Mikalai Pobal Wins EPT Prague; Secures Second EPT Title

Mikalai Pobal is the 2019 EPT Prague champion and the first male double EPT Main Event winner

Belarus’ Mikalai Pobal won the 2019 EPT Prague Main Event and became the first-ever male double EPT champion.

Pobal wrote himself into poker’s history books with his second EPT Main Event victory and joins Victoria Coren-Mitchell as the only player in history to win two title. Coren-Mitchell triumphed in London in 2006 and banked her second tittle in San Remo in 2014. There was a similar gap between Pobal’s victories.

He won EPT Barcelona in 2012 and now has the 2019 EPT Prague Main Event trophy.

2019 EPT Prague Main Event Final Table Results

Place Player Country Prize (EUR) Prize (USD)
1 Mikalai Pobal Belarus €1,005,600 $1,118,277
2 Norbert Szecsi Hungary €598,880 $665,985
3 Ricardo Da Rocha Brazil €421,450 $468,673
4 Gaby Livshitz Israel €316,780 $352,275
5 Tomas Paiva Portugal €241,230 $268,260
6 Luke Marsh United Kingdom €177,420 $197,300
7 Laurent Michot France €134,640 $149,693
8 Dietrich Fast Germany €96,100 $106,868
9 Gab Yong Kim South Korea €74,770 $83,148

The 1,154 entries made the 2019 EPT Prague Main Event the third-largest of its kind. A cool €5,596,900 was shared among the top the top 167 finishers.

Former EPT champion Jan Bendik busted in 162nd place for a min-cash of €8,960. Such luminaries as Adrian Mateos, Martin Finger, Steve O’Dwyer, Stephen Chidwick, and Dario Sammartino joined him on the rail.

Dominik Panka, the Polish superstars, burst the final table bubble when he crashed out in 10th place for €62,070. Panka’s ace-ten lost to the dominating ace-king of Ricardo Da Rocha to set the unofficial final table.

2019 EPT Prague Unofficial Final Table Draw

Seat Player Country Chips
1 Mikalai Pobal Belarus 2,125,000
2 Laurent Michot France 1,070,000
3 Luke Marsh United Kingdom 5,035,000
4 Ricarda Da Rocha Brazil 3,300,000
5 Dietrich Fast Germany 3,550,000
6 Tomas Paiva Portugal 4,595,000
7 Gab Yong Kim South Korea 3,155,000
8 Norbert Szecsi Hungary 7,265,000
9 Gaby Livshitz Israel 4,405,000

A huge hand early into final table proceedings resulted in Gab Yong Kim busting in ninth-place. Gaby Livshitz min-raised to 80,000 from under the gun and Kim three-bet to 315,000 from the small blind. Norbert Szecsi four-bet to 825,000 from the big blind, and Livshitz folded. Kim jammed all-in for 3,155,000 and Szecsi tank-called.

Kim showed back aces while Szecsi revealed a pair of queens with the queen of diamonds. The flop fell all diamonds to give Szecsi 11 outs in total. One of those, the jack of diamonds, landed on the river to bust Kim in ninth.

Szecsi used his big stack to great effect and seemed to be running away with proceedings. He held more than twice as many chips as anyone else at one stage.

It took an age for the next player to be eliminated, that player being Dietrich Fast. A real cooler of a hand sent Fast to the cashier’s desk to collect €96,100. Pobal min-raised to 160,000 from late position with ace-jack. Fast defended his big blind holding king-nine. The flop fell queen-king-ten, gifting Fast a straight but Pobal a bigger straight. Both players checked the flop and Pobal led for 80,000 on the eight turn. Fast check-raised to 800,000, Pobal moved all-in and Fast called off his last 200,000 chips. The river was another eight and Fast became the eighth-place finisher.

First Six-Figure Prize Awarded

Seventh-place and €134,610 went to Frenchman Laurent Michot. A min-raise to 160,000 from Livshitz was called by Michot and Tomas Paiva. A queen-nine-six flop was checked by Paiva. Livshitz continued with a 225,000 bet and both his opponents called. An eight on the turn spiced things up. Livshitz bet 875,000 and only Michot called. The deuce of diamonds on the river saw Livshitz move all-in for 1,860,000. Michot went into the tank and emerged with a call for his tournament life. Michot showed ace-queen for top pair, Livshitz, however, held jack-ten for a straight.

Luke Marsh fell in sixth-place to bring the curtain down on the penultimate day’s play. Marsh got involved in a three-way pot holding king-five. He flopped top pair to take the lead over De Rocha and Pobal, but the former caught a flush on the turn. Marsh didn’t believe Da Rocha and called off his last chips to be shown the bad news.

Five Return in the EPT Prague Main Event

The final five battle for three hours before something gave and Paiva busted. Livshitz opened with jack-six of hearts and Paiva called in the big bin with queen-eight. Paiva made top pair on the eight-five-four flop, which contained two hearts. Paiva initially checked, Livshitz bet 275,000 and Paiva check-raised to 1,400,000. Livshitz jammed with his draw and Paiva’s last 125,000 chips went into the middle. The eight of hearts on the turn locked up the hand for Livshitz rendering the six on the river meaningless.

Fourth-place went to Livshitzwhose ace-queen ran into Pobal’s pocket rockets. The chips went into the middle on a queen-high flop. A massive pot was created and that pot ended up in Pobal’s stack, boosting him to 17.8 million chips.

Heads-up was set when Da Rocha ran out of steam to bust in third for €421,450. He was down to 7.5 big blinds and moved al-in with ace-jack from the button. Szecsi called in the small blind with ace-queen. Neither player improved, Szecsi’s queen-kicker played, and Da Rocha busted.

The stacks of the final two players were almost even so it was no surprise they discussed a deal. No deal was struck despite a €406,720 difference between first and second-place.

First blood went to Pobal who won a large pot by bluffing his opponent. This gave him a three-to-one chip lead and a major advantage. It was all over a few hands later. With blinds 100,000/200,000/200,000a, Szecsi opened to 450,000. Pobal responded with a 1,500,000 raise before he snap-called Szecsi’s 6,340,000 shove.

Szecsi turned over a pair of black eights but was in a world of pain against Pobal’s black kings. Pobal’s kings held and he became the 2019 EPT Prague champion plus the first man to win two EPT Mains.

Matthew Pitt

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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