Romania has some good poker players, but they’d yet to have a WSOP winner – until now. Alexandru Papazian has become Romania’s first champion after winning the 2017 WSOP Event #60 $888 Crazy Eights tournament.
“I do care about being the first one from my country to win a bracelet,” Papazian said afterward. “I’m super happy for it. I’m hoping it won’t be the last one for Romanians, and that there’s more to come. You’re going to see us around.”
In addition to being his country’s first WSOP champ, he also becomes the biggest poker winner in Romanian history with $2,811,492.
It certainly wasn’t easy for Papazian to win the $888,888 top prize. Thanks to the low $888 buy-in, 8,120 players turned out for this event. Several notable pros made runs at the title too, including William Kassouf (102nd, $5,637), Jason Wheeler (39th, $16,981), Eric Baldwin (12th, $52,431), and Benjamin Yu (9th, $67,126).
Upon making the final table, Papazian quickly took the lead after his A-K combo eliminated Guillaume (A-Q) in 8th place. He also knocked out Michael Tureniec (7th), whose stack had dwindled to nearly nothing.
Holding nearly 80% of the remaining chips, Papazian sat back and watched Kilian Kramer (K-K) knock out Harry Lodge (A-8) in eighth place.
The Romanian still carried a 3-to-1 chip advantage into heads-up play. It took him just 29 hands to eliminate Kramer and win the event.
Kramer went all in pre-flop with 9s-6s, while Papazian called with Ks-9c. The board of Kc-9h-2d-As-5d gave Papazian a two pair and the victory. Kramer earned a $463,888 payout for his second-place effort.
Afterward, Papazian explained that he’s happy with the win, but he’s also contained too.
“I play for a long time and I am not as excited as most people,” he said. “That’s just the way I am. I am not emotional, but I am still super happy about it.”
2017 WSOP Event #60 Crazy Eights Hold’em Final Table
1. Alexandru Papazian – $888,888
2. Kilian Kramer – $463,888
3. Harry Lodge – $344,888
4. Ioannis Konstas – $257,888
5. James Cappucci – $193,888
6. Vlad Darie – $146,888
7. Michael Tureniec – $112,888
8. Guillaume Diaz – $86,888