Paul Michaelis Wins EPT Prague Main Event, Now Headed to Bahamas

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Paul Michaelis picked up nearly $1M in cash and a highly-coveted Platinum Pass for winning the EPT Prague Main Event (PokerStars photo).

The last European Poker Tour event of 2018 wrapped up Tuesday in Prague with Germany’s Paul Michaelis beating a final table that included a few well-known PocketFivers on his way to picking up €840,000 ($954,677) and a trip to the Bahamas to play in the $25,000 PokerStars Players Championship in January.

The eight-handed final table began on Monday before stopping with six players left to return on Tuesday.

It took just a few hands at the final table on Monday for the first elimination to happen. Diego Zeiter moved all in for 1,305,000 from middle position and Alexandr Merzhvinskii called. Zeiter tabled 9c9s but got the worst news possible when Merzhvinskii turned over AhAs. The JsTc2hQhTd runout wasn’t good enough to save Zeiter from an eighth place finish.

It took only an hour before the next player was sent to the rail. From middle position, Laurynas Levinskas raised to 250,000 before Liviu Ignat moved all in from the button. Levinskas called and showed KcKh while Ignat needed help after turning over AcQs. The JhTc6d flop gave Ignat two extra outs but neither the 7c turn and 8s river were any help and he was sent out in seventh.

The six remaining players bagged up their chips and returned on Tuesday to play down to a winner. A good night’s rest didn’t help Parker Talbot overcome his short stack though. Down to just 15 big blinds, Talbot moved all in from the cutoff only to have Levinskas call from the big blind and turn over As9c while Talbot was left drawing with KsQh The AhAd2c flop all but ended Talbot’s run. The Ts turn gave him four outs to Broadway but the Kd river was no help and Talbot was out in sixth.

Play continued for nearly 90 minutes before the next elimination occurred. Michaelis raised to 400,000 from UTG and Carlos Branco moved all in for 3,575,000 from the button. Artem Kobylynskyi re-raised all in from the big blind forcing Michaelis to fold. Branco showed 7d7h but Kobylynskyi had AdAs. The flop came 5h4s3h to give Branco six more outs. The turn was the 9s and the 8h river sealed his fate with a fifth place finish.

The first talk of a chop came up with four players remaining but Levinskas decided he wanted to keep playing. About 30 minutes later, the decision was made for him. Michaelis raised to 425,000 from the button and Levinskas defended from the big blind. The KdQh7d flop got both players to check. The 8h turn got another check from Levinskas before Michaelis bet 400,000. Levinskas responded by moving all in and Michaelis called instantly. Levinskas showed Ks9s for top pair but Michaelis tabled 8c[8s for a turned set. The 9d river was a useless second pair for Levinskas and he was eliminated in fourth.

Three-handed play last a little over an hour before the three players agreed to a deal. Michaelis took €770,000, Merzhvinskii pocketed €631,500 while the shortest stack, Kobylinskiy, settled for €571,910 and they left €70,000 and the $30,000 Platinum Pass to play for. It took almost 90 minutes to go from a deal to heads-up.

Merzhvinskii moved all in for his last 12 big blinds from the button and Michaelis called from the big blind. Merzhvinskii tabled As7d but found his hand dominated by Michaelis’ Ad9d. The Qh9c7h flop improved both players. The 8d turn and Th river changed kept everything the same and gave Michaelis the pot and eliminated Merzhvinskii in third.

When heads up play began, Michaelis was ahead 2-1 over Kobylynskyi. It took just 15 minutes for Michaelis to finish things off thanks to a cooler. Michaelis called from the button and then called again after Kobylynskyi moved all in for 5,600,000. Kobylynskyi showed TdTs but Michaelis had him beat with JsJd. The board ran out KcQd5s9s7d to give Michaelis the win and leave Kobylynskyi as runner-up.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Paul Michaelis – $954,677
  2. Artem Kobylynskyi – $649,987
  3. Alexandr Merzhvinskii – $717,712
  4. Laurynas Levinskas – $359,140
  5. Carlos Branco – $275,674
  6. Parker Talbot – $203,846
  7. Liviu Ignat – $155,385
  8. Diego Zeiter – $110,720