PokerStars Championship Prague: Main Event final table live updates

Kalidou Sow wins PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event for €675,000
• Jason Wheeler finishes second for €570,000
• Czech player Michal Mrakes takes third in 855-player field

7:05pm: Kalidou Sow wins title (€675,000), Jason Wheeler runner-up (€570,000)!
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

With just over 6 million to start (just over 37 big blinds), Jason Wheeler was dealt A♥9♠ on the button and raised to 425,000. Kalidou Sow looked down at T♥T♦ and after pausing a few beats he three-bet to 1.375 million.

Wheeler rechecked his cards, and after about 15 seconds went all in. Sow asked for a count, then thought for another half-minute before finally saying "I call."

"Ahhh... run so pure," exhaled Wheeler when seeing the hands. Each player stood to see the community cards delivered.

The flop came 4♠J♣7♠. "Spade-spade would be sick," said Wheeler, but the 5♥ turn meant he needed an ace to survive.

The dealer burned a card and turned over the river... the K♥! It's all over! Kalidou Sow wins the PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event while Jason Wheeler comes one spot shy of the title.

The pair shook hands and Sow received congratulations from his rail. --MH


8G2A9158_PSC_Prague2017_Kalidou_Sow_Jason_Wheeler_Neil Stoddart-a.jpeg

Kalidou Sow wins!

7pm: Running Sow good
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Kalidou Sow won another pot from Jason Wheeler with pocket sevens, then got a walk with ace-king.

On the next hand Sow raised the button with J♥T♦, Wheeler called with 9♥6♥, and the flop fell K♠8♣5♣. Check-check. The turn was the J♠ to give Sow a pair. Wheeler led with a bet of 600,000, and after a half-minute Sow called.

The K♣ river paired the board and added a third club. Wheeler took his time before checking, and Sow checked behind, winning the 2.14 million pot.

Sow now has 19.66 million, and Wheeler is down to 6.055 million. --MH

6:50pm: Sow with better than 2-to-1 lead
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Jason Wheeler picked up A♥8♠ on the button and raised to 420,000, and Kalidou Sow also had a good starter with K♥T♥ and called.

The flop came K♦9♠4♣, giving Sow top pair, and both checked. The turn was the 8♥, pairing Wheeler's lower hole card. Both checked again.

The river was the 6♦. This time Sow led with a bet of 570,000, more than half the pot, and Wheeler called to see Sow show the better pair.

Put Sow on 17.4 million, Wheeler on 8.3 million. --MH

6:45pm: Sow increases edge
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Kalidou Sow raised to 450,000 with 6♠4♥, Jason Wheeler called with 5♥4♣, and the flop came A♠K♣6♥. Both checked, then the 5♦ turn meant each players had a pair.

Wheeler led for 375,000, then after a short while Sow raised to 775,000 and Wheeler let his hand go.

Sow is up to 16.4 million, Wheeler down to 9.3 million. --MH


8G2A9136_PSC_Prague2017_Heads_Up_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Heads-up continues

6:35pm: Holding steady
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

After three button-raise-and-fold hands followed by a walk for Jason Wheeler, Wheeler limped in with 8♣5♥ and Kalidou Sow checked his option in the big blinds with J♥5♠.

The flop came all spades -- 2♠K♠4♠ -- and Sow checked. Wheeler bet 175,000, and after about a half-minute Sow raised to 490,000, earning a quick fold from Wheeler.

Sow - 15,565,000
Wheeler - 10,150,000

--MH

6:30pm: Some for Sow
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Jason Wheeler raised to 425,000 from the button with J♠2♦, and Kalidou Sow looked down at 5♥5♦ in the big blind. Sow thought for a while, then three-bet to 1.31 million. Wheeler folded.

Then it was Sow raising to 425,000 with K♣7♣ and Wheeler defending with Q♣T♠. The flop came 4♥7♦A♣ and Wheeler checked. Sow bet 210,000, and Wheeler called. The 6♠ turn brought a couple of checks, then the river brought the board-pairing A♥.

Wheeler checked one more time, and when Sow bet 650,000, Wheeler called and saw Sow's king was best.

Sow now has 15.3 million, and Wheeler 10.125 million. --MH

6:25pm: Preflop stuff
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Sow picked up A♦K♣ on heads-up Hand #2, and a button raise earned him the pot after Wheeler let go his T♠3♦. Wheeler won the next one with a button raise, then the pattern was altered on Hand #4.

