Thomas Boivin has won the PokerStars European Poker Tour €25,000 Single Day High Roller for €375,520, topping a field of 46 players in the Czech capital.
Boivin had finished sixth in the €10,300 High Roller a week ago for €25,800 and today saw off a whole host of familiar names and defeated experienced High Roller player Steve O'Dwyer heads-up to seal the biggest cash of his career so far.
Runner-up O'Dwyer has another final table in a Single-Day High Roller at EPT Prague, after 3rd and 5th place finishes in 2016. He will no doubt be back in two days for the second €25,000 Single Day High Roller of the festival.
Here are the results from the final table:
|Position||Name||County||Payout in EUR||Payout in USD|
|1||Thomas Boivin||Belgium||€ 375,520||$426,389|
|2||Steve O'Dwyer||United States||€ 259,550||$294,709|
|3||Orpen Kisacikoglu||Turkey||€ 165,670||$188,100|
|4||Michael Addamo||Australia||€ 127,010||$144,206|
|5||Pavel Plesuv||Moldova||€ 99,400||$112,858|
|6||Stefan Huber||Switzerland||€ 77,310||$87,777|
"I'm only just starting to play higher stakes live," Boivin told PokerNews. "The reason I've started is obviously that I wanted to continue playing higher more regularly; it's not like I was hoping to bink the first one! But I'm definitely going to be playing higher now!
"There was a really interesting dynamic at the final table. The players were all competent, and I'm definitely still learning a lot by observing and talking. It was a really high level so that was really interesting.
"I've been studying a lot recently, and obviously you don't win a tournament just because you study, but I felt really confident in my game and it just feels great to win a tournament, especially such a tough one."
Boivin also had a message for everyone heading to the Bahamas in January.
"Spoiler alert but I'm going to win the biggest $25k in history!"
Recap of the Day's Action
For once a High Roller event got underway on time, with €50,000 Super High Roller champion Matthias Eibinger in the field, and by the end of the first level the number of total players had grown to 15, including online tournament crusher Niklas "lena900" Astedt.
The first player eliminated was Michael Addamo, but he immediately re-entered. Others who also fired a second bullet included EPT Barcelona €10,300 High Roller winner Michael Soyza.
The eliminations k,ept coming, and by the second break just 22 of a field of 46 remained, with Belgian Thomas Boivin top of the counts.
The payouts were confirmed not long after registration closed, with six places paid and the winner taking home €375,520.
By the time the tournament was down to two tables, the usual big names were all still in, but the likes of Davidi Kitai, Matthias Eibinger, Joao Vieira, Preben Stokkan, Daniel Dvoress and Timothy Adams would all bust before the tournament reached the final table.
It was Pavel Plesuv who lead the final nine players when the tables combined, with Orpen Kisacikoglu just behind him and Sylvain Loosli bringing up the rear.
The early stages were cautious, the only notable pot being when Ryan Riess used all nine of his time extension cards in a single hand, before the players broke for dinner.
When they returned Loosli and Charlie Carrel were sent to the rail by Plesuv and Addamo respectively, bringing the tournament to the money bubble. That bubble burst when Addamo’s seven-eight cracked the ace-six of Ryan Riess, after the Australian flopped an eight. There was no help for the former world champion and he was eliminated.
The remaining six players were all guaranteed €77,310.
At this stage it was Addamo in the lead, and he extended that with the elimination of Stefan Huber in sixth place. Both players held an ace blind on blind, but Addamo’s was better and Huber was eliminated.
However, Addamo’s aggressive style got him in trouble, as O’Dwyer score a huge double through the Australian. Addamo jammed over an O’Dwyer open with king-ten suited. O’Dwyer called with ace-king, and turned a straight to double up to around two million in chips.
Despite this setback, it was Addamo who sent the next player to the rail. Pavel Plesuv shoved with pocket deuces on a paired board, but Addamo was waiting with a better two pair and held to send Plesuv home in fifth for just shy of €100,000.
Thomas Boivin would double through Addamo to close in on O'Dwyer. Then, Kisacikoglu himself doubled through Addamo to leave him with less than a big blind behind. O'Dwyer's shove to try and get rid of the Australian was called by Boivin who would double up again to move into the chip lead and eliminate Addamo.
The remaining three players settled into some semblance of a rhythm, with no one wanting to make a fatal mistake that would blow their chances of victory at such a crucial stage of the tournament. However that changed, when O'Dwyer got it wrong, calling in a river spot against Boivin where he himself said that he was "supposed to fold." He was supposed to, as Boivin had turned the nut straight, and suddenly a gap opened amongst the trio.
As O'Dwyers stack dwindled it appeared that he would be the next player to face an all-in. However, on a king-high board, it was Kisacikoglu who called the shove from Boivin for the Turk's tournament life. Both players had flopped top pair, but Kisacikoglu was out-kicked, and was eliminated after receiving no help on the runout.
Boivin started heads-up with an overwhelming chip lead, and O'Dwyer did manage to score two small double ups when play got underway. But a third one was not forthcoming, and Boivin finished him off barely twelve hours after the tournament first started.
Stay tuned to PokerNews.com for continued live coverage from the European Poker Tour festival here at the Hilton Prague!