EPT13 Prague: Will Kassouf wins last ever EPT High Roller title and €532,500
You'll no doubt be familiar with Will Kassouf. He's been the most talked-about man in poker ever since the summer when his play in the WSOP Main Event made headlines around the world. Many dislike his speech tactics; others herald him as great for the game. And despite his success prior to the WSOP, some might have even pegged Kassouf as something of a "one-hit wonder".
Well, not anymore. Will Kassouf has just taken down the last ever EPT €10K High Roller for €532,500 (on his birthday, no less), "defeating" Patrick Serda heads up.
And I use the word "defeated" lightly, as the two never even played heads-up. When the pair got down to two, Serda had a four to one chip lead. That meant he wanted to get the lion's share of the prize pool, and didn't really care about the trophy or winner's photo. Kassouf was offered €532,500 (compared with €485,600 originally intended for second place) and the trophy for first place, while Serda locked up €719,000 and second place.
If you'd like to go back and see exactly how Kassouf secured the win, you can read through all the final day live coverage. Otherwise, let's recap.
Just like the Eureka Main Event and EPT Main Event before it, this tournament was a record breaker. A total of 407 entries (including 90 re-entries) resulted in a massive prize pool of €3,947,900, which would be split between the final 55 players. That meant 56th place would be the bubble boy, a title which would go to Ike Haxton on Day 2. He had less than a big blind and ended up losing with top set to a turned gutshot straight.
A total of 22 players made it through to today's final day, and it was Alex Papazian (who won the equivalent of this event back in May at the EPT12 Grand Final) was the first to leave today, busting in 22nd for €35,140. When we got down to two tables we lost two of the bigger names left in the field: EPT8 Prague Main Event winner Martin Finger (15th - €47,800), and EPT11 Grand Final winner Adrian Mateos (14th - €47,800).
We eventually got down to a final table of nine just before 6pm, and it was Tue Ullerup Hansen who held the chip lead, with Matas Cimbolas still alive, and William Kassouf stuck with the short stack.
But the chatty Brit soon took care of that; first doubling up with pocket kings against ace jack through Grzegorz Wyraz; then with pocket aces against the pocket kings of Jens Lakemeier; and the finally by eliminating Ihar Soika in ninth place for €75,400. The money went in pre-flop and Kassouf was in trouble with the A♣Q♠ against Soika's A♠K♣, but a queen on turn came to his rescue and pushed him up to a top three stack.
Jens Lakemeier would bust a little while after, when he tank-called off his stack to a Patrick Serda shove in the last second of a ticking-down clock, and was wrong. Serda had top two pair, and we found out after the hand thart Lakemeier had hero-called with third pair. For his efforts and eighth place finish, Lakemeier collected €93,170.
Kassouf had taken the chip lead at this point, just as his new best friend Matas Cimbolas was about to make his exit. Cimbolas was short with just five big blinds and open-jammed with the K♣T♣, but was called by Viliyan Petleshkov in the big blind with the K♥J♥. "Any tens about?" called Kassouf, but the board bricked for Cimbolas and he collected €128,700.
Next to fall was Gregorz Wyraz, who came into the final day as chip leader. He moved all-in for just five big blinds under the gun with the 6♣5♣ and was called Patrick Serda with A♠7♥. The flop fell T♣7♦K♣ giving Serda a pair and Wyraz some hope with a flush draw, but the T♠ turn and 4♥ were no help to him. The Polish player collected €172,910 for sixth, followed by Paul Leckey in fifth for €224,600. Leckey got his short stack in with the A♥3♠, but was dominated by Serda's A♠Q♣, which held up.
Viliyan Petleshkov couldn't make it to three-handed play. He jammed with pocket deuces and was called by Serda with pocket eights. There were no ducks on the board and we were three-handed.
And then there were three. The social media world was getting very excited about a potential Will Kassouf win, but first came deal discussions. The clock was paused, but a chop couldn't be settled on and play continued.
That turned out to be bad news for Tue Hansen, as Kassouf went on to double up. A few hands later Hansen was out; Patrick Serda moved all-in from the button and Hansen called all-in from the small blind for 2.915 million. Will Kassouf open-folded deuces in the big blind. Hansen had the A♥J♠, Serda had the Q♠7♣, and the board ran Q♣6♦5♥T♦3♠ to pair Serda's queen.
And from there, you know what happens. Serda and Kassouf cut a deal, and Will Kassouf takes down his first (and last) EPT title.
It might not have been a clear-cut win, but come tomorrow, everyone will see Kassouf hoisting the trophy. And from the way he played today, this guy is certainly no one-hit wonder.
EPT13 Prague €10K High Roller
Dates: December 17-19, 2016
Total prize pool: €3,947,900
|1||William Kassouf||United Kingdom||Live satellite winner||*€532,500|
|2||Patrick Serda||Canada||Live satellite winner||*€719,000|
|3||Tue Ullerup Hansen||Denmark||€351,000|
|5||Paul Leckey||UK||Live satellite winner||€224,600|
|6||Grzegorz Wyraz||Poland||Live satellite winner||€172,910|
*denotes a deal
Jack Stanton is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog. Photos by Mickey May and Tomas Stacha.