Henrik Hecklen dominates final table to win EPT Prague €10K High Roller for €503K

The final flagship event of the PokerStars calendar year ended tonight with Denmark's Henrik Hecklen capturing his biggest live result to date.

Henrik Hecklen: Champion

There aren't many 'enigmas' left in poker. You could probably count on one hand the players you really want to know more about, but don't.

Henrik Hecklen's mythology was mainly built behind the computer screen. Known on PokerStars as "hhecklen", he's amassed millions in online earnings over the years, both in high stakes cash games and tournaments.

Now it seems he's growing his mystique in the live poker world too. He had a deep run in the WSOP Main Event in the summer, and this week enjoyed a deep run in the Prague Main Event, busting in 23rd place.

That means he hopped straight into this EPT Prague €10K High Roller after four straight days of grinding the Main. Three days later, he's the champ.

Hecklen in battle mode

Outlasting the 259-strong field, and steamrolling his way through tonight's final table (sending five of the eight players to the cage), Hecklen defeated Ole Schemion heads-up to win it all for €503,700.

"You shouldn't look at two tournaments in correlation with each other," Hecklen said afterwards. "But now that the Main Event didn't really work out it's nice to have this sort of consolation prize, and it's a good one obviously.

"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."

There's a chance Ole Schemion in on your 'enigma' list. He seems to have been around forever, yet is only 26. He's part of the German crew, but always seems to just do his own thing. And we definitely don't know where he buys his clothes.

Schemion style

The only thing we know for sure about Schemion is that the man can play poker with the best of them. But when Schemion reached heads-up play tonight, he was a big underdog despite his plethora of past glories.

Henrik Hecklen had felted five of the eight players at the final table, and despite some rocky moments three-handed, held a dominating chip lead.

If there's anyone who knows how to forge a comeback though, it's Schemion.

Ole Schemion - runner up

Let's rewind a little.

Only 39 players got paid in this one, and the bubble burst with two hours still to go at the end of Day 2. And when we say burst, we're not just talking about a quick prick with a pin; more like when a drunk uncle collapses on a pile of balloons at a wedding.

Krasimir Yankov opened and then snap-called a shove from Hon Cheong Lee holding pocket kings. Lee had ace-queen off, and the flop? Yeah, it had Yankov drawing dead. "Absolutely ridiculous" were the words of Sam Grafton.


After that the 39 remaining players had locked up a min-cash of €17,300, and as expected there were multiple bust-outs in quick succession. By the end of the night we'd lost the likes of Grafton, Xixiang Luo, Timothy Adams, and Davidi Kitai.

Just 18 returned on the third and final day, which would prove to be a short one for Serdar Demircan and Charlie Carrel. The latter jammed pocket sevens into Tomas Paiva's pocket kings and couldn't hit, and was later joined in the payouts by fellow Brits Niall Farrell and Max Silver, both of whom bubbled the unofficial final table. Silver won this same event in Barcelona back in August, but would have to settle for tenth this time around.

Daniel Dvoress held the chip lead with nine left, and gained more speed by knocking out Russia's Anton Yakuba in ninth. With king-three he hit a king to felt Yakuba with pocket queens.

Yakuba's run ended in 9th

From there on though, it was all about Henrik Hecklen. He won a huge pot versus Michael Addamo, before going on a tear, eliminating the next three players.

Australia's Addamo would exit when his ace-king couldn't hit against Hecklen's pocket eights; former EPT Prague Main Event champ Jasper Meijer Van Putten lost out when his ace-three couldn't hold against Hecklen's king-ten; and immediately after Hecklen eliminated Portugal's Tomas Paiva with pocket queens versus pocket nines.

Michael Addamo - 8th

Jasper Meijer Van Putten

Tomas Paiva

The next to go was a player we've become very familiar with over the past couple of years.

$6.8 million in live career earnings. Close friends with some of the best in the game. And an abundance of High Roller final table finishes. Daniel Dvoress's résumé is undoubtedly stellar, but it still lacks something: a flagship PokerStars title.

Unfortunately for Dvoress, he'll have to wait for the PCA in January to take another crack at winning one. Dvoress called all the way on an A♣5♦K♦5♣8♠ board with A♠9♠, including Hecklen's all-in river shove. Hecklen had the goods with A♥K♠ though, and Dvoress exited in fifth.

Daniel Dvoress - 5th place

It was right here, in the Casino Atrium at the Prague Hilton, 12 months ago to the day, that Danny Tang took down the PokerStars Championship Prague €10K High Roller for €381,000. He put up an incredible title defence this year, but the dream finally died in fourth place.

He made a lesser two pair to Alexandre Reard and was called when he shoved. Left with little, Tang was all-in with king-eight suited but couldn't improve to top Reard's ace-high. And then there were three.

Danny Tang - 4th

After that KO Reard went on a hot streak, doubling up multiple times through Hecklen to even the chip counts. But as quickly as his stack went up, it also went down due to a brutal cooler.

Alexandre Reard - 3rd place

At the end of the K♣6♠4♣8♥9♠ board, Reard called all-in with 6♣6♥ for a set. Alas, Hecklen held 7♦5♥ for a straight, taking it down to the final two.

Hecklen held a dominating lead of 10.33 million to 2.62 million when the duel began with a 100,000 big blind. This being Schemion, though, he fought his way back and even took the lead. But a failed bluff with A♠7♣ on a K♦J♣8♥9♠3♠ board took him back to a 2:1 disadvantage when Hecklen called with Q♠J♥.

Every time Schemion evened things up from there, Hecklen would grind him down once again. The battle went on for three whole hours.

Just before midnight, after almost 12 hours of play, it finally all came to an end with Schemion all in with ace-three, which couldn't overtake Hecklen's pocket queens.

EPT Prague High Roller heads up

Either of these two enigmas would have been a worthy winner. But there can only be one.

Congratulations Henrik.

EPT Prague High Roller

Dates: December 16-18, 2018
Buy-in: €10,000 + €300
Entries: 259 (inc. 64 re-entries)
Prize pool: €2,512,300 (after deductions)

1Henrik HecklenDenmark €503,700 
2Ole SchemionGermany €334,900 
3Alexandre ReardFrance €244,950 
4Danny TangUK €197,720 
5Daniel DvoressCanada €155,010 
6Tomas PaivaPortugal €117,340 
7Jasper Meijer Van PuttenNetherlands €86,170 
8Michael AddamoAustralia €63,310 
9Anton YakubaRussia €52,510 
Jack Stanton
@J_W_Stanton in Live Poker