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  1. [caption width="640"] Kalidou Sow won his first major title Monday in Prague, taking down the PokerStars Championship Prague event (Neil Stoddart/PokerStars photo)[/caption] This time last year, people were talking about the end of the European Poker Tour. Following last week's announcement that the EPT was back, there was hardly any fan fare in what will undoubtedly be the final PokerStars Champsionship event, PSC Prague. The final table of the €5,300 Main Event included some trash talk, a deal and eventually, a new champion. Kalidou Sow defeated Jason Wheeler heads up to win €685,000 ($807,899). It took only one hour to go from six players to five. Down to just nine big blinds, Colin Robinson moved all in for 940,000 and Kalidou Sow called. Robinson turned over [poker card="ad"][poker card="7c"] while Sow was ahead with [poker card="8d"][poker card="8h"]. The board ran out [poker card="qc"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2d"][poker card="8c"][poker card="as"] to give Sow a turned set and eliminate Robinson in sixth. Five hands later Wheeler picked up his first elimination of the final table. Action folded to Wheeler in the small blind and he moved all in. Harry Lodge called from the big blind only to find out he was dominated. Wheeler had [poker card="ah"][poker card="jd"] and Lodge was behind with [poker card="as"][poker card="5s"]. The [poker card="9s"][poker card="7s"][poker card="7h"] flop gave Lodge a flush draw but neither the [poker card="8c"] turn or [poker card="qh"] river were any help and Lodge was out in fifth. One hour later, Wheeler picked up another victim. Wheeler raised to 230,000 from UTG, Sow call from the button and Gabriele Lepore defended his big blind. After the [poker card="6c"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"] flop, Lepore and Sow checked to Wheeler who bet 330,000. Sow folded before Lepore moved all in for 1,960,000. Wheeler called and tabled [poker card="5d"][poker card="5s"] while Lepore showed [poker card="jd"][poker card="7d"]. The turn was the [poker card="4c"] and the river was the [poker card="tc"] to miss all of Lepore's draws and eliminate him in fourth place. Three-handed play carried on for two hours with Wheeler holding more than half of the chips in play when he found himself clashing with Sow. Wheeler raised to 335,000 from the small blind and Sow defended his big. The flop came [poker card="td"][poker card="9h"][poker card="8s"]. Wheeler bet 350,000 and Sow called. The turn was the [poker card="kd"] and Wheeler bet 700,000. Sow responded with a raise to 1,555,000 and Wheeler moved all in. Sow called and tabled [poker card="qs"][poker card="jd"] for the nut straight while Wheeler showed [poker card="7s"][poker card="6s"] for the bottom end of the straight. The river was the [poker card="9s"] and Sow doubled up to nearly 14.5 million - roughly 60% of the chips in play. There was yet another hour-long gap between eliminations and once again it was Wheeler doing the heavy lifting. Sou raised to 240,000 from the button, Michal Mrakes moved all in for 1,815,000 from the small blind and Wheeler called from the big blind. Sow folded. Mrakes flipped over [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"] while Wheeler showed [poker card="6h"][poker card="6s"]. The [poker card="kh"][poker card="qh"][poker card="jc"] flop moved Mrakes ahead. THe [poker card="3h"] turn gave Wheeler a flush draw but it was the [poker card="6d"] on the river that gave Wheeler the pot and sent Mrakes to the rail. Heads-up play began with Sow holding 55% of the chips in play and after a short break the two agreed to a deal largely dictated by Wheeler. Each player guaranteed themselves €570,000 as the cruz of the chop agreement, with €105,000 left to play for. It took only 19 hands for Sow to eliminate Wheeler and pick up the additional €105,000. Wheeler raised from the button to 425,000 and Kalidou re-raised to 1,375,000. Wheeler responded by moving all in for 6,035,000 total and after taking a minute to think about it, Sow called. Wheeler showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="9s"] and Sow tabled [poker card="td"][poker card="th"]. The board ran out [poker card="jc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="5h"][poker card="kh"] to give Sow the pot and the first major win of his career. Final Table Payouts Kalidou Sow - €675,000 Jason Wheeler - €570,000 Michal Mrakes - €332,000 Gabriele Lepore - €249,000 Harry Lodge - €196,000 Colin Robinson - €147,000
