Alexandra Béni | Jan 17, 2019 | 1
Hungary’s Top Poker Player: András Koroknai
It has been almost one year since András Koroknai cashed in a major poker tournament. In fact, it’s now pushing closer to five years since his fateful run in the world’s biggest poker event.
However, the Debrecen native and first Hungarian player ever to make the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event, remains the most accomplished poker player in Hungarian history.
Koroknai ultimately finished sixth in the 2012 WSOP Main Event, earning $1,640,902, but he has collected an outstanding $3,604,640 over the course of his career, an amount that puts him at the top of the Hungarian poker all-time money list.
Koroknai was a self-employed computer engineer before fate intervened. While on holiday in Greece, he suffered major injuries in a moped accident, nearly falling off a cliff and plummeting to his death. The accident left him laid up for a while, and with not much else to do, he started playing online poker.
He built up a bankroll from scratch, playing freerolls on online poker sites like PokerStars, under the screen-name Frccsï… and before long, he was making enough money to call it a career. Within about a year, Koroknai began traveling to major poker tournaments around the globe and grabbed his first taste of success winning the prestigious World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic in February 2010 for an incredible $1,788,040. Koroknai also cashed in the $10,000 World Championship at the WSOP later that year, making 339th of 7,319 entries for $36,463, but the best was yet to come.
Two years later, when he registered for the 2012 WSOP Main Event, Koroknai said he felt like it was his year turn to go deep, but it almost didn’t happen.
On the event’s fifth day, Koroknai was seated across the table from French player Gaelle Baumann, who entered a pot with a raise. Koroknai said he was blinded by the dealer and didn’t see it. Thinking the action had folded to him and the player in the big blind was the only one left to act after him, Koroknai moved all in. The big blind folded and Koroknai threw his hand away, thinking he’d won the pot. The only problem was that Baumann still had a hand. When he finally realized the mistake he’d made, Koroknai tried to pull back one of his cards, but it was too late, his hand was dead. The tournament staff ultimately ruled that Koroknai would have to forfeit enough chips to cover Baumann’s raise, but not his entire stack.
In the end, it seemed Koroknai had dodged a huge bullet, with Baumann holding two kings in the hand, and surely a favorite to win over almost anything Koroknai may have held. Play moved on, and in a strange twist of fate, Koroknai eliminated Baumann in 10th place, leaving her just one spot shy of the final table.
When play reconvened at the final table in October of that year, Koroknai was the only European player there, and appeared to be a contender to take home the World Championship. However, sitting third of six players remaining, he ran a massive all-in bluff into eventual champion Greg Merson and got caught, bowing out in sixth place.
The $1.6 million score made Koroknai the clear leader on Hungarian poker all-time money list, and while speculation is that he now plays private high-stakes cash games, he has stepped out of the poker tournament spotlight for the most part. In fact, Koroknai has cashed in just two tournaments since his 2012 WSOP Main Event run, making 13th in a 2015 L.A Poker Classic side event for $1,240 and 56th in the European Poker Tour Dublin Main Event last year for €10,270.
There’s no telling what the future holds for Koroknai. He does, however, hold an almost $1.1 million lead on Denes Tamas Kalo at the top of the Hungary’s all-time money list, and it appears for now, the title of the most accomplished poker player in the country will remain his, whether he wins another forint or not.
Source: Daily News Hungary