On that one Sow raised to 450,000 with T♦6♣, Wheeler three-bet to 1.37 million with Q♦3♦, and Sow let his hand go. --MH


NEIL8988_PSC_Prague2017_Jason_Wheeler_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Wheeler seeking to close gap

6:20pm: First pot to Wheeler
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

With 4♠3♥ on the button to start heads-up play, Jason Wheeler raised to 425,000, Kalidou Sow folded 9♦5♣, and Wheeler took the first heads-up pot. --MH

6:15pm: Equal chop; €675,000 for winner

"Okay? D'accord?" asked Jason Wheeler, and Kalidou Sow nodded in agreement. A deal is done.

For all their apparent acrimony, the pair wasted little time in coming to an equitable deal heads-up. They agreed to leave €105,000 to play for after an even chop of the remaining prize money.

It means the winner of this heads-up duel will take €675,000 and the second-place finisher will win €570,000. Let's figure out who is who. --HS


8G2A9093_PSC_Prague2017_Deal_Neil Stoddart.jpg

The deal is done... now deal!

6:10pm: Deal talk

Players are back from the break and discussing a possible deal. Stay tuned. --MH


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5:45pm: Break time, 2 remain

That Michal Mrakes bust ended the level, and so heads-up will begin on the other side of the break. Back to soon whether Kalidou Sow or Jason Wheeler emerges as the PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event champion. --MH

NameCountryChipsBBs
Kalidou SowFrance14,085,000117
Jason WheelerUSA11,630,00097

5:40pm: Mrakes leaves in third, winning €332,000
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

It's all over for Michal Mrakes, with the Prague native perishing in third and coming up short in his bid to emulate Jan Skampa, who won huge in his home city on a PokerStars tour.

Mrakes had dwindled to the short stack three handed, and couldn't even double it up when he found aces and three-bet from the big blind over Jason Wheeler's open. Wheeler folded his Q♠9♦.

However, he did then find a call when he three-bet jammed over Kalidou Sow's button raise with A♣Q♠...and Jason Wheeler woke up with 6♠6♥ from the big blind and called. Sow folded.

So they were flipping, and the flop was great for Mrakes. It came K♥J♣Q♥, pairing his queen. But the turn was a problem. It was 3♥, which gave loads of outs for Wheeler.

The river was one of them: it was the 6♦. That was a set for Wheeler, a set-up for Mrakes, and he leaves in third for €470,000.


NEIL0575_PSC_Prague2017_Michal_Mrakes_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Michal Mrakes - 3rd place

More significantly, the peacemaker is out leaving a heads-up battle between the two antagonists. They asked to see the numbers to potentially discuss a deal. They have 20 minutes to do so, as that's the end of Level 30. --HS

5:35pm: Wheeler chipping back
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Limped pot, with Michal Mrakes in the SB holding J♠9♠ and Wheeler in the BB with 7♥4♠. Mrakes led for 125,000 on the 4♦T♣8♠ flop and Wheeler called, then Mrakes check-called a Wheeler bet of 225,000 after the 3♦ turn.

The river was the 4♣ and Mrakes backed off with a check. Wheeler bet 575,000 and that was enough to take the pot.

Wheeler is now back to 9.2 million, while Mrakes has slipped to 2 million. --MH


NEIL0664_PSC_Prague2017_Jason_Wheeler_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Wheeler at work

5:30pm: Short stack bluffs, wins
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Kalidou Sow limped from the small blind with Q♥2♦ and Michal Mrakes checked from the big with T♦8♥. A leading bet of 125,000 from Sow after a 3♣3♦9♠ drew a raise to 400,000 by Mrakes, and that was enough to win it.

Chips for Mrakes, though he's still well behind the other two with just 2.5 million. --MH

5:25pm: Big slick, small pot
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

A couple of hands after picking up those pocket aces, Jason Wheeler was dealt A♣K♥ in the small blind and called, then Kalidou Sow raised to 325,000 from the big blind with 9♣8♠.

Wheeler looked across the table for a moment, then check-raised to 1.165 million and Sow folded quickly.

