EPT12 Prague: Side event wins for Dobrovolskiy and Huovila; Eureka High Roller field up to 750

A poker festival lasting for 12 days sounds like a really long festival, and it is. I mean it's got as many days as Christmas, just with more PokerStars trophies and fewer turtle doves (who knows about calling birds though). But when there are 97 events scheduled over those dozen days it makes for a lot of logistical planning as there's always multiple events running simultaneously and space and planning needed to ensure the 139 tournament tables are enough to cope with the demand.

Since we last checked in with the side event action, a lot has happened. There have been turbo titans crowned, people flipping out (sorry people playing flip outs) and yet another massive Eureka field. So, without further ado here's our side event round-up.

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Vladimir Dobrovolskiy - EPT side event winner

The biggest buy-in tournament to have played to a conclusion over the past 36 hours is Event #23. It was a €2,000 NL Turbo affair that attracted 156 players who created a €302,640 prize pool. The cream rose to the top of this one as James Akenhead (3rd), Gavin O`Rourke (4th), Michael Telker (6th) and Rasmus Agerskov (8th) all made the final table. It was Vladimir Dobrovolskiy who would claim the 'spadie' though and the €70,360 first prize. The win isn't the biggest of Dobrovolskiy's career as he finished fifth in the EPT Malta €10k High Roller in October for €144,747.

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Jouni Huovila celebrates his victory

Hyper-turbos have been a popular format online for a number of years and they're steadily becoming part of the live event offerings as well. There are various buy-in levels all the way up to €5,000 here in Prague but yesterday it was one with a buy-in of a tenth of that was on offer.

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A total of 273 players felt the need for speed and 39 of those got some return on their investment including: Davidi Kitai (39th), Marcin Wydrowski (38th), Martin Mulsow (28th), Matas Cimbolas (27th), Mick Graydon (18th), Roberto Romanello (9th) and Artur Wasek (8th).

The win though went to Jouni Huovila, who cut a heads-up deal with Canada's Thomas Popov to seize his first ever EPT trophy and a winners' cheque worth €24,190.

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Maslak claimed the second outright victory of his career

We're all-in for innovation on this tour and the schedule allows Neil Johnson to offer plenty of mixed game events and try out new tournament formats. The two collided head-on yesterday as the first ever Quintuple Draw tournament was held here in Prague. What were these famous five formats I hear you ask, well A-5 Triple Draw, 2-7 Triple Draw, Badugi, Badacey and Badeucey since you ask. All played in everyone's best format of poker - six handed.

Russian pro Konstantin Maslak defeated a field of 25 to take top honours and €4,485. This is only the second live event victory of Maslak's career - and pales slightly in comparison to his first as he won the WSOP $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low tourney for $269,612 in June of this year.

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A successful shootout for Alekberovas

There were four further events that finished yesterday with the €500 + €50 Shootout title snagged by Anaras Alekberovas of Lithuania who banked €9,310. He beat out final table competition that included Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov (6th, €1,990) and Gerald Karlic (7th, €1,580).

The other three events were all €100+€10 Flipouts (everyone is all-in on the first hand, with the winner of each table making the money and the final table). They were won respectively by Emile Geodjenian, Henrique Pinho and Przemyslaw Misztela. A special mention for Dara O'Kearney, who after bemoaning his luck at bricking all of the equivalent events in Malta, saw variance smile kindly on him as he final tabled two of the three flipouts. He finished second to Misztela but actually banked more thanks to a heads-up deal.

One more result to tell you about, this one from Monday, as Romanian player Victorio Piturca won his first live tourney trophy by taking down Event #16 a €1k NL Hyper-Turbo. Piturca won €25,000 after cutting a three-way deal with runner-up Kevin Killeen and third-placed American Michael Rocco.


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Akkari - one dot in a huge field

Whilst some events end others are just getting started. Like the €2,000 Eureka High Roller which has attracted over 750 runners already, eclipsing last year's 621 by some margin. This is an event that always goes long at the various EPT stops and last year there was seven-way chop, with Louis Salter claiming the outright win at a final table that included Katchalov, Dan Shak, Benjamin Pollak and Owain Carey.

There are oodles of big names this year too with Team Pro represented by Andre Akkari, Liv Boeree, Eugene Katchalov and Vanessa Selbst, whilst Team Online's Lilia Novikova is also in the mix. Plenty of EPT champions too as: Kevin Macphee, Martin Finger, Ruben Visser, Ognyan Dimov, Dimitar Danchev, Julian Track, Salvatore Bonavena, Anton Wigg, Robin Ylitalo, Michael Tureniec, Roberto Romanello and David Vamplew are all involved.

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EPT champs all over the place in the Eureka High Roller

Along with the Eureka High Roller, the numbers in the €300 Prague Poker Cup will start to go down at 19.00 CET tonight as the 214 players remaining from the 1,425 entries return to battle it out for a first prize of €72,600. The current leader of the pack is Henning Wendlandt, whilst Manig Loeser, Fabio Sperling, Pascal Hartmann, Daniel Stacey and Gareth Chantler all remain in contention. The good news for them, and indeed all the remaining players, is that they're already in the money.

As are the 20 players who're back for Day 2 of the €1,000 pot-limit Omaha eight-handed event. Pedro Marques leads the way in that one, whilst David De Abreu, Dario Alioto, Bart Lybaert and Fabrice Soulier are also still sniffing around the first prize of €39,320.

Among today's offerings a €300 eight-handed limit Hold'em turbo and €500 pot-limit Sextuple Omaha (6 handed) have already started and a €100 Turbo Super Holdem - Three hole cards, all play - (€50 Rebuys) and a €1,000 no-limit Hyper-Turbo began this evening. You can find the results of all the side events that have finished on this page.

Coverage of the Eureka Main Event is all handily organized on the Eureka Prague page.

You'll find updates on the Super High Roller on this page throughout the day and all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour