip to Glantz. Winning a flip was just the beginning of the run-good for Glantz, who memorably binked a $1 million bounty at the 2022 WSOP. The poker veteran was at risk of going out in fourth place when his sixes were far pipped by the aces of Neilson. That mattered little as a six on the turn gave Glantz the lead to stay alive with a major double.

As it turned out, Glantz would still go out in fourth when he got it in with king-queen against Neilson’s ace-queen as Jeff Platt interviewed his good friend Shaun Deeb. Neilson had a sizable chip lead during three-handed play but lost most of his stack to Zegal as his Big Slick was out-flopped by the eventual champion’s king-queen.

Matt Glantz

“That was pretty crucial,” Zegal recalled about the hand.

Neilson was left short and went out soon after as he jammed the flop with a gunshot and couldn’t improve against the two pair of Sklenicka. The heads-up battle was brief as Sklenicka bluffed the river with just seven-high as Zegal found a hero call with fourth pair.

It was another victory with “The Robbi” here in The Bahamas as the final hand saw Zegal’s jack-four winning out right after China’s Dong Chen took down Event #15: $10,000 High Roller 6-Handed with the same offsuit jack-four.

Stanislav Zegal and runner-up Michael Sklenicka

That wraps up the PokerNews live reporting team’s coverage of an exciting WSOP Paradise Main Event here in The Bahamas. Be sure to check out the live reporting portal for coverage of other events.

Stay up-to-date with the real money poker news and updates for the World Poker Tour (WPT) and World Series of Poker (WSOP) by following Global WPT’s official channels on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

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