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European Poker Tour -- Jan Skampa Wins Prague Main Event

Skampa Takes Home €682,000 in Prize Money in His Home Country

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Luca PaganoThe final table of the PokerStars European Poker Tour Prague €5,000 no-limit hold’em main event took place today in the Czech Republic. The final eight had emerged from a field of 586 players, and one of them would walk away with €682,000 at the end of the day. Team PokerStars pro Luca Pagano (pictured right) was making his sixth EPT final-table appearance and still looking for his first title. He was joined at the final table by Swedish professional Stefan Mattsson. Here is a look at the chip counts when the final table began:

Seat 1: Anthony Roux — 2,839,000
Seat 2: Stefan Mattsson — 3,553,000
Seat 3: Laurence Ryan — 1,338,000
Seat 4: Gustav Ekerot — 502,000
Seat 5: Sven Eichelbaum — 658,000
Seat 6: Jan Skampa — 3,985,000
Seat 7: Eyal Avitan — 2,627,000
Seat 8: Luca Pagano — 2,119,000

It took half an hour for the first player to risk all of his chips, and it was Sven Eichelbaum. He held ADiamond Suit JDiamond Suit preflop, but he was dominated by the pocket aces of Laurence Ryan. The board changed nothing, and Eichelbaum busted in eighth place (€55,500). The early going remained spirited when Gustav Ekerot moved all in preflop with QHeart Suit 7Heart Suit. Once again, a player woke up with aces, and this time it was Eyal Avitan. The board stayed out of the way, and Ekerot was eliminated in seventh place (€71,000).

The next elimination hand involved the two remaining titans in the event. Pagano raised to 125,000 preflop from the button, and Stefan Mattsson then reraised to 320,000. Pagano reraised all in, and Mattsson called him down. Pagano held AClub Suit JDiamond Suit, but he was behind the pocket queens of Mattsson. The board fell KHeart Suit 6Diamond Suit 4Club Suit QDiamond Suit 6Club Suit, and Pagano was eliminated in sixth place, taking home €100,000 for his record 13th EPT cash.

On the hand after Pagano’s elimination, there was another all-in situation. Mattsson had raised the action to open the pot, and Ryan reraised. Mattsson moved all in, and Ryan made the all-in call. Ryan held pocket jacks, but once again pocket aces reared their menacing heads. The aces held for Mattsson, and Ryan was eliminated in fifth place (€135,000). Half of the final table had been eliminated in an hour and a half.

The final four then settled in, and things calmed down for a bit before Anthony Roux found himself holding pocket tens preflop. He moved all in with them, and Avitan made the call with A-K. An ace and a king fell on the flop to give Avitan aces up, and that was enough to eliminate Roux in fourth place (€171,000).

The race that decided third place was a little closer. Avitan raised to 375,000 preflop from the button, and Mattsson reraised all in from the small blind. Avitan made the call, and they flipped over their cards:

Mattsson: QDiamond Suit 10Spade Suit
Avitan: JDiamond Suit 10Heart Suit

Board: 9Spade Suit 8Spade Suit 7Spade Suit 3Club Suit 6Club Suit

Avitan scored a straight on the flop, and Mattsson missed his flush draw and went out in third place (€255,000), which brought things down to the final two. The heads-up final would be contested between Avitan and Jan Skampa (pictured left).

Avitan had been active, and he took a chip lead into the final, while Skampa had stayed quiet and let others bust ahead of him. His time to jump into action had arrived, and he pulled even with Avitan during the first hour of heads-up play. Two hours into the final, they were still even before Avitan used trip tens to take a slight lead of 10.5 million to 7 million. Skampa never relented, and over the next hour he worked to reverse the chip counts in his favor. That would be the final lead-change. Skampa shut the door on his opponent when he raised to 450,000 preflop, and Avitan reraised all in for 4.2 million. Skampa made the call, and the two finalists flipped over their cards:

Skampa: JHeart Suit JDiamond Suit
Avitan: JClub Suit 9Spade Suit

Board: KHeart Suit 6Diamond Suit 2Club Suit 8Heart Suit 5Heart Suit

Avitan was eliminated in second place on the hand, and he was awarded €454,000. Skampa won the hand, €682,000, and his first EPT title in his home country. He also proved once again that winning a final table is all about peaking at just the right time. It has been a great couple of weeks for Skampa. At the last EPT stop in Vilamoura, Skampa finished in fourth place to win €117,128.

Final-Table Results:

1: Jan Skampa (Czech Republic) — €682,000
2: Eyal Avitan (Israel) — €454,000
3: Stefan Mattsson (Sweden) — €255,000
4: Anthony Roux (France) — €171,000
5: Laurence Ryan (Ireland) — €135,000
6: Luca Pagano (Italy) — €100,000
7: Gustav Ekerot (Sweden) — €71,000
8: Sven Eichelbaum (Germany) — €55,500