The first official event of the 2019 PokerStars EPT Prague was also the first to award the PokerStars Spade trophy at this year's festival. Adrian Mateos came out on top of a field of 61 entries in Event #1: €10,300 No-Limit Hold'em to after defeating Anton Yakuba to claim the first-place prize of €177,500.
Mateos battled with Yakuba heads-up, who held the chip lead for the better part of the day. However, Mateos started the heads-up match with a two-to-one chip lead and never relinquished it. It was a surprising and abrupt end to the match after Mateos turned two pair. Yakuba turned a flush draw with two overcards to the board and still called off the last of his chips on the river with just king-high.
It will be recorded as Mateos' sixth PokerStars EPT victory to add to an already impressive poker resume. Mateos captured the EPT Monte Carlo Main Event title back in 2015 for a seven-figure payday along with the 2017 €50,000 8-Max in Monte Carlo for over €900,000. With this win, Mateos will close in on the $20 million career earnings mark which is impressive in its own right.
As for Yakuba, this will be recorded as his best ever live tournament result. Yakuba is mostly known for playing at the online felt but has proven that he can compete with some of the best live players as well. Yakuba pocketed €128,400 for his efforts today and should be around for the rest of the week as well.
2019 EPT Prague €10,300 No-Limit Hold'em Final Table Results
|Place||Player||Country||Prize (EUR)||Prize (USD)|
|3||Derek Ip||Hong Kong||€82,840||$91,616|
The day kicked off with 27 players returning to their seats from Day 1 along with seven new entries before the cards went in the air. That brought the total number of entries for this event to 61, creating a prize pool of €591,000 to be spread out among eight places. There was no shortage of action in the early going with Seth Davies and Jimmy Guerrero being eliminated in the first couple of hands.
Four tables quickly turned into three, and that became just two tables moments after the first break of the day. That was when the action seemed to grind to a halt, as the average stack quickly became a lot larger. As chips were passed back and forth, this was the time when Yakuba made his first move and grabbed a hold of a healthy chip lead. After a bit of a stalemate, Kahle Burns, Michael Soyza, Quan Zhou, and Yuan Li all hit the rail in quick succession, leaving just ten players left.
Daniel Dvoress appeared to battle for the chip lead with Yakuba, but a cooler hand where both players made two pair on a dry board gave Yakuba even more chips and Dvoress was eliminated. The final nine players gathered at one table on the money bubble and it took roughly 40 minutes to burst the bubble. Matthias Eibinger called off his last 11 big blinds with ace-king and was dominating Tsugunari Toma's ace-nine. However, an ace on the flop and a nine on the turn gave Toma two pair and Eibinger was the bubble boy.
The final eight players all locked up a min-cash of at least €23,670, including the two short stacks, Arsenii Karmatckii and Orpen Kisacikoglu who both had less than ten big blinds. They would be the next two players eliminated in succession, Karmatckii losing a flip to finish in eighth place and Kisacikoglu running into the nut flush of Mateos to wind up in seventh.
Prior to the dinner break, there was a series of double-ups that occurred. Vladimir Troyanovskiy was the biggest beneficiary of those double-ups but still struggled to gather an above-average stack. When the six players returned from dinner, Toma was the first to bow out, sending his eight big blinds across the table to Troyanovskiy. Bertrand Grospellier was the new short stack but was gaining momentum after two doubles of his own at the hands of Troyanovskiy. However, he wasn't so lucky on the third attempt when Derek Ip flopped a full house with pocket jacks. Grospellier was still alive with trip queens but was unable to improve on the turn or river.
Troyanovskiy was still battling on the short stack and managed to double up once more but that was the last one he would see. He got his last ten big blinds in the middle with pocket sevens against his fellow Russian who was on the right side of all the flips. Yakuba held ace-jack and spiked a jack on the flop to take the lead and eliminate Troyanovskiy in fourth place. It didn't take long for heads-up action to take place as Ip soon got his chips in the middle with pocket jacks and was flipping against the ace-queen of Mateos. A queen on the turn gave Mateos the best hand and he dodged all of Ip's outs to take the chip lead into heads-up with Yakuba.
That wraps up the PokerNews coverage for this event but there is still plenty of action to look forward to over the next coming days.