Greek Triumph At WSOPJuly 6, 2011 8:45 am
US player of Greek origin Athanasios Polychronopoulos triumphed at WSOP Event 48: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em, collecting a massive $655,430 in prize money to go with his prestigious gold winners bracelet.
In addition to his impressive win, Athanasios Polychronopoulos also now holds the record for the longest name to win in the 42 year history of WSOP, relegating the previous holder Indian born Chandrasekhar Billavara to second spot.
Previously an online tournament pro with $2,075,799 in earnings, the 27 year old recently had to turn his attention to the live arena following the US anti-online poker crusade. A short time down the line and Athanasios has impressively shown his adaptability by winning the most prestigious of all poker trophies.
Polychronopoulos’ family hail from Greece but with Athanasios later born in New York. They now own a Greek restaurant in the area and like many Greek families, enjoy a large, close extended family. As he explains:
“My father and mother came from Greece. I would always go back to Greece to see my family and every time I would go back I would meet a new cousin. “Oh, here’s your cousin, here’s your third cousin.” My family is huge. My mother’s family is enormous. My father’s family is enormous. I love them all so much.”
Athanasios also puts some of his gambling skills down to his family roots, and said,
“there are a few gamblers in the family [because] it’s definitely in the blood.”
On his way to picking-up his WSOP bracelet, Athanasios had to overcome a huge field of 2,712 competitors over four days, including a tough final table. As he explains:
“They were all good players. A few German guys were there, playing very solid. Every single player played solid. I came in fourth in chips. On the first hand, I tried to pull a pretty big bluff, and it failed, because he had trips. Once that first bluff failed, and I got it out of my system, it was easier for me. I just had to pick my spots after that.”
Congratulations to the Greek-American poker champ, whose victory also saw the national anthem of Greece played for the very first time at an award ceremony at the WSOP.