The penultimate day of the 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague €5,300 Main Event saw 15 players out of 855 entries return to the tables of the Hilton Hotel in Prague to determine the finalists for the big showdown on Monday, December 18th, 2017.
Thirty-seven year old Kalidou Sow bagged up the most chips with 8,135,000, narrowly ahead of accomplished poker pro Jason Wheeler with 8,100,000, who calls Prague his second home these days. Sow's biggest score so far was a €72,000 payday for third place in the France Poker Series (FPS) Season 5 Main Event in Enghien-les-Bains, and he already has locked up far more than that.
Local poker pro Michal Mrakes, who led the field after Day 1a and Day 4, bagged up the third-biggest stack for the final table with 5,010,000, while a trio of short stacks made it through: Gabriele Lepore (1,815,000), Colin Robinson (1,425,000) and Harry Lodge (1,230,000) will try to run up their stacks after a good night of sleep.
Down to the last six, the lion's share of the €4,146,750 prize pool is still up for grabs as all finalists are guaranteed at least €147,000 for their efforts. The trophy, first-place payout of €775,000 and spot in the history books as last ever PokerStars Championship Main Event title winner are still up for grabs.
Among the notables to fall short of making the final day were French poker pro Pierre “levietf0u” Calamusa (15th, for €38,400), Thomas Lentrodt (12th, for €42,600), German poker pro Robert Heidorn (11th, for €47,500) and American rising star Alex Foxen (10th, for €47,500). Matas Cimbolas became the last casualty of the day and had to settle for 7th place and €104,000.
Seat Assignments for the Final Table
|Seat||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|1||Harry Lodge||United Kingdom||1,230,000||15|
|3||Michal Mrakes||Czech Republic||5,010,000||62|
|5||Colin Robinson||United States||1,425,000||17|
|6||Jason Wheeler||United States||8,100,000||101|
Day 5 Action
It wouldn't take long before the first of the 15 remaining hopefuls ran out of chips. Pierre Calamusa was left with fewer than two big blinds after his three-bet shove with king-ten suited was called by Aleksandr Mordvinov with pocket queens and Calamusa ended up second-best with ace-queen against the king-queen suited of Robert Heidorn soon after.
The next to fall was Serhii Popovych, who jammed for 18 big blinds from under the gun with pocket jacks only for Kalidou Sow in the big blind to snap-call with pocket aces. Pocket jacks were also involved in the next elimination, as Jason Wheeler held jacks to dispatcheNavot Golan with ace-ten over on the feature table to reduce the field to the last 12.
Two Germans had made it to the penultimate day, but both would have to settle for 12th and 11th place respectively. Thomas Lentrodt got his last 11.5 big blinds in the middle with king-queen suited and Colin Robinson called with ace-queen suited. Only a queen showed up on the board, which kept Robinson's kicker advantage vital. Robert Heidorn fell 20 minutes later on the outer table when his check-shove with jack-four suited for bottom pair and a flush draw was no good against the king-nine suited of Michal Mrakes, who had turned top pair.
Alex Foxen, coming fresh off a million dollar score in the United States, racked up yet another deep run and narrowly missed out on the unofficial final table. Foxen started Day 5 as the short stack and doubled up twice, but his third all in showdown saw him unable to improve with ace-queen against the pocket queens of Kalidou Sow.
Down to the last nine, the field combined to just one table and Jason Wheeler as well as Kalidou Sow held the biggest stacks. Wheeler dominated the final table while Sow hit the nuts twice to get paid off by start-of-day chip leader Michal Mrakes.
The "Sow show" didn't stop right there, though, as the Frenchman was responsible for the next two casualties before the dinner break. Aleksandr Mordvinov's three-bet with a shallow stack was called by Sow with ten-seven suited. Sow check-raised all in after flopping an open-ended straight flush draw, Mordvinov called it off with pocket aces for the overpair and was left drawing dead as soon as the jack of hearts improved Sow to a straight flush.
Less than one hour later the field was reduced to all but seven after the departure of Valentyn Shabelnyk. Sow was on the button and called a raise by Shabelnyk with seven-six suited to flop the nut straight and flush draw. This time it was Shabelnyk that check-raised all in with pocket queens for the overpair and Sow snap-called to lock up the hand on the turn.
It took roughly half an hour after the dinner break to determine the six finalists and it was Matas Cimbolas that missed out on the final day. Down to fewer than 15 big blinds, the Lithuanian three-bet shoved out of the small blind with ace-jack and Kalidou Sow snap-called with pocket kings to remain ahead and send the fourth player to the rail in a row.
Play was suspended with 49:35 left in level 28 with blinds of 40,000/80,000 and a running ante of 10,000. The cards will be back in the air at 1 p.m. local time and the live stream with hole cards being shown will run on a security delay of one hour, the PokerNews live updates will be published accordingly.