Online Qualifier Dwayne Sluis Wins 2023 Unibet Open Bucharest Main Event (65,830)

Online Qualifier Dwayne Sluis Wins 2023 Unibet Open Bucharest Main Event (65,830)

The 2023 Unibet Open Bucharest 1,100 Main Event came to an end on Sunday, December 3, at the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel.

Nine players out of 360 entrants were back on Day 3 for the final table. And after a bit more than seven hours of "stressful play" on a "tough table", Dwayne Sluis was crowned as the champion. The Dutch player defeated Ivan Alin Constantin in heads-up play to win the Unibet Open trophy and 65,830.

Even though "he wanted to win to prepare for his next events in Las Vegas in the best possible way", Robert Burlacu finished in third place (31,400), ahead of Dragos Anton (4th, 25,420) and the start-of-day chip leader Eduard Norel (5th, 20,030).

2023 Unibet Open Bucharest Main Event Results

RankPlayerCountryPrize
1Dwayne SluisNetherlands65,830
2Ivan Alin ConstantinRomania41,890
3Robert BurlacuRomania31,400
4Dragos AntonRomania25,420
5Eduard NorelRomania20,030
6Bart van DijkNetherlands15,300
7Max BroensNetherlands11,230
8Bjorn SamuelssonSweden8,260
9Sorin FluturRomania6,770

Winner's Reaction

"I can't really describe my feelings," Dwayne Sluis said moments after his victory. "It's special because poker wasn't going that well for me during the last two years. So, to win the tournament, it's absolutely amazing."

Sluis, who has been a Pot-Limit Omaha professional player for the past ten years, came to Bucharest because he won a package online to play the Main Event. And he didn't come alone, as he had his family with him. "For me, it was a trip with my wife and my daughter. The deal was: 'If I make money playing poker, it's good. But if I don't, we'll see Bucharest and have a good time here.' And I ended up playing, and playing, and playing, and winning the tournament."

The Unibet Open Bucharest started well for him as he ended Day 1b with three starting stacks. "I had a few spots where I was bluffing all in on the river. They didn't call, so I got lucky there, I guess," he explained. Then, his next goal was to reach the money.

"Once in the money, things started going [my way], and I built a very nice stack for the final table, above average (1,425,000)."

At the final table, everything ended like a fairytale. However, the first level was more like a nightmare. "I lost almost everything at the beginning with kings against queens with a queen of hearts on the river,"Sluis recalled. "Then I lost another all-in against a short stack with jacks against kings. After that, I was like 'whatever, it's probably done.' But I managed to build it up again and win the tournament against [Constantin], who won with queens against my kings. So it makes it a little bit more special!"

With his victory, Sluis took home 65,830. A "good boost" for his next big project. "With my family, we are going to travel the world and go to America in March to play poker in Texas, Miami, Las Vegas, and also events in Europe. We are probably going to do that for a year. We are pretty much-selling everything, including our house", he explained. A big trip around the world where he'll try to be as successful as in Bucharest.

Final Table Action

The beginning of the final table was quite slow, even though Ivan Alin Constantin, Bjorn Samuelsson, and Bart Van Dijk all doubled up one after the other in the first levels. However, it took one and a half hours to see the first elimination, with Sorin Flutur running into Dwayne Sluis' kings, finishing in 9th place for 6,770.

Things didn't go much faster after the first break of the day, until Samuelsson found himself in a tough spot. Facing an all-in from Constantin, Samuelsson couldn't fold his two pairs, so he called but lost the hand to Constantin's better two pairs with queens. With a smaller stack, Samuelsson was eliminated in 8th place for 8,260. Moments later, he was joined at the cashier by Max Broens, who couldn't find an ace on the board with ace-three against Burlacu's jacks. Finishing 7th, Broens went back home with 11,230.

After these three eliminations, Van Dijk was left with the shortest stack of the six remaining players. Even though he doubled up once, he was eliminated shortly after a new break (6th, 15,300). However, the former chip leader Eduard Norel didn't go much further, as he was sent to the rail 10 minutes later (5th Place, 20,030). Norel called on the river with the second pair, but Sluis hit two pairs on the river, becoming the new chip leader.

After Robert Burlacu doubled through him, Sluis continued increasing his lead, hitting a runner-runner flush to eliminate Dragos Anton in fourth place for 25,420. A few minutes later, Burlacu also lost his last chips, his ace-queen getting cracked by ace-eight (3rd, 31,400).

He let Sluis and Constantin fight for the title, with the Dutch player slightly in the lead. Both stacks quickly became even. However, soon after, Sluis with the best pair was called on the river to have four times Constantin's stack after this hand. A first all-in and call situation even occurred, but Constantin doubled up.

All the chips went into the middle again a few hands later. And this time, Sluis hit a pair with king-queen against ace-king to win this hand and the 2023 Unibet Open Bucharest.

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