  2. [caption id="attachment_617498" align="alignnone" width="640"] Germany's Ole Schemion wins the World Poker Tour Season XVI European Championship.[/caption] The World Poker Tour Season XVI European Championship Berlin came to a conclusion on Monday as the remaining six players from the 339 starting field, took their seat to battle for the €218,435 first-place prize and the title of WPT Champion. The €3,300 televised Main Event was held at Spelbank Berlin and it was the first time the WPT had held a Championship event on German soil. Therefore, it seems only fitting that one of the best players on the planet, Ole Schemion who hails from Germany, took over the tournament and rode a wave of momentum right into the winner’s circle. Schemion entered the final table with the chip lead, something he had held for the past two days. He used that leverage to eliminate four of the other five players, including Czech Republic’s red-hot Michal Mrakes, standing in his way to victory. It took nearly two hours into the six-handed final table for the first of the finalist to hit the rail. After 37-year old Amjad Nader was crippled down to 6 big blinds on the hand prior, he pushed with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"]. Schemion flatted with the [poker card="ah"][poker card="ts"] as did Mrakes with the [poker card="9d"][poker card="9s"]. The flop came [poker card="ac"][poker card="6d"][poker card="5h"] and Schemion put out a bet that drove Mrakes out of the pot. When the [poker card="8h"] hit the turn, Nader was drawing dead and as the inconsequential [poker card="7h"] completed the hand, Nader stood to collect a career-high cash of €39,010 ($47,323). Born in China, but living in Germany, Hanyong Kuo entered the final table third in chips. Kuo made a gutsy king-high bluff-catching call for the majority of his stack only to be shown ace-high, leaving him with only five big blinds. Four hands later, he’d make his final move of the tournament by shipping [poker card="kd"][poker card="9d"] into the surging Schemion who isolated with [poker card="as"][poker card="9h"]. There was no help to Kuo, a veteran Pot-Limit Omaha cash game specialist, when the board ran out all blanks for both players leaving Schemion's ace-high as the best hand. Schemion claimed another victim and Kuo claimed his fifth-place prize of €46,705 ($57,118). A mere two hands later another elimination took place as Germany’s Michael Behnert took his ten big blind stack and put it in the middle from the small blind holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="9c"].,Patrice Brandt made the call from the big blind with [poker card="kd"][poker card="3d"]. Behnert’s 3:2 advantage quickly diminished on the [poker card="8h"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3c"] flop. But when the turn came [poker card="5c"], Behnert picked up backdoor flush outs in addition to his two overs, essentially giving himself the same odds Brandt had at the beginning of the hand. But the [poker card="6s"] was of no help and Behnert, who entered the day fifth in chips, laddered to fourth place and took home €60,730 ($74,088). Brandt himself would be the third elimination in five hands as he took his made a stand with his roughly 30 big blind stack against the tournament boss, Schemion. Brandt raised the button with [poker card="jh"][poker card="9h"] only to be three-bet by Schemion from the small blind. Mrakes folded the big blind and Brandt called to see the flop. The flop dropped [poker card="5h"][poker card="2c"][poker card="2h"]. Schemion bet around one-third pot and then, with his two overs and a flush draw, Brandt committed the rest of his chips. Schemion made the call and tabled [poker card="ad"][poker card="4d"]. While Schemion’s gutshot straight draw and ace-high was the best hand, Brandt was a slight favorite when all the cards were exposed. But it was Schemion’s day and a pair of bricks in the form of the [poker card="kc"] and [poker card="7c"] sealed Brandt’s fate. Schemion had eliminated his second player with ace-high. Brandt finished in third despite entering the final table with just over 15 big blinds. He earned €93,105 ($115,077) for the result. After a 30-minute break heads-up play began with Ole Schemion holding roughly a 2:1 chip advantage over Michal Mrakes, who had entered the final table second in chips. An early full house for Schemion extended his chip lead and the Germany superstar never looked back. Twenty-one hands later the pair would mix it up on the final hand of the tournament. Schemion raised holding the [poker card="kc"][poker card="7c"], Mrakes three-bet with [poker card="7s"][poker card="5s"] and was called. When the action flop of [poker card="kh"][poker card="qs"][poker card="9s"] hit, Mrakes made his move and pushed. Schemion ultimately made the call. The pair watched as the [poker card="8h"] hit the turn opening Mrakes outs to include an inside straight. But the [poker card="4d"] shut the door on Mrakes comeback bid and awarded the hometown hero, Schemion, the victory. Mrakes finishes as the runner-up, winning €143,845 ($178,892) for his third career six-figure score. Ole Schemion added to the accolades of his remarkable career that includes over $13.5 million in tournament cashes. Now in addition to his victories in the Aria High Roller series, the Partouche Poker Tour Championship and EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller, Schemion can now call himself a World Poker Tour Champion. The title includes an entry into the World Poker Tour Tournament of Champions at the Aria Resort & Casino in May, a Hublot Big Bang Steel timepiece and, of course, €218,435 ($255,352) for his first-place prize money. Final Table Payouts Ole Schemion - €218,435 Michal Mrakes - €143,845 Patrice Brandt - €93,105 Michael Behnert - €60,730 Hanyong Kuo - €46,705 Amjad Nader - €39,010

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