Posts Tagged ‘Prague’
Going into the New Year we thought we’d take a quick look back at some of the tunes that influenced us the most at the recently held WPT Prague. So if you’re ideal live event playlist contains Eye of the Tiger (which coincidentally has been proven to be the best tune to sit down to at a final table), as well as everyone’s favorite Song 2, Chasing Cars and that old time classic All Along The Watchtower this one’s for you.
The Only Way Is Up
Some people swear to music at the table and going in to 2013 let us know what you’d like to hear, as we’re pretty sure we missed a few right? So make sure to tell us what you’d add to this playlist in the comments or drop us a line on Twitter @partypoker.
We’re Here To Help…
If music is your thing then the right soundtrack could just help you play your way to the upcoming WPT Vienna. Good Luck!
Sharing is easy
What songs inspire you? If you let us know and we’ll even add some of your favs to our lists!
- Let us know in the comments, make sure to tell us the artist and the song so we can find it.
- You can even tweet us your song choice @partypoker just use the hashtag #partypokermusic
- And if you send us a Spotify link, we’ll give it a listen and add some of our favorites.
- To grab a Spotify link, just control-click on any song in Spotify and “Copy HTTP link.”
Simple huh? Now go get us some tunes, it’s Monday after all!
When I wrote this, I was sitting in Prague where the latest European Poker Tour stop is winding down. I had just busted the Main Event and had been playing cash games and having fun with my friends as I prepared to return home to Hungary where I have been for the rest of the year.
I always enjoyed coming to Prague. It’s the closest EPT stop to Budapest (where I live), so I kind of consider it to be like a “home” event for me. The games are always good, and the field is big and usually soft. And there are usually a lot of Hungarians who come here, too.
Besides being a beautiful city, Prague is also filled with history, which is something that appeals to me because I have a degree in political science and thus am very interested in history. I love all of the stops on the EPT, as all of those cities (Barcelona, Sanremo, Prague, Berlin, etc.) are great to visit and have rich histories that stretch back many centuries. And the organization of the tournaments by PokerStars on the EPT is fantastic, too.
I went to school in my hometown of Miskolc, Hungary, and soon after did some traveling to visit the U.S. and other countries. Then I spent a year working various jobs for low pay, including as a waiter, a housekeeper, and a mover. It was a good experience for me, and in fact had a lot to do with helping me respect the value of money.
After that year of working odd jobs I took a more stable position with an IT company for about one-and-a-half years, and after that moved over to poker full-time which I’ve done for the last seven years or so.
I was fortunate to have success early on in poker, and that initial upswing made it easier for me to make that transition to becoming a pro. But I think having that experience in the working world has helped me tremendously when it comes to bankroll management and staying in the game.
Overall poker has been a great career for me. Traveling to different cities to play has allowed me to continue to explore my interest in history. And my pre-poker work experiences have helped me when it comes to managing money, too.
I didn’t know it at the time when I was getting my degree and working those former jobs, but really I was preparing to be a poker player all along!
Ramzi Jelassi was very matter-of-fact when telling his final two opponents, David Boyaciyan and Sotirios Koutoupas, that he felt he was the best player and most likely to win. There was no arrogance, just a clarity that he had twice the stack of Boyaciyan and the advantage of years of experience over both. The Swede was still prepared to make a deal though, a wise decision given the huge jumps in money; €310,000 to €510,000 to €835,000. But he was not prepared, or even going to entertain the thought, to give up any hard-fought equity.
That role fell to online qualifier and amateur player Koutoupas who reached out to Boyaciyan, offering some pretty large concessions. The Dutch banker played hardball and held out for more. That final few thousand did not come and the deal fell apart. It ultimately cost Boyaciyan more than €100,000 when he was knocked out in third (but still for a massive €310,000). That left Jelassi and Koutoupas to thrash it out, with Jelassi now refusing to make any deal. Despite some very commendable Greek opposition, Jelassi ‘finally’ took the title and the full €835,000 beating a field of 864 players. Read the full report by clicking here.
* But if you’d like to arm yourself with the highlights then know that Marvin Rettenmaier won the EPT High Roller for €365,000 to all but claim the Player of the Year title…
* …snatching it away from American Dan Smith who won his own side event to take his annual live tournament tally to a terrifying $ 3,739,797.
