Martin Soukup topped a field of 292 entries to take down the 2016 Unibet Open Malta Main Event for €65,000, earning the first live score of his career in a big way.
Final Table Payouts
|1||Martin Soukup||Czech Republic||€65,000|
|3||Gerret Van Lancker||Belgium||€29,000|
|5||Tim van Meene||Netherlands||€16,150|
|7||Bas de Laat||Netherlands||€10,700|
The final day of the event started with 10 players still in contention, playing on two five-handed tables. The day started disastrous for chip leader Bas de Laat. He lost with ace-queen to ace-jack to double up Christian Ostfelt, and lost another chunk to Vitalii Belyaev when he missed his flush draw in a three-bet pot and doubled him up.
Mariusz Czarnojan had an even worse day after he busted in 10th place. It was Griffin Benger doing the dirty work by rivering a ten with nine-ten to crush Czarnojan's dreams. Czarnojan had an unimproved jack-seven.
Down to nine players, the finalists took center stage and the live stream made sure people at home could follow along. Those railbirds saw Emil Westerberg bust out first, after he couldn't get away from top pair and found out de Laat had aces.
Benger was next to go. For quite some time he was leading this tournament on Day 2, but not much went right on Day 3. He first doubled Gerret Van Lancker, and lost the rest of his chips when his ace-king was cracked by Piotr Marzejon's ace-ten.
De Laat was back in the game after he had busted Westerberg, but he would still be the next to go. He first lost the biggest pot of the tournament with ace-king against Belyaev's queens to drop to the short stack, and then the remainder of his chips went to that same Belyaev he had doubled twice already. He check-raised all in with an open-ended straight draw and got called by Belyaev who had paired up. No help for de Laat on the turn or river and he hit the rail in seventh place.
Next to go was Ostfelt, and then Tim van Meene was eliminated after. Marzejon then busted in fourth and the field was left with three.
Belgian Van Lancker showed some great skills with big bluffs, over bets, and good lay downs, but in the end it wasn't enough for the title. He got it in good with kings to Soukup's ace-jack, but an ace on the turn meant he had to settle for third place.
The heads-up portion took quite some time, with both Soukup and Belyaev not eager to play big pots. The final hand broke this tradition, though, as Belyaev check-called three streets with what was, by the time the river was out, third pair. Soukup had flopped the nut flush and value bet all the way. Just like that, he had won the Unibet Open Malta Main Event.
Soukup became the first Unibet Open champion from the Czech Republic, taking home €65,000. The next Unibet Open will be the Danish capital of Copenhagen, August 25-28.