Leon Tsoukernik Wins EPT Prague €50k Super High Roller

After coming into the final table of this year's €50k Super High Roller at EPT Prague with the chip lead, Leon Tsoukernik, the owner of King's Casino in Rozvadov (which also houses Europe's largest poker room) never looked back and dominated the final stages of play on the last day to win the tournament, the trophy, and the €741,100 first place prize money.

Although it was, for the most part, a dominant performance from Tsoukernik, he did have to deal with a bit of back-and-forth for the chip lead in the first couple of hours of play with England's Charlie Carrel. Carrel first took the chip lead after half an hour's play wihth an audacious bluff on the river. Four spades on the board prompted a big bet of 650k from Carrel and Tsoukernik (who held the 9s) tanked for a good ten minutes while Carrel tied him up with chat. After Carrel eventually called the clock on Tsoukernik, the home-town favourite folded his hand to give the Brit a small chip lead.

Shortly after this the table lost its first player as Germany's Julian Thomas called off his last 420k chips from the big blind with Q♥J♦ after Carrel had set him all in holding K♥9♥. The run-out saw Thomas drawing dead after a King fell on the turn and he was out in 6th for €152,915.

Carrel and Tsoukernik exchanged the lead a couple of times each over the next 90 minutes before a bluff of his own saw Tsoukernik back in front. He made Juha Helpi fold pocket 10's on a 8♦4♦2♥A♦ board holding just 4♠3♦ for third pair and some draws.

Shortly after the first break of the day the table saw it's second casualty as English entrepreneur Paul Newey suffered a cruel bad beat for his tournament life. Ahead by a country mile with his last 445k chips in the middle and 10 10 in his hand, Newey faced off against a lone caller in Viacheslav Buldygin who tabled 8 8. The 7♠6♠T♣ flop gave Newey a set of 10's and left just 4 outs for his opponent to hit a straight. The river brought the 9♥ to send Newey packing with a €200,000 consolation prize.

Tsoukernik took control of the match just 15 minutes later when he dragged an unlikely huge pot off Carrel holding the infamous 7♣2♣ (although at least they were suited). After a A♥9♣5♠ flop and a 4♥ Carrel looked a lock for the hand with two pairs. He bet out 325k chips which saw off Buldygin, the other player in the pot, whose Q♠6♦ was worthless. Tsoukernik, however, stuck around with nothing but a gutshot straight draw. Ridiculously the 3♠ hit the river and Tsoukernik quickly raised Carrels 625k value-bet to 1.7m. To Carrel's credit, he had his suspiscions about Tsoukernik's hand even before bettting the river, saying "You play a lot of twos". Carrel tanked for several minutes before calling the clock on himself and eventually calling the bet. The resultant pot sent Tsoukernick up over 6.62m and sent Carrel down to just 1.9m.

It looked like Carrel's challenge was over as over the next 90 minutes he fell below 1m chips as Tsoukernik continued to add to his stack, by now a runaway leader. However, Carrel managed a double up against Helppi as his KK held up all-in against the Finn's A 10, and he soon after regained second spot after elimination a card dead Viacheslav Buldygin who 3-bet all in with J♠9♠ after Carrel opened from the button. Carrel snapped it off holding J♦J♥, the worst possible cards for Buldygin to see, and he was eliminated in 4th after the board ran out 4♦Q♣A♠A♦6♦. Buldygin took home €258,800 for his efforts.

After a short break, Helppi's game was up after he put his short-stack in with T♥7♥ and was called by Tsoukernik's J♠T♠. The dominating hand held up and Helppi left in 3rd for €341,150, putting him on top of the Finnish all time money winners list in live tournaments with over $6.9m in cashes.

So heads-up play was to be between the day's early two chip leaders with Tsoukernik starting the end-game with a more than 3:1 chip lead (9.23m to 3.02m). Despite taking a couple of early pots, Carrel never managed to mount much of a comeback during heads-up play, and finally succumbed a little under an hour in when he made his final stand for 1.4m chips holding A♦K♦. The Brit was initially pleased when Tsoukernik tabled K♠J♠ but was left drawing extremely thin after the 5♠6♠J♦ flop gave the Czech top pair and a flush-draw. The board ran out 5♥K♣ to hand Tsoukernik the title, the gold trophy, and the €741,100 first place prize money. Carrel picked up €535,250 for his runner-up finish, taking his 2016 live tourney winnings over the $2m mark.

Final Table Results EPT Prague €50,000 Super High Roller

Position Player Country Prize Money
1 Leon Tsoukernik Czech Republic €741,100
2 Charlie Carrel United Kingdom €535,250
3 Juha Helppi Finland €341,150
4 Viacheslav Buldygin Russia €258,800
5 Paul Newey United Kingdom €200,00
 6 Julian Thomas Germany €152,915



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