* While Jason Mercier couldn’t quite manage a fifth million-dollar year on the bounce he is already signed up for the $ 100,000 Super High Roller at the PCA, so 2013 may start with a bang.
* And if you’d just like to let EPT videos wash over you then click on through to PokerStars.tv’s coverage.
Check the European Poker Tour website for schedules, structures and qualifiers.
The majority of the side events have been chopped heads-up here in Prague, but this one went three-way with Russian Alexander Babich taking the the largest slice for €28,250. The two-day tournament paid out 10 places with EPT Barcelona third-place finisher Konstantin Puchkov scoring a min-cash.
Event #27, 14-15 December
Game: NLHE 30 minute levels
Prize pool: €92,150
2. Linas Petruskevicius, Lithuania, €17,000
3. Vitaly Veltmander, Russia, €16,500
4. David Cabrera, Spain, €8,350
5. Jakub Michalak, Poland, €6,450
6. Giuliano Bendinelli, Italy, €4,600
7. Sirzat Hissou, Germany, €3,650
8. Jaspreet Panchni, UK, €2,750
9. Yujung Choi, Korea, €2,300
10. Konstantin Puchkov, Russia, €2,300
Firstly, if you haven’t read the wrap of today’s action then you should. Read about how Ben Warrington powered through into the chip lead here.
We haven’t had the final seats confirmed but this is as they were starting from 24 so they’ll be a couple of moves but the chip counts are correct as are most of the seats. We’ll obviously see balancing from table 1, but we didn’t want to keep you all waiting.
A quick note on third-placed Ramzi Jelassi: he’s once finished 19th and three times finished 19th in EPT Main Events. Will he get over that hump tomorrow?
1. Dany Parlafes, Romania, 810,000
2. Diego Gomez Gonzalez, Spain, 1,433,000
3. Aleh Plauski, Belarus, PokerStars qualifier, 1,450,000
4. Johnny Lodden, Norway, Team PokerStars Pro, 763,000
5. Sotirios Koutoupas, Greece, PokerStars qualifier, 1,450,000
6. Iosif Beskrovnyy, Russia, 390,000
7. Ben Warrington, UK, PokerStars player, 2,618,000
8. Marco Leonzio, Italy, 416,000
2. Jose Manuel Nadal Sordo, Mexico, PokerStars qualifier, 1,109,000
3. Jeff Sarwer, Canada, 1,233,000
4. Andreas Berggren, Sweden, PokerStars player, 1,619,000
6. David Boyaciyan, Netherlands, Live Satellite, 2,469,000
7. Ramzi Jelassi, Sweden, 1,975,000
8. Jorma Nuutinen, Finland, PokerStars qualifier, 463,000
1. Mikhail Petrov, Russia, 1,034,000
2. Mariusz Klosinski, Poland, 1,524,000
4. Roberto Romanello, UK, 341,000
5. Sergey Kuzminskiy, Russia, PokerStars qualifier, 1,166,000
6. Mark Herm, USA, PokerStars player, 612,000
7. Mads Amot, Norway, PokerStars player, 1,250,000
8. Sergio Aido Espina, Spain, PokerStars player, 1,792,000
As we suggested yesterday, being the day one chip leader is not usually a guarantee of greater success. It’s a ceremonial role, like that of a Lord Mayor in an English provincial city. Nothing more than a temporary position to be enjoyed for all its trappings. Then the keys to the city are passed on to someone else.
But perhaps Russians do things a little differently? At least Iosef Beskrovnyy believes so. Beskrovnyy arrived today as the chip leader, let others flirt with the lead during the day, and then took back his advantage at the close. He bags up 625,200 chips tonight after day two of EPT Prague, a day typically fraught with eliminations and multiple changes at the top.
Beskrovnyy ensures continuity, for another night at least, but there are a variety of challengers for his top spot.
Chip leader Iosif Beskrovnyy
PokerStars qualifier Martin Hanowski closed on 484,000 and Cesar Garcia Dominguez returns tomorrow to a stack of 410,900. French pro Fabrice Soulier will be back with 396,200.
The chip count pages though are riddled with capable challengers.