"Show the bluff," said Sow with a grin, and Wheeler didn't oblige. "I'll show you the trophy in a while," said Wheeler, sans grin. --MH

5:22pm: Pocket rockets for Wheeler
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Kalidou Sow opened his button yet again, this time to 300,000 with 9♠2♦. After a pass from Michal Mrakes, we see that Jason Wheeler had A♠A♥ in the big blind. He upped the price to 840,000 and Sow gives it up pretty sharpish, meaning Wheeler only wins a few chips with his aces. --LY

5:20pm: Trash talk breaks out
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

It's all getting a little heated out there now, which is ironic given that it's all because of a cooler.

Some pretty pointed table chatter followed what began as a three-way pot, with Jason Wheeler opening to 275,000 from the button with A♥6♠, Kalidou Sow calling from the small blind with Q♥J♠, and Michal Mrakes calling in the big blind with K♥Q♠.

After the 9♥9♣5♣ flop, Sow bet 225,000 and only Wheeler called. That took them to the 2♥ turn. Sow again bet, this time 475,000, and it was quite clear that Wheeler didn't believe it. He called again.

The 8♥ fell on the river, and Sow gave up. He checked, and Wheeler's ace-high won. But Wheeler didn't get it quietly. He seemed put out by the line Sow had taken, attempting to bully with his newly-acquired stack.

"Try to win every pot, bro," Wheeler said, disparagingly. "You get one cooler, you think the tournament's yours."

Sow didn't respond beyond a confused shrug. "Come on, let's go," Wheeler said. "It's still mine. I'm still the one to beat."

Wheeler continued: "You bet the river, I snap you, my friend."

It then descended into a lecture about "respect", and Sow then started jibing back. I expect this won't get too far out of hand, but it's not especially pleasant at present. --HS

5:10pm: Leader Sow keeps chipping up
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

With Q♦9♣ Jason Wheeler completed from the small blind, Kalidou Sow raised to 350,000 from the big blind, and Wheeler called.

The flop came T♦3♠K♦, and after Wheeler checked Sow bet 450,000. Wheeler called. The turn was the 8♠. Wheeler checked, and this time Sow bet 850,000, about half the pot. Wheeler folded.

Put Sow up close to 17 million now. --MH


NEIL0659_PSC_Prague2017_Kalidou_Sow_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Kalidou-ing well

5:05pm: Jacks work for Sow
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Kalidou Sow picked up J♦J♣ and made a min-raise to 240,000. It folded to Jason Wheeler in the big blind who also picked up a nice one three-handed with A♥T♣ and he called.

The flop came 5♠2♠3♣, giving Wheeler a gutshot to a wheel, and he check-called Sow's continuation bet of 230,000.

The turn brought the 8♣, and this time Wheeler led with a bet of 500,000. Sow thought a short while then called, bringing the pot to just over 2 million.

The 9♦ river meant Sow's jacks finished best. Wheeler checked, and when Sow set out a bet of 550,000, Wheeler let his cards go.

Sow adds more and moves up to a little more than 16 million, while Wheeler has just over 6.22 million. --MH

5pm: Sow is pushing
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Kalidou Sow has just shown how well he can use his big stack.

He has widened his opening range to include 5♥2♣, raising blind vs. blind. Mrakes called the 240,000 bet to see the flop.

It was bottom pair for Sow on 3♠9♠2♥, and a check from the chip leader led to a bet of 225,000 from Mrakes. Sow wasn't done just yet, pushing the price up to 675,000. It worked, getting a fold from Mrakes and Sow's lead grows. --LY

4:50pm: Wheeler flops a straight. But so does Sow...
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Wheeler, looking down at 7♠6♠ in the small blind raised to 335,000. Sow, with Q♠J♦ in the big blind, called, for a flop of T♦8♠9♥.

Wheeler looked deep in thought, possibly thinking about the Mirage, having flopped the straight. Which might have been what Sow was thinking given he'd flopped a straight, too, only at the better end.

Wheeler bet another 350,000. Sow called. The turn came K♦. Wheeler bet again, 700,000 this time. In response Sow raised to 1,550,000. Wheeler shoved. Sow insta-called, and Wheeler saw that he was already drawing dead, making the 9♠ on the river a last bit of trivia.

