€5,300 EPT Prague Main Event

Saccucci Leads Final Nine in 2022 EPT Prague Main Event; Talbot in Contention

zedmaster84 • Level 27: Blinds 30,000-60,000, 60,000 ante
Jordan Saccucci

The nine-handed final table of the record-breaking 2022 PokerStars European Poker Tour Prague €5,300 Main Event is set and two tournament days remain to crown a winner at the Hilton Hotel Prague. Out of a field of 1,267 entries, Jordan Saccucci will be the man to beat in pursuit of a first-time EPT Main Event title as the biggest slice of the €6,144,950 prize pool remains up for grabs.

It won't be an easy ride for the Canadian despite having 9,560,000 (159 big blinds) to his name, as he faces tough competition from all over the world. Japan's Jun Obara sits in second place with 6,240,000 closely followed by Petar Kalev (5,845,000). Luigi D'Alterio is in the middle of the pack with 4,730,000 with several contenders then sitting closely bunched together.

Paul-Adrian Covaciu (2,770,000) and former WSOP Main Event finalist Antoine Saout (2,740,000) are separated by fewer than one big blind. Javier Gomez Zapatero was in a prime position prior to the dinner break but had to settle for 2,585,000 after conceding two double-ups.

Things looked very dire for PokerStars ambassador Parker Talbot as he was the far shortest stack on the final two tables. However, the Canadian doubled three times and advanced with 1,810,000 to enter the nine-handed final table as second-shortest stack ahead of Istvan Pilhofer (1,530,000).

2022 EPT Prague €5,300 Main Event Final Table

SeatPlayerCountryChip CountBig Blinds
1Petar KalevBulgaria5,845,00097
2Jordan SaccucciCanada9,560,000159
3Javier Gomez ZapateroSpain2,585,00043
4Luigi D'AlterioItaly4,730,00079
5Paul-Adrian CovaciuRomania2,770,00046
6Parker TalbotCanada1,810,00030
7Antoine SaoutFrance2,740,00046
8Istvan PilhoferHungary1,530,00026
9Jun ObaraJapan6,240,000104
Parker Talbot
Parker Talbot

All nine finalists have €97,450 locked up for the efforts and will aim to make it through one more day to stay in contention for the €1,054,500 top prize and golden EPT Main Event trophy. There are 64:54 minutes remaining in level 27 at blinds of 30,000/60,000 and a big blind ante of 60,000. The penultimate tournament day is scheduled to recommence at noon local time on Saturday, December 17, 2022, and the live stream on the PokerStars YouTube and Twitch channels will run on a security delay of 30 minutes.

Action of the Day

Only 30 players returned to their seats at noon and the first level of the day already saw six hopes crushed in quick succession with several short stacks among them. The elimination of Ondrej Drozd on the feature table vaulted Javier Gomez Zapatero to the top spot when his pocket kings held versus pocket queens. Henri Juutilainen never recovered from a massive blow on the outer tables and missed out on the final three tables while Vitezslav Cech also missed out on the subsequent pay jump.

Among the next batch of notable casualties were the two online legends Conor Beresford and Simon Mattsson, as well as Yannick Cardot. A suited king for Beresford was not enough against the suited ace of Fabrice Bigot and the Brit jumped into the €10,300 High Roller after. For Cardot, the attempt to surpass his 8th place finish from the 2022 EPT Monte-Carlo ended in 22nd place when he ran ace-king into aces while Mattsson's pocket sevens were cracked by the pocket sixes of Ionut-Flavius Voinea.

Yannick Cardot
Yannick Cardot finished 8th and 22nd in two EPT Main Events in 2022

The eliminations kept pouring in prior to the dinner break, on which just 10 players remained. Timothy Adams was among those to run out of chips when queen-ten was no match to the pocket jacks of Gomez Zapatero. Portugal's Rui Milhomens saw his hopes vanish despite having flopped a set of queens as Jordan Saccucci rivered a set of aces when the chips went into the middle.

Paulius Vaitiekunas was flipped out by Luigi D'Alterio before Maksim Shornikau and Laurent Cessy succumbed to their short stacks. What followed was the biggest pot of the tournament to date. Istvan Pilhofer somehow raise-folded pocket queens and would have flopped a set while the run of Benjamin Lebor came to a crashing end with kings against the aces of the red-hot running Saccucci.

Benjamin Lebor
Benjamin Lebor

In a battle of the Romanians, Voinea then flopped top pair in a three-bet pot only for Paul-Adrian Covaciu to reveal pocket kings for the top set. Last but not least, Fabrice Bigot was dominated with tens versus jacks and Petar Kalev came out on top to reduce the field to the final ten contenders.

When the action resumed after the dinner break, D'Alterio doubled twice in quick succession through Gomez Zapatero and it was then WSOP Online bracelet winner Simon Lofberg who became the final casualty of the evening. The Swede put his hopes on ace-ten but lost a classic race to the pocket eights of Kalev.

With more than one hour remaining and an average of more than 70 big blinds, Day 5 at the Hilton Hotel Prague won't be a brief affair. The PokerNews live reporting team will be back then to provide all the key hands according to the security delay on the live stream table.

Tags: Antoine SaoutBenjamin LeborConor BeresfordFabrice BigotHenri JuutilainenIonut-Flavius VoineaIstvan PilhoferJavier Gomez ZapateroJordan SaccucciJun ObaraLuigi D'AlterioOndrej DrozdParker TalbotPaul-Adrian CovaciuPaulius VaitiekunasPetar KalevRui MilhomensSimon MattssonTimothy AdamsYannick Cardot