Team Pros Christian de Leon, Pier Paolo Fabretii, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and Johnny Lodden have not lost sight of the lead, neither has former Prague winner Roberto Romanello. Further back are the likes of Ari Engel, Jeff Sarwer and Chris Brammer.
Pier Paolo Fabretti
Looking back on the day we witnessed Kevin Stammen start his odds-against campaign to reach day two, and remarked on how enjoyable it is to see a top player wipe the floor with someone. Meanwhile Rodrigo Caprioli was being recognised with a lifetime achievement award and we speculated on whether or not this could be Johnny Lodden’s one time.
After the mid-day update we, along with an MTV camera crew, looked towards the exploits of Pier Paolo Fabretti, ahead of the close of play where players were urged to follow these simple instructions before looking up the fortunes of the Emerald Isle.
They’ll be more to come tomorrow when the bubble will burst and play inches towards the crucial latter stages.
In the first level of play today the unstoppable Dan Smith, winner of six major titles this year, turned to the player next to him and offered him €100 if he could guess the number he’d written down between one and 30. The player picked 23, which happened to be Smith’s favourite number, but alas not the number he’d chosen.
If you’d been asked the same question today, slightly adjusted, to predict the number of players in Prague, you may well have come up with something close to the 336 that turned up to play Day 1A of Season 9′s Prague leg, which continues to demonstrate its popularity among players. Last year 722 took seats here at the Prague Hilton. The field should be at least double that of today when doors are closed tomorrow, with another major prize, as well as a title, up for grabs in the last days of 2012.
Right now the closest player to that honour is chip leader Iosif Beskrovnyy.
With play best described as volatile during such an early stage, Beskrovnyy bagged up 239.000 at the close to lead the field, which had been reduced to 183 after eight levels. His stack will be the marker going into tomorrow, but he was not alone in having a successful day.
Alex Bilokur departed early, as did Ilan Boujenah and Christophe Benzimra. Englishmen Wayne Bentley and Stephen Chidwick would follow, as would other high profile players Steve O’Dwyer, Jonathan Duhamel, Liv Boeree and Dan Smith, with the €100 still in his pocket. Former Prague champion Jan Skampa will also not return, nor will another former Prague winner Arnaud Mattern, who busted on the last hand of the day.
Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, who may or may not have lost his luggage in Kyiv airport
After the introductions to the day we took a short walk through the field before following the progress of Loose Cannon William Davis. We determined that the weather made for the perfect conditions in which to play EPT Prague, an event which had its Eureka moment earlier today. We also looked back to the Season 5 final and asked “Where are they now?”
Join us tomorrow for further coverage as Day 1B comes in from the cold. Play starts at 12 noon with a further eight levels to play. Chip counts of all those who played today can be found on the live coverage page.
For now it’s good night from Prague. Before we go, the number Dan Smith was thinking of was number one. You might want to try it if he stops you in the street and asks you to pick a number.
It’s time for you to take your shot at the Czech crown!The global phenomenon that is the World Poker Tour returns to Prague this Decemeber, and what’s more it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. What’s even better is that we’ve got a seat with your name on it!
All you need to do is play our mix of daily and weekly satellites for a chance to win your way to the Corinthia Casino this December for that fantastic $ 6,000 package.
Each $ 6,000 package includes
- $ 4,250 main event buy-in
- Six nights’ accommodation
- $ 800 spending money
You’ve got a few weeks left till the 18th November, to grab a seat at the WPT’s Czech crown. Claim one of our fantastic $ 6,000 packages and you could win big in Prague this December!
Check out all your chances to win with our full qualifying structure and pick your path to Prague!
Will we see you in Prague?? Let us know in the comments below and remember to follow us on Twitter for more poker greatness.
Yann Brosolo of Titan.fr finished in 11th place at the EPT Prague tournament for a prize of €35,000. He came close to making the final table only to be crippled when he was holding pocket aces.
Here are details of Yann’s incredible game play on Day 4.
Level 22 – Blinds 8,000/ 16,000 ante 2,000
A player raised to 20K in small blind and Yann Brosolo made the call from the big one.
The flop came 3♥ 6♦ 7♥ and the small blind made his continuation bet to 50K. Yann just called.
Both players checked the turn, the 6♦, and on the river, the 8♥, the small blind check-called the 100K bet of our French Titan player.