That doubles Sow way to 14,480,000 and the chip lead while Wheeler drops to 6,86,000. A big turnaround that gives Sow and enormous advantage. Neither player displayed any emotion. --SB


NEIL0653_PSC_Prague2017_Kalidou_Sow_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Kalidou Sow, new chip leader

4:35pm: Wheeler shoves river
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

A rare mis-step here from Jason Wheeler, who put in a three-bet to 680,000 from the small blind after Michal Mrakes opened to 250,000 on the button. Why was that a mis-step? Oh yes, we can see the cards and can be as results-oriented as we like.

What was Wheeler thinking when he only had K♥J♥? He was totally dominated by Mrakes' A♣J♠.

The flop missed both of them. It came 2♣3♦9♣ and Wheeler continued for 250,000. Mrakes was going nowhere. He called, for the T♣ turn.

This had not got any better for Wheeler, but he now pushed out a bet of 920,000. It also hadn't got all that much better for Mrakes either, but he called.

The river was -- boom -- the Q♥. Turns out it wasn't such a mis-step after all from Wheeler. He now had the stone nuts. What a player.

Wheeler moved all-in for 8.79 million and Mrakes snap-folded. Wheeler moves up beyond 13 million.

This hand would have looked so, so different had we not been able to see what they had. --HS

4:25pm: Sow and Mrakes clash
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Kalidou Sow was sat with the dealer button in front of him and he got the betting started by raising to 250,000 with Q♠9♦. Michal Mrakes had K♦J♦ in the small blind and Jason Wheeler had 4♣4♠ in the big and both called to see a flop.

It came 9♠2♠A♠, giving Sow second pair and the second nut flush draw. After both Mrakes and Wheeler checked, Sow continued for 210,000 and it was an easy pass for Wheeler but Mrakes decided he didn't want to let go just yet and called.

The turn was a 9♥ and Mrakes decided to lead for 925,000. Sow, whose hand had improved to trips plus he still had the flush draw, flatted.

On the T♣ river, Mrakes thought about his options for some time and then elected to check. Sow also need some time to think before checking back and taking the pot.

Sow bumps up to 7.99 million, while Mrakes drops to 6.83 million. --LY

4:15pm: Top two for Sow
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

On the first hand back from the break, Michal Mrakes raised from the button to 275,000 with 9♦4♦ and Kalidou Sow called from the big blind with J♦T♥.

The flop fell 6♠T♣J♠, giving Sow top two pair, and he checked. Mrakes continued for 255,000, and after a half-minute Sow raised to 680,000 and Mrakes instantly folded. --MH

4:10pm: Play resumes
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

They're back. Wheeler's the pace-setter at the moment with three left. --MH


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3:55pm: Break time, 3 remain

That's the end of the level, and the three remaining players are off on their second break of the day. Below find the current counts. --MH

NameCountryChipsBBs
Jason WheelerUSA11,270,000113
Michal MrakesCzech Republic9,085,00091
Kalidou SowFrance5,360,00054

3:52pm: Blind on blind action
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Jason Wheeler made up the small blind with 8♦5♥ and Sow checked his option with 7♥4♥.

The K♠3♦5♠ gave Wheeler middle pair and Sow a gutshot. Wheeler put 130,000 over the line and Sow peeled.

The A♦ turn brought out a second flush draw as well as also improving Sow's hand to an open ended. Wheeler barrelled for 250,000 and again Sow came with him.

Last time a player hit a wheel, it was Wheeler who had it, this time the 2♠ made the straight for Sow. It also brought out the spade flush and Wheeler elected to check. Sow made a value bet of 425,000 but Wheeler laid it down. Sow is still in third but has pulled up to just over 5 million. --LY

3:50pm: Gabriele Lepore perishes in fourth for €249,000
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Gabriel Lepore assumed short-stack duties following the quick-fire eliminations of Colin Robinson and Harry Lodge. But it was pressure free for him. There was no great concern about laddering any more; he knew he could play his cards as he wished.


NEIL0568_PSC_Prague2017_Gabriele_Lepore_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Gabriele Lepore

Unfortunately, he didn't really see the cards to get too creative, and certainly not to three-bet push with any regularity. He did get one open-shove with A♣6♦ through, but that was about it.

And then he was out, in a hand that played out far more strangely than most short-stack eliminations.

Jason Wheeler opened from under the gun with 5♠5♦ and Kalidou Sow called on the button with Q♠T♠. That priced Lepore in from the big blind with J♦7♦ and three of them saw the flop of 3♦6♦6♣.

