FINALE TABRE Action of the Day
It took about 7 hours of poker on the final day to finish out the endgame of the 2023 Autumn Battle of Malta. Raoul Van Wersch came into the day with a big chip lead, and for a while, it looked like he’d run away with it. Van Wersch carried that lead all the way to heads up, never relinquishing it until he ran into his final opponent, Italian Gabriele Re.
The game was down to six-handed by the time they got to the first break of the final day with Herli Olop and Christophe de Meulder both hitting the rail within the first two levels of the day. Daniele Grasso was next to hit the rail in a bit of a bad beat. He got his money in good with the best ace, but Szymon Kuczerski hit his lower kicker to take it down and bring the game five-handed.
The chip leader, Van Wersch, had about 2/3rds of the chips in play after he sent Xavier Zuczkowski to the rail in 5th place. Zuczkowski and Van Wersch were seated beside each other and going at it pretty hard in the early play, but in this case, it was a classic flip that decided the huge pot as Zuczkowski’s queens couldn’t hold against the big slick for Van Wersch.
Van Wersch then started to lose some of his luster as he doubled up the short stacks four times. He never quite gave up the chip lead, but came very close before Szymon Kuczerski hit the rail in fourth place. Alberto Cigliano was next to go when Van Wersch won a race with king-jack against Cigliano’s pocket eights.
That left Re in a hole heads-up against Van Wersch but the tables turned fairly quickly after two-handed play began. In a not-so-classic race-like spot with Re holding ace-seven against king-queen Re held to take the lead away from Van Wersch for the first time all day.
From that point on, Re wouldn’t give up the lead. It only took another few minutes before it all ended with a coin flip between pocket fives for Re and jack-ten suited for Van Wersch. There wasn’t much drama when Re flopped a set of fives and then turned the Dutchman dead.
With a big Italian field in attendance, the win for Italy was appropriate. Re’s payday of €209,500 will surely be a nice boost to the bankroll of the online and live grinder, and no doubt he’ll be back here in April 2024 for the next edition of the Battle of Malta.
BOM INTERVIEWS: PATRISHA MEETS GABRIELE RE BOM WINNER OCTOBER 2023