Yann showed K♥ 7♠ and his opponent mucked his cards.
Yann Brosolo was up to over 1 million chips for the first time of the tournament when the average was under 800K.
After one hour of game play on Day 4, 25 players were left and the average was 866K. Yann had 900K.
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/ 20,000 ante 3,000
Yann Brosolo was card dead during this entire level and just succeeded to not lose too much. He finished it with 750K for an average of 1.2 million chips and 18 players left.
Then things began to run much better for Yann Brosolo.
In Level 24 with blinds 12,000/ 24,000 ante 3,000, Chris Moorman raised to 51K and Yann 3-bet him to 137K and obtained the fold of the English online star.
Yann Brosolo 3-bet twice in a row pre-flop and at the middle of the level, he was up to 900K with 17 players left with an average stack of 1,274,000.
We were quickly down to 16 players and 2 tables and after a lot of pots won pre-flop, Yann Brosolo was back to 1 million with 15 players left and an average of 1.4 million chips.
Level 25 – Blinds 15,000/ 30,000 ante 4,000
Yann eliminated Chris Moorman at the beginning of the level. He raised to 65K UTG and Moorman shoved for 365K. Yann called and it was a coin flip situation.
Moorman held K♥ Q♥
The final board was: 10♦ J♦ J♥ 5♠ 2♣
Then Yann won another nice pot against Danish player Mads Wissing.
Wissing raised under the gun to 50K and Yann called in big blind with 9♥ 9♣
The flop came K♥ K♠ 9♦ and both players checked.
The 10♥ fell on the turn and Yann Brosolo fired a 40K bet. Wissing quickly called.
On the river, the Q♦, Yann checked, Wissing bet 125K and Yann 3-bet to 335K. The Danish player considered what to do for a long time and finally folded.
Yann was up to 1.5 million chips and kept increasing his stack thanks to his aggressive play. Yann made a nice profit of 300K off a Dutch player 5-betting all-in pre-flop. Yann finally reached the average chip stack when there were but 12 players left in the tournament.
A few minutes later, Yann Brosolo raised to 65K UTG and the small blind made the call.
Flop: 4♥ 2♥ 6♥
The small blind player check-called the 80K bet of Yann.
The two men checked on the turn, the 3♠. On the river, 3♣, the small blind check-called 175K and mucked his cards when Yann revealed the winning hand, Q♥ Q♠
Yann Brosolo stole the blinds and at the end of the level he was sitting behind a 2.4 million stack.
11 players were left and the average was just below 2 millions chips.
Level 24 – Blinds 20,000/ 40,000 ante 5,000 – Yann Brosolo is eliminated, victim of a terrible bad beat.
Yann Brosolo opened to 80K in middle position. Dutch player David Boyaciyan 3-bet to 210K. Yann decided to 4-bet to 450K and Boyaciyan made a big mistake moving all-in. Yann snap-called with pocket ACES and was in the prefect situtation to take the lead of the tournament with 11 players left.
Boyaciyan held pocket 9.
The dealer delivered the worst cards possible for our French Titan pro player: K-9-5-10-7
Yann had a little bit more than his opponent but was crippled after this awful bad beat.
The next hand, Yann Brosolo moved all-in with A 7 pre-flop and Wissing made the call with K-10.
A ten fell on the flop and Yann Brosolo was eliminated and left the poker area, knocked out of the tournament.
Yann Brosolo finished in 11th position for a prize of €35,000.
2.35pm: Engel departs in sixth
Contrary to Marc Convey’s earlier forecast, Ari Engel is no longer in the game. After folding to a Martin Finger bet on the flop in the hand prior, Engel decided to act when he looked down on the button to find [as][6s]. Finger had made it 125,000 in the cut off and Engel three bet to 850,000.
Finger asked how much Engel had behind, but in the same way he has done throughout these latter stages Engel said and did nothing, leaving it to Finger to work it out. When he did (Engel had 650,000 back) he announced all-in.
Engel didn’t act immediately, perhaps experiencing his last few moments in the event. Then he called only to see Finger’s [ad][jh].
Finger stood up. Engel said “mis-deal,” jokingly referring to an exposed card earlier in the hand.