That was a flush draw for Lepore, which he checked, and after Wheeler continued for 330,000, Sow folded. However, Lepore shipped for 1.96 million, and his draw plus over-cards made him a slight favourite when Wheeler called.

But this was one coin flip too many for Lepore. The turn of 4♣ followed by the river T♣ missed all the draws.


8G2A8986_PSC_Prague2017_Gabriele_Lepore_Neil Stoddart.jpg

The end of the line for Lepore

Wheeler stacked up to close to 12 million, while Lepore takes €249,000. Someone give him a buck and that's a quarter million. --HS

3:35pm: Short stack sits out, still applies pressure
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

There's an interesting table dynamic at the moment, with Gabriele Lepore's short stack actually applying pressure to the bigger three. It would be a disaster for any of Kalidou Sow, Michal Mrakes or Jason Wheeler to lose a massive pot here as that would bring Lepore up alongside them. And they all know it.

It was never clearer than when Sow raised to 200,000 from the button with A♠9♠, but then folded after Mrakes three-bet his button, making it 625,000. Mrakes only had 9♦6♦ but he was deliberately pressuring Sow. --HS

3:30pm: Massive preflop action
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

We have just seen a hand that went to a five-bet preflop. With play between the top three still so deep-stacked, maybe it was only a matter of time before we got to see some serious leveling wars take place.

After a fold from Gabriele Lepore from under the gun, Jason Wheeler had the button and opened to 230,000 with 9♠9♥. Sow fancied getting involved from the small blind and made a very small reraise, to 480,000 with K♣9♣. When action came to chip leader Mrakes, he looked down to see 8♦7♦. Considering his options for a minute, he decided that this was a good place to make a cold four-bet and upped it to 1.35 million from the big blind.

It seemed like a very tricky spot for Wheeler, but maybe he would disagree, as he put his two opponents to the test with a 2.5 million five-bet. Sow got out the way and eventually Mrakes decided he didn't want to take it any further, either. In doing so, Mrakes not only handed over the pot but also the chip lead to Wheeler who now has 10 million and is back in front. --LY


8G2A8873_PSC_Prague2017_Jason_Wheeler_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Don't try to steal Wheeler's button

3:20pm: Mrakes wins three-wayer
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Four players left, and three of them went to this flop: K♦Q♦2♠. That happened after Kalidou Sow opened with T♣9♥ and Michal Mrakes called with A♥T♠ on the button and Jason Wheeler called the big blind with K♣5♣.

That meant that Wheeler had top pair, while Mrakes and Sow had a gutshot. But only Sow was prepared to bet. He put 225,000 forward and both his opponents called.

That meant they were still three handed to the 3♥ turn, and now they all checked. Then the A♠ on the river put Mrakes ahead.

All three players checked, however, and Mrakes's win put him above 10 million for the first time. --HS


NEIL0627_PSC_Prague2017_Michal_Mrakes_Neil Stoddart.jpg

More for Mrakes

3:10pm: Bluff on bluff; blind on blind
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Tiny pot, relatively speaking, but an insight into how Michal Mrakes is playing. After action folded to Kalidou Sow in the small blind, he raised to 225,000 with J♠4♥

Mrakes, the only player still with cards, three bet to 700,000 with J♥3♥. A nothing hand, but a strong bet, and that got Sow out of there. --HS

3:05pm: Wheel-er
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Jason Wheeler and Kalidou Sow got tangled up in a blind on blind situation. First off Wheeler limped K♣2♦ and Sow elected to check with 5♠5♦.

The A♠4♠K♥ flop saw Wheeler move a long way ahead, hitting second pair. He checked and Sow bet 100,000 and Wheeler came along. There was a 5♣ river, and now Sow was the massive favourite with a set. Once again Wheeler check-called, this time the bet was 230,000.

So onto the river they went and Wheeler hit one of the four outs that could save him, a 3♣, giving him a wheel straight. Rather than defer to Sow, Wheeler elected to lead for 560,000 and Sow couldn't find a fold. --LY

2:55pm: Massive pot for Mrakes sends him back to the top
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

The PokerStars.tv commentary team recently announced a competition to "poker-up a Christmas song". The first entry Joe Stapleton liked was "Oh Come All Ye Eights Full".

It was not a bad entry, but what was more remarkable was that in "real" life, Michal Mrakes ended up almost getting that precise hand just as Stapleton, James Hartigan and Jaime Staples were talking about it. (Technically it was aces full of eights, but it was a spooky enough coincidence.)

