Posts Tagged ‘Championship’

Ole Schemion Wins WPT European Championship

 Ole Schemion Wins WPT European Championship

There were a lot of firsts this week on the World Poker Tour (WPT). You had the inaugural WPT European Championship, which, held in Berlin, was also the first WPT Main Tour event to be held in Germany. It was the first televised Main Tour event in Europe in five years (so much for “World” Poker Tour) and it was the first WPT win for Ole Schemion, who just happens to be a Berlin native.

Schemion was the chip leader going into the final table, but it was a close race for the top spot. He had 2.840 million chips, while Michael Mrakes had 2.640 million and Hanyong Kuo had 2.505 million. After those three, it was a steep drop to the next three: Amjad Nader had 1.095 million, Michael Behnert had 600,000, and Patric Brandt had 470,000.

It was as easy of a final table for Schemion as you will ever see on the World Poker Tour. From the get-go, he extended his lead, and while he didn’t win every hand he got involved in, he was never really at risk of even taking a big hit.

Though there were some short stacks to begin the final table, it took until after the first break for anyone to be eliminated. On Hand 37 (thank you, WPT.com), a crippled Nader shoved pre-flop with K-Q and both Schemion (A-T) and Mrakes (9-9) made the call. The flop of A-6-5 gave Schemion the lead, so he bet to force a fold from Mrakes. It’s too bad for Mrakes that he did that (though quite reasonable), an 8 on the turn and 7 on the river would have given him a straight. As it were, Schemion won the hand and eliminated Nader in sixth place.

Twenty hands later, Kuo moved all-in pre-flop for just 170,000 chips with K-9 suited. Schemion called with a dominating A-9. Nothing on the board helped Kuo and his kicker and he was out in fifth place.

Then, just three hands later, Behnert was gone. He shoved pre-flop with A-9 suited, called by Brandt and his K-3 suited. A 3 landed on the flop and nothing else showed up to improve Behnert’s hand, so the tournament was down to three players.

The knockouts kept coming, as on Hand 61, only two hands after Behnert’s ouster, it was time for Brandt to go. Honestly, I don’t know exactly what happened, as WPT.com’s account was incomplete, but the money got in on the flop with Brandt holding J-9 suited and Schemion holding at least a 4. As none of the board cards helped Brandt, I’ll guess that Schemion had A-4 or 4-4 and it held up.

At any rate, Schemion went into heads-up against Mrakes with a 6.685 million to 3.465 million chip lead. Mrakes was able to close the gap a bit after Schemion initially grew his lead, but it wasn’t enough. On the final hand, Schemion raised to 180,000 pre-flop with K-7 of clubs, Mrakes three-bet to 600,000 with 7-5 of spades, and Schemion called. The flop was K-Q-9 with two spades, giving Schemion top pair and Mrakes a flush draw. Mrakes shoved and after much thought, including the use of two time bank extensions chips, Schemion decided to call. The flush never appeared for Mrakes and Ole Schemion won the WPT European Championship.

2018 World Poker Tour European Championship – Final Table Results

1. Ole Schemion – €218,435 ($ 255,352)
2. Michal Mrakes – €143,845 ($ 178,892)
3. Patrice Brandt – €93,105 ($ 115,077)
4. Michael Behnert – €60,730 ($ 74,088)
5. Han Kuo Yong – €46,705 ($ 57,118)
6. Amjad Nader – €39,010 ($ 47,323)

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Kalidou Sow Wins PokerStars Championship Prague

 Kalidou Sow Wins PokerStars Championship Prague

Going into the final table of the PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event, it looked like it would likely come down to Kalidou Sow, Jason Wheeler, and possibly Michal Mrakes, and this is exactly what happened. Sow bested Wheeler heads-up for the title, winning €675,000 after a deal was made, while Mrakes came in third in what will be the last official PokerStars Championship Prague.

For those wondering about that last statement, I refer you to Earl Burton’s article from Sunday. The “Cliff’s Notes” are that the Stars Group has decided that it was a mistake to reorganize the European Poker Tour and smaller regional tours into the PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival, so the former tour names will return in 2018. That means no more “PokerStars Championship Prague,” though one would expect it will become “EPT Prague.”

As for the tournament this weekend, Sow was the chip leader going into the six-handed final table with 8.135 million chips, but he was in a virtual tie with Wheeler, who had 8.1 million. Mrakes was the only other player with any real semblance of a chip stack, holding 5.01 million chips. The other three players had fewer than 2 million chips each, hence why it looked like a three horse race.

