PokerStars qualifier Zoltan Gal wins Eureka4 Vienna and €208,655
It was the biggest ever Eureka Poker Tour event and true to form, it went so far as to make the 175,000/350,000 (50,000) level - a feat previously unheard of on this tour. There were 1,432 entries, breaking Eureka3 Prague's record by 117 with nearly 1,000 players on Day 1B alone.
PokerStars qualifier Zoltan Gal started off as one of the shortest stacks on the final table, only ahead of Stavros Kalfas and Erik Scheidt when play began. After Robert Malinowski was eliminated in the very first hand of the final, Gal managed to get an early double up and never looked back. After an hour long heads-up battle and with a deal made, Gal managed to defeat local professional player Andreas Freund for the title and €208,655. Freund for his part also scored his biggest ever live cash, taking home €174,655 for his second place finish after the pair agreed a deal.
Gal began the heads-up with an almost three-to-one chip lead but Freund successfully chipped away at the lead and it looked as though all the momentum was heading the way of the Austrian. But the wheels came off for Freund when he was dealt a pocket pair of red eights. He reraised against Gal's initial bet and then called off his stack only to find the Hungarian had him dominated with pocket tens. The board delivered neither eight or ten and it was Gal who ended up with all 28 million chips.
Talkative PokerStars qualifier Blazej Przygorzewski finished in third place, having held the chip lead for large parts of both yesterday and today. The Pole got unlucky in three-handed play, losing with ace-jack to Freund's queen-eight for a pot that would've made him a big chip favourite heads-up.
Despite having never made a major live final table before, many people had been tipping Bryan Paris to finally make the breakthrough he'd been teasing for several years. The American is one of the biggest ever winners in online tournaments with over $6.6 million in cashes, more than half of which has been made at PokerStars. He lost a huge hand when his ace-queen was beaten by Freund's ace-ten, crippling Paris as a result. Paris ended up being eliminated in fourth place for €72,230 - his biggest ever live cash, but not the one he wanted.
Markus Stoger had started the day as the chip leader and managed to eliminate Robert Malinowski in the very first hand to give himself 9 million chips. Stoger's flopped set ran into Malinowski's flopped straight but the former filled up for a 6.6 million chip pot. Sadly for the recreational Austrian player, this was to be the high point of his day. He lost a couple of all-in showdowns and was eventually knocked out by Paris.
Both Stavros Kalfas and Erik Scheidt had tough days, they were hamstrung by starting with stacks of only 10 big blinds but both managed to ladder at least one spot thanks to Malinowski's elimination. Neither was able to last much longer.
Kalfas even admitted to PokerStars.tv after his elimination that his aim was simply to try and ladder up as much as possible and the former PokerStar Greek Challenger was satisfied with his overall result. He took home €43,240.
There was no doubt that Robert Malinowski was nowhere near as happy. He had started as one of the medium stacks and must be desperately disappointed with only lasting a single hand on the feature table.
But it's a big congratulations to Gal for winning the largest Eureka Poker Tour event ever held: an astonishing 1,432 runners stumped up €1,100 for their shot at glory.
Here's how PokerStars.tv saw it:
Eureka4 Vienna Main Event
Entrants : 1,432
Buy-in : €1,100
Prize pool : €1,389,040
Places paid : 215
1. Zoltan Gal, PokerStars qualifier (Hungary) €208,655
2. Andreas Freund (Austria) €174,655
3. Blazej Przygorzewski, PokerStars qualifier (Poland) €98,210
4. Bryan Paris, PokerStars player (USA) €72,230
5. Markus Stoger (Austria) €56,600
6. Stavros Kalfas, PokerStars player (Greece) €43,240
7. Erik Scheidt, PokerStars player (Germany) €33,090
8. Robert Malinowski, PokerStars qualifier (Poland) €23,430
The next Eureka event will take place in Rozvadov from the 26th May to the 3rd June. Meanwhile, the EPT is still running and you can follow all the action here.