Paul Michaelis Triumphs At 2018 EPT Prague Main Event For €840kDecember 20, 2018 12:12 pm
The PokerStars sponsored EPT Prague wrapped up its 12-day run at the Casino Atrium Prague with its flagship €5,300 Main Event. The tournament attracted an impressive 1,174 entries resulting in a €5,693,900 ($6,464,244) prize pool, with German player Paul Michaelis eventually triumphing over the field, including Ukraine’s Artem Kobylynskyi heads-up, to collect the title, and a first place prize of €840,000 ($953,646).
Germany’s Paul Michaelis
Paul Michaelis cashed in at his first live tournament seven years ago. In 2015, he then captured a career first WSOP bracelet after taking down that year’s $1,500 Pot Limit Hold’em event for $189,818. The score was also his biggest to date, until his victory in Prague this week, which has since doubled his life time earnings to $1,778,427. Following his EPT win, the young German player commented:
“It feels pretty unreal. It’s an unreal amount of money. Obviously due to swaps and backing, I only get to take a portion of this but it’s still an unreal amount of money.”
EPT Prague Main Event
The €5,300 EPT Prague Main Event received 893 entries and 281 re-entries, with its prize pool subsequently awarding 175 money places. Among the recognizable pros seeing a return on their buy-ins was Jason Wheeler in 96th (€10,980), Sylvain Loosli in 92nd (€10,980), Juha Helppi in 58th (€14,520), Gianluca Speranza in 56th (€14,520), Patrik Antonius in 52nd (€17,540), and Xixiang Luo in 22nd (€33,540).
Final Table Action
On Day 6, Michaelis entered the final table in pole position, while Canadian online Twitch streamer Parker Talbot was the short stack at the table. One hour later, and Talbot shoved preflop with K-Q and received a call from Laurynas Levinskas (A-9). The dealer then laid out an A-A-2-10-K board to eliminate Talbot in 6th place.
Next, Artem Kobylynsky (A-A) took care of Carlos Branco (7-7) in 5th, after which Michaelis dispatched Levinskas to the rail in 4th.
The three remaining players continued to battle it out for a while, but ultimately opted to make a deal in which Michaelis would receive €770,000 ($877,800), Alexandr Merzhvinskii €631,500 ($719,910) and Artem Kobylynskyi €571,910 ($651,977). Left to play for, however, was an additional €70,000 ($79,800) in prize money, a coveted EPT title, as well as a Platinum Pass worth $30,000.
Soon after, Michaelis (A-9) eliminated Merzhvinskii (A-7) in 3rd to get the heads-up phase of the tournament underway.
Michaelis started the final showdown with a 2-to-1 chip lead over Kobylynskyi. The Ukrainian then slipped to a 6-to-1 chip deficit before moving all in preflop holding pocket tens. Unfortunately for him, Michaelis had been dealt pocket jacks, which proceeded to hold up on the ensuing K-Q-5-9-7 board.
Kobylynskyi collected €571,910 ($649,285) for his deep run in the tournament, which now accounts for more than 70% of his career earnings. Meanwhile, Michaelis captured an EPT title to go with his WSOP bracelet, and commenting upon his development as a poker player, stated:
“I just feel even since a year ago, I have a lot more experience in these main event fields. I have a calmer approach than I had before.”
Final Table Results
1: Paul Michaelis $957,600
2: Artem Kobylynskyi $651,977
3: Alexandr Merzhvinskii $719,910
4: Laurynas Levinskas $360,240
5: Carlos Branco $276,518
6: Parker Talbot $204,470
Henrik Hecklen Wins €10,300 High Roller
The €10,300 EPT Prague High Roller attracted 195 entries, resulting in a prize pool worth €2,512,300 ($2,841,390). Needless to say, some of the world’s top talent took part in the event, including the likes of Patrik Antonius (37th), Davidi Kitai (20th), Charlie Carrel (17th), Niall Farrell (11th), and Daniel Dvoress (5th). In the end, however, the title was contested between Henrik Hecklen and Germay’s Ole Schemion.
The final hand then saw Schemion move all in preflop holding A-2, and receive a call from Hecklen with pocket queens. The proceeding K-3-4-6-K board sealed the deal for Hecklen, who later commented:
“It was quite tough because there weren’t that many showdowns so it was kinda hard to figure out what [Schemion] was doing but overall I think he played really well. It was a tough one.. My background is in deepstacked cash games and heads-up, I think the structure was very favorable for me. It was certainly better than 20 big blind shoving poker. It suits me very well for sure.”