As expected, the three short stacks were the first to be eliminated at the final table and after they were, Wheeler had grabbed the reins, building his stack to 11.86 million chips, with Mrakes elevating to second with 9.265 million and Sow falling to third with just 4.57 million.

A few hands later, Wheeler took a chunk from Mrakes to move upt o 13.2 million, but a few hands after that, Sow won a huge hand when he and Wheeler both flopped straights. Fortunately for Sow, his was the nut straight while Wheeler’s was on the low end and Sow doubled-up to reverse stacks, jumping all the way to 14.48 million.

That was Hand #67; on Hand 90, Wheeler eliminated Mrakes to send the tournament to heads-up with Sow holding a 14.085 million to 11.63 million chip lead. During a break before the showdown, the two men agreed to a deal in which both got €570,000 and left €105,000 for which to battle.

Sow stayed in control the entire heads-up match, gradually building his lead until Wheeler had no choice but to find something with which to commit. On Hand #109 (thank you to PokerNews for the play-by-play), Wheeler raised pre-flop with Ah-9s, Sow re-raised with Th-Td, and Wheeler moved all-in for about 6 million chips total. Sow made the quick call and Wheeler saw the bad news.

The flop was Jack-high with two spades, but the 5h on the turn took away any thoughts of a runner-runner flush for Wheeler. He was unable to procure an Ace on the river and France’s Kalidou Sow had his first-ever major tournament title (and his first six-figure cash, for that matter).

PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event – Final Table Results

1. Kalidou Sow – €675,000
2. Jason Wheeler – €570,000
3. Michal Mrakes – €332,000
4. Gabriele Lepore – €249,000
5. Harry Lodge – €196,000
6. Colin Robinson – €147,000

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Kalidow Sow Wins PokerStars Championship Prague

 Kalidow Sow Wins PokerStars Championship Prague

Going into the final table of the PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event, it looked like it would likely come down to Kalidou Sow, Jason Wheeler, and possibly Michal Mrakes, and this is exactly what happened. Sow bested Wheeler heads-up for the title, winning €675,000 after a deal was made, while Mrakes came in third in what will be the last official PokerStars Championship Prague.

For those wondering about that last statement, I refer you to Earl Burton’s article from Sunday. The “Cliff’s Notes” are that the Stars Group has decided that it was a mistake to reorganize the European Poker Tour and smaller regional tours into the PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival, so the former tour names will return in 2018. That means no more “PokerStars Championship Prague,” though one would expect it will become “EPT Prague.”

As for the tournament this weekend, Sow was the chip leader going into the six-handed final table with 8.135 million chips, but he was in a virtual tie with Wheeler, who had 8.1 million. Mrakes was the only other player with any real semblance of a chip stack, holding 5.01 million chips. The other three players had fewer than 2 million chips each, hence why it looked like a three horse race.

As expected, the three short stacks were the first to be eliminated at the final table and after they were, Wheeler had grabbed the reins, building his stack to 11.86 million chips, with Mrakes elevating to second with 9.265 million and Sow falling to third with just 4.57 million.

A few hands later, Wheeler took a chunk from Mrakes to move upt o 13.2 million, but a few hands after that, Sow won a huge hand when he and Wheeler both flopped straights. Fortunately for Sow, his was the nut straight while Wheeler’s was on the low end and Sow doubled-up to reverse stacks, jumping all the way to 14.48 million.

That was Hand #67; on Hand 90, Wheeler eliminated Mrakes to send the tournament to heads-up with Sow holding a 14.085 million to 11.63 million chip lead. During a break before the showdown, the two men agreed to a deal in which both got €570,000 and left €105,000 for which to battle.

Sow stayed in control the entire heads-up match, gradually building his lead until Wheeler had no choice but to find something with which to commit. On Hand #109 (thank you to PokerNews for the play-by-play), Wheeler raised pre-flop with Ah-9s, Sow re-raised with Th-Td, and Wheeler moved all-in for about 6 million chips total. Sow made the quick call and Wheeler saw the bad news.

The flop was Jack-high with two spades, but the 5h on the turn took away any thoughts of a runner-runner flush for Wheeler. He was unable to procure an Ace on the river and France’s Kalidou Sow had his first-ever major tournament title (and his first six-figure cash, for that matter).

PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event – Final Table Results

1. Kalidou Sow – €675,000
2. Jason Wheeler – €570,000
3. Michal Mrakes – €332,000
4. Gabriele Lepore – €249,000
5. Harry Lodge – €196,000
6. Colin Robinson – €147,000

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2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event Day 4 – Final Table Determined, Kalidou Sow Leads Jason Wheeler, Michal Mrakes

 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event Day 4 – Final Table Determined, Kalidou Sow Leads Jason Wheeler, Michal Mrakes

Day 5 of the first and, as it will turn out, final PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event is in the books, setting up the final table for Monday night. The six men will be led by Kalidou Sow, who was able to bypass Jason Wheeler and Days 3 & 4 chip leader Michal Mrakes to take over the chip lead.

15 men came back on Sunday afternoon to the Casino Atrium Prague to decide who would be the main contenders for the final PokerStars Championship. Mrakes was the chip leader at the start of the day, the only player over the four million mark with his 4.945 million in chips. For his part, Wheeler was sitting a bit back in the pack with his 2.4 million in chips and Sow was definitely looking at an uphill climb with his 640,000 in chips.

Mrakes, who basically could do no wrong over the past two days of the tournament, didn’t come out of the gates making his best decisions. He four-bet Aleksandr Mordvinov to 390K but, after Mordvinov made it known he was serious with a five-bet all in, Mrakes quickly dropped his hand. Mrakes then gave some chips to both Alex Foxen and Gabriele Lepore to drop down to 4.175 million, still in the lead but not as much as previous.

Sow began his march to the top by knocking out Serhil Popovych. Popovych moved all in from under the gun and Sow looked down to find gold. He immediately called Popovych’s bet and tabled pocket Aces, more than good enough to take on Popovych’s pocket Jacks, and the six-high board that rolled out kept Sow in the lead, knocked off Popovych in 14th place and set Sow up with 1.55 million chips.

Surprisingly, instead of staying away from each other, Sow and Mrakes knocked heads in a critical hand. After Sow opened the betting and Mrakes (button) and Robert Heidorn (big blind) made the call, a 6-4-3 flop brought checks out of the shorter stacks. Mrakes fired off a 150K bet and Sow called after Heidorn folded. On a deuce turn, Sow once again check-called a bet from Mrakes, this time for 250K. When a J♠ came on the river (putting three spades on the board), Sow suddenly woke up and led out for 650K in chips. Mrakes made the call and immediately regretted it as Sow showed the A♠ 7♠ for the rivered nut flush as Mrakes could only muck his hand and let the million-chip stack go over to Sow.

This wasn’t the last time the duo would clash. Sow raised Mrakes’ big blind and, on an A-K-J flop, Mrakes check-called another bet out of Sow. The same thing happened on the turn and river, with Mrakes check-calling bets of 235K and 575K out of Sow, creating another million-chip pot. Once again, Sow had the goods, showing a Q-10 for the flopped Broadway straight. Mrakes could only shake his head and send his cards to the muck and the chips again to Sow.

Mrakes would right the ship eventually, knocking off Heidorn in 11th place, as Wheeler took over the chip lead while Sow and Mrakes were fighting with each other. He picked up a hefty two million chip pot against Colin Robinson to smash the seven million chip mark and, after Sow took down Foxen to reach five million and bring the final nine men to the unofficial final table, looked to carry some momentum as the chip leader. Once the action began at that nine-handed table, however, Sow took control.

Sow would knock off Mordvinov (ninth), Valentyn Shabelnyk (eighth) and Matas Cimbolas (seventh) to end his Sunday of poker with a flourish. That flourish will also allow him to start the six-handed final table on Monday afternoon with the chip lead:

1. Kalidou Sow, 8.135 million
2. Jason Wheeler, 8.1 million
3. Michal Mrakes, 5.01 million
4. Gabriele Lepore, 1.815 million
5. Colin Robinson, 1.425 million
6. Harry Lodge, 1.23 million

It looks as though the championship will be determined between Sow, Wheeler and Mrakes. Lepore, Robinson and Lodge need a great deal of help if they are going to make a run at the top and it may be a bit too much to ask for one of them to challenge for the title. Mrakes’ confidence took a bit of a hit on Sunday and Sow’s grew at the same time. The best bet to watch is Wheeler, who has been a steady, strong player throughout the tournament that has never been down the leaderboard too far.

