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Paul Michaelis Wins 2018 European Poker Tour Prague Main Event

German Defeats Field of 1,174 Entries To Win €840,000


Paul Michaelis has won the 2018 European Poker Tour Prague €5,300 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event, outlasting a field of 1,174 entries to win his first EPT title and the top prize of €840,000 ($957,600 USD). This was the largest score of the 27-year-old German’s career, surpassing his win in the 2015 World Series of Poker $1,500 pot-limit hold’em event for $189,818.

In addition to the title and the money, Michaelis was also awarded 1,920 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his first POY-qualified score of the year, but it alone was enough to see him climb into 134th place in the 2018 POY race standings.

Michaelis entered the fourth day of this event as one of the shortest stacks but had surged into the chip lead by the end of that night. He also came into the sixth and final day atop the leaderboard with just six players remaining.

The first elimination of the day saw poker pro and Twitch streamer Parker “tonkaaaa” Talbot get all-in with the KSpade SuitQHeart Suit up against the ASpade Suit9Club Suit of Laurynas Levinskas. The AHeart SuitADiamond Suit2Club Suit10Spade SuitKDiamond Suit runout secured the pot for Levinskas, sending Talbot homel in sixth place with the largest live cash of his career: $204,470 USD.

Portugal’s Carlos Branco was the next to go. He ran pocket sevens into the pocket aces of Artem Kobylynskyi to be eliminated in fifth place ($276,518 USD). Levinskas followed him to the rail in fourth place ($360,240 USD), getting all-in with top pair on the turn only to find himself drawing dead against Michaelis’ set of eights.

The final three players battled it out for a while before electing to make a deal, redistributing the remaining prize pool as follows: Michaelis would be guaranteed €770,000 ($877,800 USD), Alexandr Merzhvinskii €631,500 ($719,910 USD) and Artem Kobylynskyi €571,910 ($651,977 USD). That left the title, a $30,000 Platinum Pass and €70,000 ($79,800 USD) to play for.

Alexandr Merzhvinskii had been in second chip position when the deal was struck, but he ended up finishing in third place. He had slipped down to the bottom of the leaderboard before getting all-in with the ASpade Suit7Diamond Suit. Michaelis called with the ADiamond Suit9Diamond Suit. Both players paired their kickers on the flop, but neither improved from there and Merzhvinskii was sent to the rail in third place.

With that Michaelis took more than a 2-to-1 lead into heads-up play with Kobylynskyi. He was able to expand that advantage to roughly 6-to-1 by the time the final hand arose. It was a preflop cooler, with Kobylynskyi getting all-in with the 10Spade Suit10Diamond Suit up against Michaelis’ JSpade SuitJDiamond Suit. With his suits covered, Kobylynskyi was down toneeding to make a straight or a set in order to win the hand. The KClub SuitQDiamond Suit5Spade Suit9Spade Suit7Diamond Suit runout kept Michaelis ahead throughout. Kobylynskyi was knocked out in second place, taking home the €571,910 ($651,977 USD) he agreed upon in the three-handed deal.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded to the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Paul Michaelis $957,600 1920
2 Artem Kobylynskyi $651,977 1600
3 Alexandr Merzhvinskii $719,910 1280
4 Laurynas Levinskas $360,240 960
5 Carlos Branco $276,518 800
6 Parker Talbot $204,470 640
7 Liviu Ignat $155,861 480
8 Diego Zeiter $111,059 320
9 Andrey Pateychuk $86,207 160

Winner photo credit: Neil Stoddart / PokerStars.