Pobal Wins EPT Prague for Second EPT Title
When the European Poker Tour (EPT) began in 2004, creator John Duthie couldn’t have imagined that it would still be alive today. PokerStars owns the tour and continues to keep it operating across Europe, now in its 15th season.
As a part of the current season, the EPT Prague brought players to the Czech Republic from December 6-17, 2019. Nearly 50 tournaments, not to mention cash games and other activities, provided plenty for the players to do on and off the felt.
And while many players won sizeable amounts of money and prestigious titles, one player made EPT history. Mikalai Pobal of Hungary won the EPT Main Event, becoming the second player ever to win two EPT Main Event titles after Victoria Coren.
— PokerStarsBlog (@PokerStarsBlog) December 17, 2019
EPT Main Event Action
Out of all of the tournament options at EPT Prague, the €5,300 buy-in Main Event was…well…the main event. It got underway on December 11 with 391 entries, and another 745 came in on Day 1B the next day. And when late registration closed when Day 2 began, the final numbers were:
Total entries: 1,154 (including 294 reentries)
Total prize pool: €5,596,900
Total paid players: 167
Minimum payout: €8,960
Day 2 brought back 395 survivors from the starting flights and a few new entries. The money bubble burst late that night, leaving 141 players to bag their chips.
Day 3 reduced the field to just 41 players. Day 4 saw the exits of players like Sylvain Loosli, Gaelle Baumann, Hossein Ensan, Day 1A chip leader Pierre Calamusa, and Day 3 leader Luigi Shehadeh.
Day 5 started with some quick eliminations, including Dominik Panka in 10th place for €62,070. Dietrich Fast busted in eighth place, and the final five packed up to play the final day on December 17. Gaby Livshitz had the chip lead, and Mikalai Pobal was the second-lowest in chips.
On the final day of play, Norbert Szecsi battled Livshitz for the lead for hours. Tomas Paiva was the first to depart at the hands of Livshitz. Pobal was on a short stack for some time but did double through Livshitz twice to stay alive. Pobal then did it a third time to climb into the chip lead before eliminating Livshitz from the tournament in fourth place. Szecsi ousted Da Rocha in third place.
Szecsi took a lead into heads-up play with 18,385,000 chips against the 16,215,000 of Pobal. But the latter quickly took over the lead and ran away with it. Szecsi then pushed all-in with eights but found that Pobal had kings. The board changed nothing, and Pobal won.
Dreams Come True
Pobal became only the second EPT winner in its long history to capture a second EPT Main Event. He claimed his first title in Barcelona in 2012.
After that victory, per the PokerStars blog, Pobal fell away from poker, rarely playing live tournaments anymore. But when he won an online poker package on PokerStars for only €50, he decided to bring his family to Prague for a holiday.
It turned into a lucrative holiday, as Pobal won more than €1 million.