The final table will resume play at 1PM Prague time (7AM Eastern Time) and the PokerStars Live! stream will pick up the action on delay one hour later. At the end of the rainbow for one of these six players will be the €775,000 and the final PokerStars Championship trophy ever.

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2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event Day 4 – Michal Mrakes Takes Over Lead with 16 Players Left

 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event Day 4 – Michal Mrakes Takes Over Lead with 16 Players Left

If it was Saturday, the PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event was set to play off its Day 4 schedule. By the time the dust settled on the poker battleground of the Casino Atrium Prague in the Czech Republic late Saturday night, local favorite Michal Mrakes – who has been hovering about the upper reaches of the leaderboard since the start of the tournament – had taken over the lead with only 16 players remaining.

At the start of the day, 49 players were set to take on whatever Saturday’s play held for them. Perhaps looking a bit brighter on the day was chip leader Paul Michaelis, who woke up on Saturday morning after spending his second day atop the leaderboard. Michaelis’ 1.27 million in chips was pretty much threatened by only one person – Mrakes, who was the only other player over a million chips with his 1.032 million chip stack. With pros such as Fatima Moreira de Melo, Marcin Horecki, Alex Foxen and Jason Wheeler lurking down the standings, however, that looked to be a situation that would change quickly.

Horecki was one of the players that had no fortune over the entirety of the Day 4 proceedings. On a 6-7-10-Q-9 board, Horecki faced a 103K chip bet out of Serhil Popovych that he didn’t believe. Horecki would make the call, only to see that Popovych probably caught up on the river against him after Popovych showed a 10-9 for the rivered two pair. Horecki didn’t show (perhaps an A-Q?) ash Popovych cracked the million-chip mark and Horecki dropped to around 200K in chips. Those would go into the center in a race between Horecki’s pocket Jacks and the Big Slick of Thomas Lentrodt moments later, which Horecki led until a cruel King came on the river to eliminate him from the tournament.

Mrakes, on the other hand, was heading in the opposite direction. He eliminated Dermot Blain when Blain put his remaining chips on the line against Mrakes. Once again it was a race, Mrakes’ pocket treys against Blain’s K-Q off suit, but this situation ended much quicker than Horecki’s. The 3-J-3 flop gave “only” quads to Mrakes to leave Blain drawing dead immediately; after a meaningless turn and river, Blain packed his bags as Mrakes stacked up his 1.44 million chips.

Mrakes was amongst the leaders at this point but, after the tournament was redrawn with 24 players to go, he firmly grabbed the top slot. Mrakes raised the betting to 60K and Hon Cheong Lee didn’t hesitate on putting in the three-bet of 180K. After Mrakes called, a 4-4-4 flop was dealt that might have slowed down some players. Mrakes did, checking his option, but Lee fired off 110K that Mrakes called. An eight on the turn brought another check-call out of Mrakes, this time for 225K of Lee’s chips. When a seemingly innocent deuce came on the river, Mrakes checked again and the fireworks were lit.

Lee pushed out the remainder of his stack, totaling over 850K, and Mrakes was put to a decision of calling off a huge amount of his chips or making a quantum leap upwards in the tournament. After the deliberation, Mrakes boldly made the call and it was the right move. On the 4-4-4-8-2 board, all Lee could muster was a Q-7 to play the flopped set of fours. Mrakes wasn’t much better with his A-10, but it was enough to win the hand, eliminate Lee and push Mrakes to 3.89 million chips and a solid chip lead.

Mrakes continued to expand on that chip stack, even able to withstand doubling up an opponent, before the final bell rung. He will enter Day 5 a massive chip leader and a prohibitive favorite for making the final table:

1. Michal Mrakes, 4.945 million
2. Valentyn Shabelnyk, 3.225 million
3. Robert Heidorn, 2.485 million
4. Jason Wheeler, 2.4 million
5. Colin Robinson, 2.085 million
6. Navot Golan, 1.955 million
7. Matas Cimbolas, 1.615 million
8. Thomas Lentrodt, 1.52 million
9. Harry Lodge, 1.36 million
10. Pierre Calamusa, 900,000

With 15 players left, the minimum payday for those still standing is €38,400. That is small change compared to what the eventual champion will walk off with on Monday night. That fortunate player will step away from Prague with a great Christmas present of €775,000.

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