At noon local time, twelve players out of 1,154 entries returned to the tables in the Hilton Prague to play down to the final table of the 2019 EPT Prague Main Event. After almost four full levels, five players will return for the nitty-gritty on Day 6 to battle for a bigger share of the gigantic €5,596,900 prize pool as all of them are guaranteed at least €241,230. But they will all have their sights set on the glittering shard of success (the trophy) and the first-place prize of €1,005,600 that accompanies it.
The third-biggest ever EPT Prague Main Event attracted players from all over the world and this is clearly reflected in the final five players. As a matter of fact, the top fifteen players all hailed from different countries. But on the final table it will be Israel, Brazil, Hungary, Belarus, and Portugal who will be sending a player each to compete for all the bragging rights.
Coming into the final day is Gaby Livshitz with 11,205,000 in chips which are worth a whopping 112 big blinds. The money he has already locked up beats his previous record he penned down last month in Cyprus for $110,110 and he could possibly almost ten-fold it by winning the Main Event. Livshitz is followed by Ricardo Da Rocha with 7,925,000. Closing out the podium is Norbert Szecsi with 7,350,000. The Day 4 chip leader crushed all day long and was ahead of the pack for most of it until the latter stages when Livshitz took over.
The final five players are rounded out Mikalai Pobal (4,740,000) and Tomas Paiva (3,380,000). Pobal still has a shot at becoming the second-ever two time EPT champion after winning EPT Barcelona in 2012 while Paiva is trying to better his sixth-place finish in the €10,300 High Roller here in Prague last year.
PokerStars European Poker Tour Prague Final Table Seat Draw
|Seat||Player||Country||Chip Counts||Big Blinds|
|2||Ricardo Da Rocha||Brazil||7,925,000||79|
When the shuffle-up-and-deal-signal was given to the dealer, it was also the go-ahead for some fast-paced action. Only a few minutes after sitting down, Vlastimil Pustina was sent packing already when Szecsi put him at risk in a blind versus blind battle. Pustina’s queen-ten couldn’t beat king-seven and he was the first to go to the payout desk to collect €55,690 which easily surpassed his biggest live cash ever.
A mere 15 minutes later, Erdal Gusleven executed a wrongly timed bluff on the king-seven-deuce rainbow flop by shoving in a three-way pot with jack-nine suited. He was looked up by Szecsi who had a pair of queens. No help came as the creative Turk was eliminated in eleventh place for €62,070 which more than doubled his lifetime live poker tournament earnings. But that didn’t mean things slowed down just yet, the 2014 PCA Main Event champion, Dominik Panka bubbled the unofficial final table when he ran his ace-ten into the ace-king of Da Rocha.
Cooler to Go Eight-Handed
With an average of 96 big blinds and almost 38 minutes left in the level, the nine remaining players resumed play. But it would only take 30 minutes before a bad beat would take Gab Yong Kim out of the game. He had five-bet shoved with aces and was called by Szecsi who held queens. The three diamonds on the flop gave Szecsi the flush draw which he completed on the river to send the South-Korean player away in total disillusion. He was able to get some sympathy from Bertrand “Elky’ Grospellier who came up to him as soon as he saw Kim was standing at the payout desk to collect his prize money.
From Eight to Five Players
It would take almost six hours before play would end on the penultimate day. Laurent Michot was the shortest stack but got even shorter when Pobal flopped the higher pair. In the second level of the day, Szecsi pulled off a bluff against Pobal to get him to fold the better hand. Michot doubled up through Dietrich Fast with ace-jack while the latter had queens. Fast then saw his stack dwindle down, even more, when he made the wrong call against Livshitz to then crash out in eighth place when Pobal flopped a Broadway with Fast holding a mere pair of kings. The chips went in on the turn to send the sympathetic German to the rail in the end.
Thirty minutes later, Michot’s run was over when he called the shove of Livshitz on the queen-nine-six-eight-deuce board with ace-queen. Unfortunately for him, Livshitz held jack-ten for the turned straight. Michot walked away with his biggest live cash ever in a poker tournament.
Play would initially end when there were six players left but the level would be played out before the remaining players could bag up their chips. Livshitz took over the chip lead after clashing with Szecsi but it also spelled the end of the road for Luke Marsh when all the chips went in on the king-six-trey-nine-six board. Marsh had hit top pair and improved to two pair on the river but Da Rocha had turned a flush in the three-way pot with Pobal. After a deep run at the beginning of this year at the PSPC, Marsh boosted his lifetime career earning to well over the $1 million-mark with this result here in Prague.
Plan for the Final Day
The five returning players will continue to play on December 17. A 2-minute silence will be observed in the Czech Republic at noon to honor the victims of a hospital shooting in the eastern part of the country. Once that has been observed, players will resume play with Level 29 which features a small blind of 50,000, big blind of 100,000, and a big blind ante of 100,000. A 20-minute break will take place after every level and level duration will remain at 90 minutes until three players are left. Level duration will then be reduced to 45 minutes and play will continue until a winner has been crowned.
This is what is left to play for:
|Place||Player||Country||Prize (in EUR)||Prize (in USD)|
|6||Luke Marsh||United Kingdom||€177,420||$197,300|
|9||Gab Yong Kim||South Korea||€74,770||$83,148|
The PokerNews live reporting team will be back and bring you the updates with a 30-minute delay in line with the live stream provided by PokerStars and King’s so stick around to see who will be the last EPT champion of 2019.