1st place: Mikalai Pobal (Belarus) – €1,005,600
2nd place: Norbert Szecsi (Hungary) – €598,880
3rd place: Ricardo Da Rocha (Brazil) – €421,450
4th place: Gaby Livshitz (Israel) – €316,780
5th place: Tomas Paiva (Portugal) – €241,230
6th place: Luke Marsh (UK) – €177,420
7th place: Laurent Michot (France) – €134,610
8th place: Dietrich Fast (Germany) – €96,100
Greenwood Among High Roller Winners
EPT Prague was not short of high-stakes tournaments. Here are the final numbers of those tournaments with €10K or higher buy-ins and their respective final table players:
Event 1: €10,300 NLHE Single Reentry
Entries: 61 (including 15 reentries)
Prize pool: €591,700
1st place: Adrian Mateos (Spain) – €177,500
2nd place: Anton Yakuba (Russia) – €128,400
3rd place: Denis Ip (Hong Kong) – €82,840
4th place: Vladimir Troyanovskiy (Russia) – €62,720
5th place: Bertrand Grospellier (France) – €48,520
6th place: Tsugunari Toma (Japan) – €37,870
7th place: Orpen Kisacikoglu (Turkey) – €30,180
8th place: Arsenii Karmatckii (Russia) – €23,670
Event 8: €25,000 NLHE
Entries: 28 (including 8 reentries)
Prize pool: €672,280
1st place: Jean-Noel Thorel (France) – €248,740
2nd place: Ben Heath (UK) – €171,430
3rd place: Danny Tang (UK) – €109,250
4th place: Yuan Li (China) – €78,990
5th place: Sam Greenwood (Canada) – €63,870
Event 50: €25,000 PLO Unlimited Reentry
Entries: 34 (including 12 reentries)
Prize pool: €980,000
1st place: Bogdan Capitan (Romania) – €333,200
2nd place: George Wolff (US) – €230,300
3rd place: Franco Cantarella (Italy) – €147,000
4th place: Bryn Kenney (US) – €112,700
5th place: Massimiliano Zanasi (Italy) – €88,200
6th place: Martin Kabrhel (Czech Republic) – €68,600
Event 12: €50,000 NLHE Super High Roller
Entries: 44 (including 14 reentries)
Prize pool: €2,134,440
1st place: Stephen Chidwick (UK) – €725,710
2nd place: Bertrand Grospellier (France) – €501,590
3rd place: Adrian Mateos (Spain) – €320,170
4th place: Steve O’Dwyer (Ireland) – €245,460
5th place: Jean-Noel Thorel (France) – €192,100
6th place: Ben Heath (UK) – €149,410
The last four were money-list leaders in the UK, France, Spain and Ireland — and it was Stephen Chidwick who came out on top. Read how the British No 1 won €725,710 at #EPTPrague and became poker's highest earning European. https://t.co/d4lkrY6Rzb pic.twitter.com/s4iOm93mpc
— PokerStarsBlog (@PokerStarsBlog) December 11, 2019
Event 18: €10,300 6+ Short Deck
Prize pool: €67,900
1st place: Yake Wu (China) – €44,135
2nd place: Daniel Tang (UK) – €23,765
Event 21: €10,200 NLHE Single Reentry
Entries: 41 (including 9 reentries)
Prize pool: €397,700
1st place: Tsugunari Toma (Japan) – €135,220
2nd place: Kahle Burns (Australia) – €93,450
3rd place: Timothy Adams (Canada) – €59,660
4th place: Ludovic Geilich (UK) – €45,740
5th place: Yake Wu (China) – €35,790
6th place: Daniel Tang (UK) – €27,840
— PokerStars LIVE (@PokerStarsLIVE) December 18, 2019
Event 25: €25,000 NLHE Single-Day Reentry
Entries: 50 (including 14 reentries)
Prize pool: €1,200,500
1st place: Chin Wei Lim (Malaysia) – €378,160
2nd place: Jorryt van Hoof (Netherlands) – €273,120
3rd place: Matthias Eibinger (Austria) – €174,070
4th place: Timothy Adams (Canada) – €132,055
5th place: Jun Obura (Japan) – €102,040
6th place: Pavel Plesuv (Moldova) – €78,035
7th place: Yang Wang (China) – €63,020
The day's action has wound down at #EPTPrague.
Malaysia's Chin Wei Lim grabbed the title in the 25K Single-Day Super High Roller, while Belgium's Bart Lybaert leads the remaining cohort of Day 1B's 745 entries in the Main Event.
— PokerStarsBlog (@PokerStarsBlog) December 13, 2019
Event 33: €25,000 NLHE Unlimited Reentry
Entries: 66 (including 23 reentries)
Prize pool: €1,584,660
1st place: Sam Greenwood (Canada) – €384,968
2nd place: Steve O’Dwyer (Ireland) – €411,312
3rd place: Sam Grafton (UK) – €216,310
4th place: Jans Arends (Netherlands) – €163,220
5th place: Daniel Tang (UK) – €126,770
6th place: George Wolff (US) – €98,250
7th place: Matthias Eibinger (Austria) – €77,650
8th place: Mustafa Jukovic (Sweden) – €60,220