The board ran [7c][9c][9h][td][2s] to send Engel to the rail in sixth place. – SB
2.30pm: Still game, baby
Ari Engel thinks he’s back in the game and we don’t disagree after he was fortunate to double up. He all but moved all-in from under the gun and called off the rest after Denys Drobyna shoved from the next seat.
The board ran [9c][2c][7c][as][qc] to four-flush Engel. He’s up to 1,700,000 whereas Drobyna is down to 1,325,000.
Engel stood up and yelled, “Still game, baby!”– MC
2.20pm: Down to 6
Andreas Wiese will be going no further, eliminated in seventh place by Martin Finger who called his countryman’s all-in with pocket fives, with his own Ace-Six. The ace on the flop sent Wiese to the rail. – SB
2.14pm: Drobyna finds aces, doubles
David Boyaciyan opened under-the-gun for 150,000 and was called by Martin Finger in the cut-off. Denys Drobyna slowly peeked at his cards and then moved all-in for 980,000. Boyaciyan called, Finger passed.
What a spot in which to find aces. The board blanked out seven-high to rocket Drobyna back into contention with 2,000,000. — RD
2.10pm: Engel straight to the red zone
Ari Engel is down to a 900,000 chips now after paying off chip daddy David Boyaciyan, who increased his stack to 8,830,000.
The American raised to 120,000 from early position and was only called by the Dutchman en route to a [9c][3c][4s] flop. The action was checked to the [5h] turn where Engel check-called a 220,000 bet. The river brought the [2h] and Boyaciyan bet 500,000 when the action was checked to him again.
Engel thought for a while and then asked of his opponent, “What’s the story my friend? Trying to bluff me?”
He got no response so asked, “You have a six there?”
He apologised to the table and then called. Boyaciyan didn’t have a six but he did have [ah][td] for the bottom straight. Engel mucked. — MC
1.55pm: The proverbial
“Michael Martin had one big blind and won a final table,” said Nicolas Levi, talking to Andreas Wiese who had 180,000 left. “You have three. Easy.”
Levi was referring to Martin’s heroic chips and a chair performance at EPT London several years ago. Whether Wiese got any comfort from that we don’t know but he just doubled up, ensuring he remains in the final table for a little longer.
He shoved for 180,000 in late position which Guillem Usero called in the big blind, showing [as][3d] to Wiese’s [jc][td].
The board ran [5c][th][6d][9s][9h] to help Wiese who now has 400,000. – SB
1.46pm: Wiese down to three big blinds, Usero doubles
Andreas Wiese is down to just 190,000 – three big blinds. Guillem Usero opened for 125,000 from middle position and Wiese moved all-in for 1,300,000. Usero made the call for 1,110,000.
The board ran out [ad][ks][3s][qd][7s]. — RD
1.45pm: Think again
A bet of 125,000 from Martin Finger on the button got Andreas Wiese thinking in the small blind. He raised to 265,000 leaving himself 1,300,000 bhind. With the action back on Finger the Geramn announced all-in. Wiese passed. – SB
1.43pm: Levi’s leverage
Nicolas Levi came in to today with aspirations of playing deep stacked multi-street poker. That plan changed with his big loss earlier and now he is down to three-bet shoving.
His 1,410,000 went over the line in a three-bet from the small blind after his nemesis David Boyaciyan opened to 130,000. The Dutchman tank-folded. — MC
1.37pm: Usero on the up
Guillem Usero has won two pots on the bounce to increase his stack by almost 20%. An under-the-gun shove for 980,000 got through, despite David Boyaciyan thinking long and hard about the call from the big blind.
The Spaniard got a walk the next hand and is up to 1,170,000. — RD
1.30pm: Two shoves and a river card
Ari Engel just moved all-in behind an opening bet of 120,000 by Martin Finger in early position. Finger shook his head and passed. Denys Brobyna tired the same a hand later with similar results.
A few hands after that Nicolas Levi opened for 125,000 in the cut off which Finger called on the button for a flop of [2c][9s][9h]. That was checked for a [jc] turn card. Levi checked to Finger who bet 150,000 which Levi called slowly and deliberately. The river came [kc]. Levi checked but was ready to surrender when Figner bet another 325,000. Levi down to 1,450,000. – SB
1.20pm: Into level 28
After a slightly longer break than expected play has resumed with blinds at 30,000-60,000 with a 5,000 ante.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 30,000-60,000,5,000
First break of the day. Back in 15 minutes.
