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Kalidou Sow Wins 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event

Frenchman Defeats Field of 855 Entries To Win Final PokerStars Championship Main Event

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France’s Kalidou Sow has won the 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague €5,300 no-limit hold’em main event, defeating a field of 885 entries to win €675,000 ($795,305). The 37-year-old Sow will also go down in the history books as the final champion on the short-lived PSC tour. The major tours run by PokerStars combined under the PokerStars Championship name at the start of 2017, but after just a year the decision has been made to restore the European Poker Tour, along with the Asia Pacific Poker Tour and the Latin American Poker Tour, and as a result the PokerStars Championhip name will be set aside.

Although the branding of PokerStars’ event is undergoing changes, that doesn’t overshadow the fact that this was a huge tournament. The 885-entry turnout built a prize pool equivalent to nearly $4.9 million dollars.

Sow came into the final day of this tournament as the chip leader with six players remaining, although he held less than one big blind more than American poker pro Jason Wheeler. The 2016 World Series of Poker Circuit Bally’s $1,675 no-limit hold’em main event winner was the most accomplished player to make the final table of this event, and he was able to use that experience to survive to heads-up play against Sow.

Sow had taken a stranglehold on the tournament during three-handed play when he flopped the top end of a straight on a 10Diamond Suit9Heart Suit8Spade Suit flop with the QSpade SuitJDiamond Suit. Wheeler had flopped the bottom end with the 7Spade Suit6Spade Suit and got all-in against Sow on the turn. Wheeler was able to knock out Michal Mrakes in third place ($391,172 USD) to close the gap, but Sow still began heads-up play with 14,085,000 to Wheeler’s 11,630,000.

The two agreed to a deal that saw them each lock up €560,000 paydays, leaving €105,000 and the title to play for. Sow was able to keep up the pressure and extend his lead. By the time the final hand arose Sow held nearly a 3-to-1 advantage. With blinds of 80,000-160,000 with an ante of 20,000 Wheeler raised to 425,000. Sow three-bet to 1,375,000. Wheeler moved all-in for 6,035,000 and Sow called with the 10Heart Suit10Diamond Suit. Wheeler was in need of help with his AHeart Suit9Spade Suit. The board ran out JClub Suit7Spade Suit4Spade Suit5Heart SuitKHeart Suit and Sow’s tens held up to earn him the pot and the title. Wheeler hit the rail as the runner-up with the €560,000 ($671,591 USD) he negotiated.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded in this event:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Kalidou Sow $795,305 1,824
2 Jason Wheeler $671,591 1,520
3 Michal Mrakes $391,172 1,216
4 Gabriele Lepore $293,379 912
5 Harry Lodge $230,933 760
6 Colin Robinson $173,200 608
7 Matas Cimbolas $122,720 456
8 Valentyn Shabelnyk $85,963 304
9 Aleksandr Mordvinov $67,850 152

Winner photo credit: PokerStars / Neil Stoddart.