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Tomas Junek Wins First Czech Republic Bracelet
Tomas Junek made his way into the history books yesterday by becoming the first player from the Czech Republic to win a WSOP bracelet.
The 23 year old outlasted 2,798 players to win Event 56 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em for a staggering $661,022.
“I got tons of messages from people in the Czech Republic congratulating me,” he said. “It’s really wonderful. This was my dream.”
Last year the Czech Republic was thrust into the poker spotlight when Czech Martin Staszko finished second in the WSOP Main Event for $5.4 million.
Junek, who hails from the small town of Prestavlky finally finished what Staszko started last year by winning the country’s first gold bracelet.
“I think Czech players have gotten very good over the last few years,” said Junek. “We’ve had good results in worldwide tournaments and online as well.”
Junek started to play poker when he was in high school and eventually transitioned into the online poker.
“That didn’t go so well at first,” he said.
After losing online, Junek once again started playing live tournaments and made a $3,000 score. Junek immediately put some of his winnings back online and this time around found success.
Eventually Junek had the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas for the WSOP and he jumped at the chance.
“Now I’m here and I have a bracelet.”
Junek wasn’t sure if he’ll be able to play the Main Event this year but plans on making several appearances on the European Poker Tour this year, especially the Prague stop in the Czech Republic.