12.55pm: All-ins aplenty
Two hands, two all-ins.
1) Ari Engel opened from the hijack and Denys Drobyna moved all-in for 1,000,000. Pass.
2) Andreas Wiese opened under-the-gun for 125,000 and was three bet Guillem Usero to 235,000 from the button. Wiese moved all-in and took the pot.
All-in plays are the name of the game at the moment. — RD
12.50pm: Down to seven
Mads Wissing knew he’d have to act quickly today. He got his chips in and a caller in Guillem Usero who re-raised all-in. It was inevitable but not ideal for Wissing who turned over [7c][4d] to Usero’s [8d][8h].
The flop came [ks][ah][qs].
“Mads needs running cards to split the pot,” said Luca Vivaldi, officiating, much to Wissing’s amusement.
The [7c] helped a little on the turn but the [6h] river sealed Wissing’s departure.
“Good game guys,” said Wissing.
Usero up to 1,400,000. – SB
12.45pm: Boyaciyan doubles in huge pot
David Boyaciyan from Holland is the new chip leader with more than 7,500,000 after doubling up through Nicolas Levi.
He raised to 140,000 from early position and Levi was the only caller from the cut-off. The flop came [kc][7s][tc] and this is where the fireworks went off.
Boyaciyan continued for 160,000 and was swiftly raised up to 375,000 by Levi. The Dutchman showed more strength by three-betting to 860,000 and called quickly for 3,765,000 when Levi shoved.
Boyaciyan: [kd][ks] for top set.
Levi: [th][7h] for bottom two-pair.
The board ran out [8s][9s] and this final table has a new chip leader. Levi was left with a little less than two million chips. — MC
12.30pm: Usero under a million
Gullem Usero has dropped down to 1,000,000 chips, conceding a pot to Martin Finger.
Finger opened from under the gun, 100,000, which Usero then raised to 150,000 in the small blind which Finger called for a flop of [ac][jd][2h].
Usero bet 155,000 and Finger called for a [6h] turn card. This time Usero checked to Fingr who bet 255,000, forcing Usero to pass. – SB
Martin Finger opened to 100,000 and Ari Engel three-bet to… 1,100,000 with 600,000 behind. Was it a live misclick? It was suggested to be so by Nic Levi. — RD
12.15pm: Cards in the air
Thomas Lamatsch has made the introductions and play is about to start.
12.05pm: The line-up today
Wissing is a well-respected cash game and tournament player in Denmark. Recent highlights on his live tournament record include last year’s WSOP Main Event where he finished in 25th place. In September Wissing made the final of the Partouche Main Event in Cannes finishing in ninth. He also recently competed in the International Federation of Poker’s World Championships as part of a seven-man Danish team. As well as his live successes, Wissing has also won several online tournaments including two Sunday majors.
Seat 2: Guillem “GabrielMoyaa” Usero, 21, Valencia, Spain – 1,405,000
Usero has been playing poker for two-and-a-half years, the last two as a pro. He mainly plays online cash games – NL $ 3/$ 6 to $ 25/50 levels and occasionally online tournaments, his best result being third in a $ 100 re-buy tournament on PokerStars for around $ 100k. He also plays live tourneys and his best live result to date – apart from making the EPT Prague final – was fifth place at WPT Barcelona last May for €40,000. He also cashed in the Estrellas Madrid Main Event in February.
Seat 3: Nicolas Levi, 28, living in London, originally from Paris, France – 5,690,000
Levi came across poker quite by accident seven years ago while studying computer science in the UK. Levi discovered “a totally different game, a mix of psychology and mathematics”.
“From the very first hand, I thought ‘this is the game for me,” he said. “Beating chance seemed a very exciting challenge.”
Since then, Levi has become a regular on the international poker scene. The Season 8 EPT Prague final is not his first; way back in Season 3 Levi made the final of EPT Dortmund, finishing seventh place for € 85,700. He has also achieved numerous other deep runs; his four WSOP finals include fifth in the 2010 WSOPE Main Event for £208,119 and sixth in the $ 10,000 pot-limit hold’em Championship for $ 114.525. Levi been based in the UK since 2000 – and in London for the last four years.