It started when Mrakes opened to 200,000 with A♠8♦ and Jason Wheeler called in the big blind with T♣ and another card that wasn't picked up on the reader.

They then saw a flop of A♦A♣4♦ and Mrakes bet 150,000 with his trips. Wheeler called.

The turn was the 8♣ and Wheeler now led for 275,000. That was music to Mrakes's ears, and he responded with a raise to 875,000. Wheeler called!

There was more than 2.5 million in the pot as the dealer put the J♠ on the river. Wheeler slowed to a check, but Mrakes now bet 1.475 million. That was a huge bet, and Wheeler was now pondering the polarising nature of it.

Wheeler thought about it for a little while, but then laid it down. It gave Mrakes 8.4 million and dropped Wheeler to 7.3 million. Mrakes is now top of the pops again. --HS


NEIL0575_PSC_Prague2017_Michal_Mrakes_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Big stack for Mrakes

2:45pm: Lepore shoves, collects
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Following Harry Lodge's bust in fifth, Michal Mrakes opened for 200,000 from under the gun, with one of his hole cards -- the K♥ -- showing up on the live stream.

It folded to Gabriele Lepore in the cutoff who also had been dealt a king, and we knew both of his cards -- K♠Q♦. He reraise-pushed his short stack of 1.65 million over the top, and when it got back to Mrakes he folded. --MH

2:40pm: Harry Lodge eliminated in 5th place (€196,000)
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Harry Lodge is the next man out as the trickle of bust-outs threatens to become a flood.

With Colin Robinson recently departed, Lodge and Gabriel Lepore became the men under threat. Both found hands to shove with: Lepore a three-bet jam over Kalidou Sow's open with ace-rag (Sow folded) and then Lodge moved in with A♦6♦ and got folds from everyone.

However, that was the last hand Lodge won. On the very next, he was in the big blind and had to decide whether to call for his tournament life after Jason Wheeler jammed from the small blind with A♥J♦.

Lodge had 10 big blinds, and A♠5♠ was plenty good enough to stick them in. However, he was dominated.

The flop was pretty kind to Lodge, and gave him nearly 50 percent equity. It came 7♥7♠9♠. The 8♣ turn missed, but gave more outs. But the Q♥ river was not good enough.

That's it for Lodge, who hits the rail in fifth. There are four players left, three with plenty of chips and Lepore now feeling very vulnerable. --HS


8G2A8943_PSC_Prague2017_Harry_Lodge_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Harry Lodge - 5th place

2:35pm: It's all to play for
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

The chip lead baton has been passed around a lot recently and this hand continued the trend in a hand featuring Jason Wheeler and Michal Mrakes.

Wheeler kicked things off with an open from the cutoff to 220,000 with A♣4♣. Mrakes defended Q♦5♦ from the big blind.

The flop read 4♥K♣6♦, which gave Wheeler bottom pair and after a check from Mrakes, Wheeler made it 205,000 to proceed. Mrakes called, possibly hoping to improve with two backdoor draws.

On to the turn, which was a 6♣, and Mrakes was drawing to just a queen or a five. That didn't stop him from taking the lead, though, with a bet of 525,000, but it was unlikely to get Wheeler off as he'd also picked up the nut flush draw. Wheeler called and when the 8♠ river was dealt, Mrakes gave up and checked, with Wheeler checking behind.

Wheeler added another 1 million or so to his stack, pushing him into first place and Mrakes drops back into third. --LY

2:30pm: Colin Robinson eliminated in 6th place (€147,000)
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Colin Robinson is the first player out of the Main Event final table, picking up €147,000 for sixth place.

After the blinds went up to 50,000/100,000 at the start of this level, Robinson was one of three players left in trouble.

Unfortunately for him, he was the first to find a hand worth shoving with, while one of the bigger stacks had better.

It was only the third hand back when Robinson got his 940,000 in with A♦7♣ and was needing to hit against Kalidou Sow's 8♥8♦.


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Robinson at risk

The flop missed Robinson, and after the 8♣ on the turn, this race was run.


