Eureka4 Prague: Balazs Botond wins Eureka4 Prague and €206,948!
The Eureka Poker Tour continued to break records for the fourth successive event. Eureka4 Prague was the biggest event in the tour's history as 1,738 came to the Hilton Hotel for the EPT Prague Festival. The previous two events of season 4 had seen records broken as well, first in Vienna with the previous biggest ever event, and then in Rozvadov - the largest "standalone" event.
PokerStars player Balazs Botond came back today as the second-shortest stack of the ten players remaining, but eight hours later it was the Hungarian holding the trophy and €206,948 in prize money after a deal had been made three-handed.
The day began with two tables of five players. Periklis Charmpilas was first to go when he limp-reraised all in with pocket deuces against Jonas Mackoff's ace-queen. Mackoff tanked for several minutes and apologised for nit-rolling before he eventually made the call. The final could've gone very differently for the eventual winner Botond, who got all his chips in with kings against the chip leader Atanas Malinov's aces, the Hungarian spiked a king and kept himself in the game.
Eventually David Novak, the only Czech player left in the tournament, became the official final table bubble, shoving his short stack in with Q♦J♦ and running into Malinov's K♦K♣.
The first two hours of the final table passed without much incident - save for Ayman Zbib doubling up twice, first in a coin-flip against Endre Sagstuen, and then making a flush against Malinov's two pair. Then in level 32, everything kicked off in a 40-minute spell which saw the final table go from eight players to just three.
Endre Sagstuen was first to be knocked out. He pushed with 9♦8♣ from the button and lost out to Lucas Blanco's K♥Q♣ when the board came K♠Q♣7♥3♠8♥. Almost the very next hand, Blanco contrived to lose all his chips, losing a classic coin-flip with A♥K♣ against Athanasios Xenodochidis' Q♣Q♦ after the latter four-flushed his queen.
Former chip leader Malinov was the next player out. He had been rendered short after doubling up Zbib earlier and made a stand with K♠T♦. Zbib made the call with J♥J♦ and a 4♥6♥7♥2♠A♦ put paid to the Bulgarian's hopes. This made three exits in quick succession, but the players and staff barely had time to catch their breath as two more players would bust before the level was over.
Vladimir Velikov, who had spent most of the final table short, moved all in from the button with A♦3♣ . But Xenodochidis found Q♣Q♦ in the small blind and quickly knocked out the second Bulgarian player. Xenodochidis followed this up by knocking out Canadian Jonas Mackoff in fourth place in the last hand of the level. A simple flip with Mackoff holding 3♦3♥ against the Greek player's A♣9♦, an ace came on the flop and Xenodochidis was looking indestructible at this point as play became three-handed.
Botond then won a sizeable pot off Xenodochidis and the three players negotiated a deal to chop the remaining prizepool while leaving €20,000 for the winner. The payouts were as follows:
Balasz Botond - €186,948
Athanasios Xenodochidis - €186,881
Ayman Zbib - €163,921
With each player having secured a large share of the money, the action loosened with Botond and Xendochidis playing a huge pot for around half the chips in play. Each player had a big rail as Xendochidis' A♦9♥ went to war against Botond's J♥J♠. The Hungarians were happy on the 7♥8♦4♦ flop but the Greek chrous went wild when the A♠ came on the turn. Those cheers were silenced by their Hungarian brethren on the J♦ river as the dreaded/loved "suck/re-suck" reared its head. Xenodchidis then lost with A♠3♣ to Zbib's A♥9♠ in a blind-on-blind confrontation and was crippled as a result and eliminated soon after.
Botond began the heads-up match with Zbib with 22 million to 12 million lead but Zbib doubled up almost immediately with top pair against second pair after the latter had made a big shove with K♣Q♠ on the turn of a 7♦J♣Q♥5♥ board. Botond called with J♥9♣ but couldn't improve on the 7♥ river.
The battle continued, Botond managing to regain the lead when his A♣J♠ beat Zbib's A♦9♠ all in pre-flop. Finally, Botond secured the title for himself, his friends and his dog when his 6♣6♦ held against Zbib's A♠J♠ on a 4♣5♣Q♥7♥7♦ board. The two shared a friendly handshake and Zbib, a famous Lebanese singer, will go away €163,921 richer, but Botond secured his biggest ever live cash of €206,948, beating his previous best - a fourth place finish at EPT8 Campione where he won €157,000.
Eureka4 Prague Main Event
Entrants : 1,738
Buy-in : €1,100
Prize pool : €1,685,860
Places paid : 255
1 Balazs Botond (Hungary) PokerStars player € 206,948*
2 Ayman Zbib (Lebanon) € 163,921*
3 Athanasios Xenodochidis (Greece) € 186,881*
4 Jonas Mackoff (Canada) PokerStars player € 81,100
5 Viktor Velikov (Bulgaria) € 65,440
6 Atanas Malinov (Bulgaria) PokerStars qualifier € 52,050
7 Lucas Blanco (Spain) € 39,500
8 Endre Sagstuen (Norway) PokerStars player € 28,100
Denotes a deal three-handed
Shortly after he'd taken the title Botond - and his dog - had a chat with Laura Cornelius of PokerStars TV.
To check out the live updates, click here and here. The next set of dates for Eureka5 have also just been announced. In the meantime, why not enjoy PokerStars live coverage of the Super High Roller event and the EPT Main event