Seat 4: Martin Finger, 21, Frankenberg, Germany – PokerStars qualifier – 5,800,000
Business science student Martin Finger has been playing poker for about three years, kicking off in home games with friends before finding his way into online poker. This is where he thrives, and he has already earned Supernova Elite status on Pokerstars. Online he grinds the heads-up sit n gos but he also plays a lot of EPTs.
As well as winning his seat to Prague, Finger qualified for EPT Loutraki a few weeks ago but didn’t cash. He has done well in EPT side events however including runner-up in the EPT Barcelona €1k event for €42,000, third in the EPT Barcelona Heads-up tourney in Season 7 and ninth in a €1k EPT7 Berlin side event. Making the final at EPT Prague – where he’s guaranteed at least €66,700 – is by far his biggest live score to date.
Seat 5: Andreas Wiese, 35, Hannover, Germany – 1,670,000
Wiese has been playing poker for six years, mainly focusing on live games. He’s been playing tournaments for a couple of years – his best result to date being sixth place at EPT Vienna last season. That was his first major event but he also came third in a €1k side event here in Prague last year and was 14th at EPT Snowfest in March. He regularly plays cash games at his local casino in Hannover and considers himself a “semi-professional” although still working as an anaesthetist at Hannover Hospital.
Seat 6: Ari “BodogAri” Engel, 28, Brooklyn, New York – 1,670,000
Back in his college days, Engel used to watch his roommate play online poker, but he didn’t start pursuing the game himself until after graduation. When he finally threw a few bucks on to a poker site it only took ten days of gains to convince him to quit his job and take up the game full-time. Since then, Engel has earned close to $ 2.5 million online, at one point climbing to the very top of the online player rankings.
He’s also begun to amass a respectable live record that includes two WSOPC rings and more than $ 500,000 in cashes. Things have gone so well for Engel that he’s recently begun to give lessons on tournament poker (see www.ariengel.com for more info) and his students’ results indicate that “BodogAri” knows how to teach the game. Now based in Canada, Engel won his seat on PokerStars. This is his first ever EPT.
Seat 7: Denys Drobyna, 28, Kyiv, Ukraine – 1,180,000
Drobyna is a full-time poker pro who mainly plays online – no limit cash games at the $ 5/$ 10 to $ 25/$ 50 levels. Online cash games are his bread-and-butter and he rarely plays online. He made his first EPT appearance at Dortmund in Season 4 and has played around six EPTs so far. His best finish to date was 25th place at EPT San Remo six weeks ago. His best overall live result was 15th place in a 2008 World Series $ 2k event for $ 35,843.
He said: “I’ve been playing well here in Prague, and I’ve also been lucky. I won a couple of coin flips but you need to be able to fold right, raise right – and get the right cards at the right time. I feel very focused right now; I need to be – there are a lot of good players still in.”
Seat 8: David Boyaciyan, 32, Amsterdam, Netherlands – 3,770,000
When David Boyaciyan won the Amsterdam Master Classics last month for €382,200, it took the poker world by storm. Not only had a total unknown beaten some of the best players in the world, but he wasn’t even a pro.
Following his Amsterdam victory, Boyaciyan, a banker by trade, decided to play EPT Loutraki and Prague just to see how far his luck would run – and finds himself back on another major final table within the month. But players who think Boyaciyan is only about luck might be chastened to discover that last summer he played two WPTs at the Bellagio and final-tabled both. He comes to tomorrow’s EPT Prague final armed with a lucky chip card protector bearing a photo of his 18-month-old daughter Elina. At the Maser Classics, he had a chip with a photo of his four-year-old son Joel. Both kids are at home being looked after by Boyaciyan’s wife Hilda.
11.55am: Welcome to the final table
Welcome to the final table of the European Poker Tour main event in Prague. A total of 722 players started this event and now only eight remain. Their task, to play the best poker of their lives and win a first EPT title. Hyperbole aside, it’s the most prestigious title in world poker.
Before the final though came the party. PokerStars celebrated its tenth birthday/Christmas/ the final, in typical fashion last night, at the Buddha Bar in down town.
Back to today. Eight to one and a new EPT champion. Play starts at 12 noon.* — SB
* It will not start at 12 noon.