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Colin Robinson - 6th place

Robinson hits the rail but takes a career-best payday after a fine run in Prague. --HS

2:25pm: Play resumes
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Play resumes, and after Jason Wheeler was given a walk in the big blind. Kalidou Sow then won a raise-and-take from under the gun with A♦K♣. --MH


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2:05pm: First break, six remain

They've reached the first break of the day, with all six players still in the game. --MH

2pm: Lodge shove gets through, level ends
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

The last two hands of the level went to the chip leader and the short stack -- Michal Mrakes and Harry Lodge, respectively.

First Kalidou Sow was dealt K♠7♦ in the small blind and chose to limp, but Mrakes -- with 9♦2♦ in the big blind -- wasn't having it, raising to 280,000 and Sow folded.

On the next hand Colin Robinson picked up K♦T♦ in early position and chose to let it go. Then after Jason Wheeler opened from the hijack with A♦6♣ for 185,000, Harry Lodge pushed all in for 680,000 from the cutoff with J♠J♣ and when it got back to Wheeler he folded. --MH


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Harry hanging on

1:55pm: Battle of the big pairs
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

A huge hand has just taken place between chip leader Jason Wheeler and third on the leaderboard, Michal Mrakes.

Mrakes min-raised to 160,000 from under the gun with A♣A♠ and when it came to Wheeler on the button, we could see he'd also woken up with a monster, holding Q♦Q♣ in his hand. Not only that but two other players each folded queen-ten suited, so there were no more queens out there.

Wheeler pumped it up to 420,000 and Mrakes didn't mess around, shoving the lot. It was 3.95 million total so about 3.5 million for Wheeler to call. The two players had already had a similar situation earlier, with Wheeler three-betting over Mrakes. But he got a fold that time. That history may have played a part in Wheeler's decision to call, which he did pretty quickly.

Going into the K♠2♥5♣ flop, (and Wheeler didn't know this) but with no direct outs, he only had 2 percent chance of winning the hand. That went down to zero, though, with our previous chip leader drawing dead before the 8♠ turn and A♥ river were dealt.

It was a set for Mrakes and he is now top of the table with 8.075 million, Kalidou Sow remains in second and Wheeler dropped to third position with 6.775 million in play. --LY


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Mrakes is the man

1:50pm: Small one for Sow
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

On the heels of that hand that went to showdown between Jason Wheeler and Kalidou, Sow opened from early position with K♣6♣ and Wheeler defended his big blind by calling with 8♠5♠.

The flop fell 7♥T♦A♣, and Wheeler gave up to a single c-bet of 190,000 from Sow. --MH

1:45pm: Wheeler vs. Sow
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Here's a decent sized pot for Jason Wheeler, and the first loss for Kalidou Sow.

Wheeler found Q♦T♥ and opened to 185,000 under the gun. Sow three bet to 395,000 in the cutoff with 9♥8♥ and the other players left the big stacks to it. Wheeler called.

Wheeler flopped best on the Q♠7♠8♦ flop and checked to face a bet of 280,000 from Sow. Wheeler called.

They both then checked the 5♦ turn, which brought the Q♥ on the river.

Wheeler, now confidently sitting with the best hand, bet 525,000. Sow, with second pair, thought about it quite a while. He took off his sunglasses, riffled chips, then muttered something to Wheeler.

Wheeler remained impassive, possibly smirking a little from behind the hand pressed over his mouth.

Sow counted out the call, but didn't put it forward for more than 3 minutes. Then Sow did toss it forward.

That was a near 3 million chip pot and pushes Wheeler to 10.795 million. --HS

1:40pm: A couple of interesting pots
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

A similar dynamic here to an earlier hand with action folding to Kalidou Sow in the small blind and only Michal Mrakes sitting behind him.

This time, finding T♠7♥, Sow opted to call and Mrakes checked with ace-three off-suit.

Sow tried to pick it up with a bluff on the 9♠9♠6♠ flop. But Mrakes smelt a rat and put in a raise. Sow folded.

The next hand was interesting, too, with Colin Robinson opening from under the gun with K♥J♥. He got folds all the way round, including from Jason Wheeler with ace-jack, Kalidou Sow with king-ten, and Michal Mrakes with pocket fives.

Apologies for the lack of specificity. The TV broadcast, on whose information we are relying, has been infected by gremlins. We're seeing no hole cards and are just basing this on what the commentators are telling us.

