Updates from the final table, level 31 of EPT Prague, brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Marc “The Conv” Convey, Howard Swains and Simon Young.
Latest chip counts are on the chip count page. The EPT tournament structure can be found on the EPT tournament structure page. Full details of the payout structure and prizewinners so far are on the payout structure and prizewinners page.
Level 31: 80,000-160,000 (20,000 ante)
9.40pm: Level end
That’s the end of level 31. That can only mean one thing – level 32 is next, but not until we have a ten-minute break.
9.30pm: It really happened
Eyal Avitan opened for 380,000 and Jan Skampa called for a flop of Q♠4♣2♠. Avitan then made it 475,000 before Skampa re-raised to 1,275,000. Chairs scraped the floor and most people stood up, all but the sceptics who’d decided they’d believe it when Thomas Kremser announced it. It was true, but Avitan folded.
“It’s hard, eh?” said Avitan, yawning and looking over at Skampa. “A long game.”
“Yes.” Was Skampa’s reply. He doesn’t seem tired at all.
Current approx chips:
9.25pm: Avitan turns aggressive
Jan Skampa raised to 360,000 from the button and Eyal Avitan called from the big blind to see a J♥3♦10♥ flop. Check-check before the turn came 6♦. Avitan led out for 520,000 and Skampa folded.
9.20pm: More goes to Avitan
Jan Skampa raised to 360,000 from the button and Avitan called. The familiar pattern. The flop came 7♦10♣2♦ and Avitan check-called Skampa’s bet of 440,000. The 2♠ turned, which impressed neither of them, so they went to the 3♦ river. Avitan bet 750,000 and Skampa got out the way
9.15pm: Wishing on a star
As if caught in the same dream both players just abandoned caution for a hand, playing without the shackles of reality, and throwing chips all over the place.
Avitan started, making it 430,000 before Skampa took to the skies with a re-raise worth 1,160,000. “What’s this?” People began to ask as Avitan called. The crowds rushed in to watch these two warriors soar. A friend of Avitan put one leg over the rope line, keeping his left leg back in the civilian world, risking serious injury had the crowd surged forwards or back. Was this, as they say, it?
The flop came Q♥7♦4♦. The crowd inched even closer, anticipating these two free spirits were about to fight to the death here and now. Perhaps this was it! Skampa, his eyes on the shiny trophy alongside him moved 820,000 into the middle, a glorious tower of gold. It was up to Avitan. He looked at Skampa and… fold. He folded. Another 2.3 million to Skampa.
9.05pm: Tens for Avitan
Big hand for Eyal Avitan as he hits a flop in spectacular fashion and gets the maximum out of it. Jan Skampa opens for 360,000 and Avitan calls. The flop comes 10♦10♥Q♦ and Avitan leads for 550,000. Call. The turn is J♠ and they both check, and the river comes 4♣. Avitan counts out 750,000 and Skampa calls, but mucks (presumably a queen or jack) when Avitan shows A♥10♣ for the flopped trips.
9pm: Huge numbers
A seven-figure pot develops. Skampa bet pre-flop and Avitan called for a flop of 7♠10♣6♥. Avitan checked to Skampa who made it 420,000. Avitan called by placing a stack of oranges into the pot and asking the dealer to count it, getting some change back. Now a 5♥ on the turn which both players checked. An A♦ on the river checked by both again. Skampa showed pocket nines for a pot worth 1.5 million.
8.55pm: Small ball
Very little action to speak of in the last ten minutes. There is a surprising amount of limping going on for a heads-up match. When we did have a raise it was Jan Skampa’s doing and to the value of 360,000. Eyal Avitan called to see a K♣6♥9♣ flop where both players checked. After the turn came 7♠ a 450 bet from Avitan was enough to make Skampa fold.
8.45pm: A little help from your friends
“Three oranges and one yellow chip.” This is Alen, one of the tournament officials explaining to Eyal Avitan the easiest way to assemble the small blind.
“Sorry, I’m so tired,” laughed Avitan who promptly took the next hand with a big raise on the J♦6♠3♥ flop.
On the next hand Skampa takes it down with a bet half the size on a flop of 6♦A♦6♣. Avitan still has chips left scattered around from hands won a while ago.
8.40pm: New level
It’s level 31, and off we go again. The chips? Well, they show Jan Skampa has edged into the lead:
Jan Skampa, Czech Republic, 9,810,000
Eyal Avitan, Israel, 7,760,000