Jordan Saccucci Wins Record-Breaking 2022 EPT Prague €5,300 Main Event (€913,250)
The largest-ever PokerStars European Poker Tour Prague €5,300 Main Event has crowned its winner in the Czech capital. Only four players returned on Sunday to the Hilton Hotel Prague, the remaining survivors from a record field of 1,267 entries that had generated a prize pool of €6,144,950.
In the end, Canada's Jordan Saccucci went wire to wire in fewer than four hours on the final day, defeating two-time WSOP Main Event finalist Antoine Saout in heads-up.
Both players agreed to a deal prior to battling for the EPT Main Event trophy and it was the 33-year-old from Mississauga, Toronto who came out on top and secured the top prize of €913,250. Saout had to settle for a consolation prize of €800,000, the third-best live poker score of his career.
The final day also included Hungarian hotel and restaurant owner Istvan Pilhofer and Japan's Jun Obara.
Final Table Result 2022 EPT Prague Main Event
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in EUR)|
|8||Javier Gomez Zapatero||Spain||€126,700|
*denotes heads-up deal
The winner was certainly relieved that his trip to Prague went better than the last time when he "had his ass kicked". Among the most talkative players throughout the entire tournament, Saccucci appeared laser-focused for the final showdown and had his family on the rail for support.
"Last time, I had a bad run but this time it was better," Saccucci told Joe Stapleton after his short-lived heads-up duel with Saout.
However, it wasn't smooth sailing for the winner at the final table.
"It was a roller coaster! Ups and downs, got lucky a few times. But it was good, I enjoyed it and I had fun," said the new 2022 EPT Prague Main Event champion, promising that he would "keep grinding".
The Canadian survived the Day 1 with over three times the starting stack. From there on, he gradually climbed the leaderboard and was near the top for the better part of the last three and a half days of play.
Action From the Final Day
Throughout the tournament, Saccucci had been the recipient of a lot of big pocket pairs, and that continued on the final day when he found pocket kings in the very first hand, sending Japan's Obara to the rail in the proc.ess.
Saccucci continued to dominate from the top of the leaderboard, but with no increase in aggression it was Saout who steadily chipped up to ultimately take over the lead. Pilhofer was short-stacked, but did manage to secure a double through Saout. However, the second clash of the duo ended in favour of the Frenchman and London resident when pocket deuces flopped a set against ace-nine.
Brief deal discussions emerged, and both contenders agreed to secure a payday of €800,000 each with €113,250 and the trophy awaiting the winner.
From there on, it was mostly one-way traffic as Saccucci hit most boards and quickly established a 2:1 lead over Saout. In the final hand, his ace-trey was up against pocket sixes and the Canadian flopped trips to lock up the victory.
The first part of the final table the previous day also featured PokerStars ambassador Parker Talbot, who eventually had to settle for fifth place. That was one spot better than his performance in 2016 and he took home a cash prize of €278,450 for the efforts. Other finalists included Luigi D'Alterio, Petar Kalev, Javier Gomez Zapatero, and Paul-Adrian Covaciu.
Parker Talbot Falls Just Short of Joining Exclusive PokerStars Team Pro Club
However, they all failed to stop the hot run of Saccucci, who scored the biggest victory of his poker career so far and topped the largest EPT Prague Main Event in history.
For PokerStars, the next major live poker series is just around the corner as the operator has the eyes already firmly set on the return of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA). The festival on the Bahamas also includes the highly anticipated second-ever edition of the PokerStars Players NL Hold'em Championship (PSPC) and the entire festival runs from January 22 until February 3, 2023 at the stunning Baha Mar Resort.