Essentially, we're reporting from the radio, which is not poker's ideal medium. --HS

1:35pm: Sow and Wheeler get involved
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Our two biggest stacks have gone postflop for the first time today. After a 200,000 open by Jason Wheeler on the button with 3♥3♦, only Kalidou Sow showed any interest, defending his big blind with Q♦T♦

The two big stacks both checked the 9♣6♥4♣ flop. When the J♥ turn came, Sow checked again and Wheeler made a delayed continuation of 200,000 and having picked up an open-ended straight draw, Sow peeled.

The J♦ completed the board and when Sow checked again, Wheeler checked it back. Wheeler's two pair, jacks and threes, were good. --LY

1:30pm: Sow flops well
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

A suited jack is very much in the range of the big stacks here, and Kalidou Sow opened the small blind with J♦9♦. Michal Mrakes called in the big blind with A♠J♥ and then they saw a disastrous flop for Mrakes.

It came 9♣T♥J♠, which gave him top pair but gave two pair to his opponent.

Sow didn't disguise the strength of his hand and led out for 220,000. Mrakes called, leading to the 4♣ on the turn.

Sow again barrelled. He put 575,000 out there. Mrakes couldn't fold and didn't. He instead paid the price to see the Q♠ river.

That was actually a really good card for Mrakes because it scared Sow into a check. Mrakes was able to check behind and lose no more.

Sow moves up to around 9 million, while Mrakes is around 3.7 million. --HS


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Nothing so-so about Sow's start

1:25pm: Two for Wheeler
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Jason Wheeler got a walk in the big blind, then on the next hand Michal Mrakes opened for 160,000 from the hijack seat with 9♦7♣. Gabriele Lepore picked up a small pair -- 3♦3♣ -- but folded it from the cutoff, which was good for him as Wheeler had been dealt K♠K♦ in the small blind.

Wheeler thought for a half-minute, then three-bet to 450,000, and Lodge and then Mrakes quickly stepped aside. With those pots Wheeler has nudged in front of Kalidou Sow to retake the chip lead he had yesterday. --MH


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Wheeler back in front

1:20pm: Lepore shoves
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Kalidou Sow is showing early signs of continuing his aggressive assault on this final table. He opened on the cutoff to 160,000 with J♥9♣ and when it folded round to Gabriele Lepore on the big blind, he moved all in.
With 20 big blinds and T♠T♣ in the hole, it was to be expected and Sow didn't think for long before conceding the pot.

Lepore moves up to 2.02 million now. --LY


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Final day action is underway

1:15pm: Sow takes first hand
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Off they go! Play is under way, with 50 minutes still to go in Level 28.

The button started in front of Kalidou Sow, but it was Jason Wheeler, with J♦9♥, who got things going from UTG+1.

He raised to 160,000 -- a min-raise -- and Sow found a dominating K♦J♠ on the button. Sow three-bet to 380,000.

Gabriele Lepore folded a small ace in the big blind, but folded. And after some silent posturing, Wheeler folded too. First one to Sow. --HS


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12:15pm: Get to know the last six

Play is about to start on this final day of the PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event, though our coverage here at PokerStars Blog will be starting at 1pm to coincide with the cards-up coverage on PokerStars Live.

Meanwhile, take a moment to get to know the final six players, the last ones left from the 855-player starting field with a chance at the title and €775,000 first prize. --MH


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The final six

12pm: Who will be the Championship champion?

Here we are again in Prague, ending an era in style.

As you may have heard as part of PokerStars' major announcement earlier in the week, the EPT, LAPT and APPT are returning next year, meaning that this is the last PokerStars Championship Main Event.

And that means that whoever prevails from the final six today will be remembered forever as this tournament series' final champion. He will win €775,000--the biggest first prize of this jamboree in the Czech capital--and head into next year's new dawn with a rare spring in his step.

But before that, we have a full day of poker ahead. Six players, each with the proven chops to be a worthy champion. They line up as follows:

NameCountryChipsBBs
Kalidou SowFrance8,135,000102
Jason WheelerUSA8,100,000101
Michal MrakesCzech Republic5,010,00063
Gabriele LeporeItaly1,815,00023
Colin RobinsonUSA1,425,00018
Harry LodgeUK1,230,00015

Stick around as they play to a champion. -- HS

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PokerStars Blog reporting team on the €5,300 Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris, Howard Swains and Lisa Yiasemides. Photography by Neil Stoddart.

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Live reporting team
@PokerStars in Prague