Nine Days After Runner-Up Finish, Fabrian Brandes Breaks Through To Win First WSOP Bracelet

Fabian Brandes came within one elimination of winning his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet on June 12, but ultimately finish as the runner-up in the $25,000 buy-in pot-limit Omaha high roller. Just nine days later, the German poker pro made it back down to heads-up play in another PLO tournament. The second time was the charm, as he emerged victorious as the champion of the $3,000 PLO six-max event with his first bracelet and the top prize of $371,358/

“It was a rollercoaster of a day! It is unreal to have the bracelet in my hand,” Brandes told WSOP reporters after the win.

Brandes has now cashed for more than $1.27 million so far at the 2022 WSOP, with $907,132 coming from his runner-up showing in the previously mentioned PLO high roller. He earned 1,260 Card Player Player of the Year points for that finish, and another 1,368 for topping a field of 719 entries on his road to gold. These two huge scores have catapulted the Austrian resident inside the top twenty in the 2022 POY race standings, which are sponsored by Global Poker.

The strong turnout for this event resulted in a $1,919,730 prize pool, which was paid out among the top 108 finishers. Plenty of big names made deep runs, including the top two finishers in the recent $50,000 buy-in PLO high roller: two-time bracelet winner Dash Dudley (98th – $4,834) and two-time bracelet winner Robert Cowen (95th – $4,834). Other notables included two-time bracelet winner Shankar Pillai (91st – $4,834), three-time bracelet winner Norbert Szaecsi (83rd – $5,287), three-time bracelet winner Frank Kassela (73rd – $5,287), bracelet winner Matthew Waxman (62nd – $6,042), recent limit hold’em champion Jonathan Cohen (19th – $14,820), two-time bracelet winner Jason DeWitt (15th – $18,494), bracelet winner Jan-Peter Jachtmann (14th – $18,494), and bracelet winner Andriy Lyubovetskiy (9th – $30,729).

The final day of this event began with six players remaining and Leonid Yanovski in the lead. Brandes was in second chip position with more than 100 big blinds in his stack when play resumed. Brandes scored the first knockout of the day when he turned queens and tens and got the chips in against the flopped queens and fours of Grzegorz Derkowski. The river was of no help to the Pole and he was eliminated in sixth place ($55,501).

Sean WinterAmerican high-stakes player Sean Winter was at his fourth WSOP final table, with his eyes set on acquiring his first bracelet at the series. He earned his first elimination when his double-suoted pocket jacks held against the single-suited pocket sevens with a single overcard for Hungary’s Ferenc Deak (5th – $76,880).

Winter’s stack took a huge hit when he doubled up short stack Thomas Morrison. Winter was left with fewer than two big blinds after the hand but managed to survive a few all-ins to move out of the bottom spot on the chip counts.

Brandes had overtaken Yanovski for the lead during the early final-table action, but the latter managed to regain some ground thanks to his elimination of Morrison in fourth place ($108,604). Morrison got all-in with ADiamond SuitKHeart SuitKDiamond Suit2Diamond Suit, which was training the ASpade SuitAHeart Suit5Diamond Suit3Heart Suit of Yanovski. The board improved neither player and Morrison was sent home with his first six-figure payday.

Winter had managed to outlast Morrison, but slid to the bottom of the standings again during three-handed play. In his final hand Winter raised from the small blind with QHeart SuitQDiamond SuitJDiamond Suit9Heart Suit facing a button limp from Brandes, who held 10Club Suit8Spade Suit8Heart Suit7Diamond Suit. Brandes called and the 10Spade Suit8Club Suit4Spade Suit flop gave him middle set. Winter checked with his wrap draw and oerpair. Brandes bet pot and Winter check-raised all-in. Brandes called, only to see the JClub Suit turn five Winter a queen-high straight. The tables turned yet again, though, when the 10Heart Suit river paired the board to give Brandes a winning full house. Winter was sent to the rail in third place, earning $156,401 for his deep run. He now has nearly $21.6 million in career cashes to his name.

This was Winter’s 12th final-table finish of the year, with two titles won and more than $2 million in scores made along the way. His impressive run in 2022 has seen him move into eighth place in the overall POY standings.

Brandes moved into the lead early in his heads-up battle for the gold. Yanovski was able to battle his way back on top, only to have Brandes score a huge double-up with top set against a flush draw to take a commanding lead.

Yanovski began to spin his stack back up after taking that hit, but eventually was all-in and at risk after a flop of KDiamond Suit9Spade Suit4Spade Suit. Yanovski held AClub SuitKHeart Suit9Diamond Suit8Diamond Suit for top two pair, while Brandes had KClub SuitQSpade SuitJClub Suit7Diamond Suit for top pair, a gutshot, and some live kickers. The 10Heart Suit on the turn completed Brandes’ straight to leave Yanovski in need of a king or nine on the end.The 10Diamond Suit was not the board pair he was looking for, though, and Yanovski was knocked out in second place ($229,529). This was the largest live cash of the Israeli poker player’s tournament career.

Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Fabian Brandes $371,358 1368
2 Leonid Yanovski $229,529 1140
3 Sean Winter $156,401 912
4 Thomas Morrison $108,604 684
5 Ferenc Deak $76,880 570
6 Grzegorz Derkowski $55,501 456

Winner photo credit: WSOP / Spenser Sembrat.

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