Marton Czuczor Leads EPT Prague Final Table, David Peters a Close Second
The final table has been determined for the final event in the history of the European Poker Tour. Six players will come back to the felt at the Hilton Prague Hotel on Monday at noon local time (6AM East Coast time) with Marton Czuczor holding a slim lead over David Peters.
Peters, who ended Day 3 with the chip lead, didn’t hold that slot at the end of Day 4, but he was in second place at that time as well. With 18 players remaining, Jasper Meijer van Putten was at the helm of the ship with his 3.77 million in chips. Peters was lurking behind him with 2.985 million chips, while Czuczor was also in the debate in third place with 2.935 million chips.
The day got off to a big bang as Czuczor and van Putten decided to clash. After Andrew Hulme opened the betting pre-flop and van Putten called off the button, Czuczor pushed the action with a three-bet to 375K. Hulme got out of the way, but van Putten decided to stay around for a look at the flop. A K-J-6 flop greeted the duo and Czuczor was undaunted, putting out another 300K. van Putten also was still interested as he made the call and a five was dealt on the turn. After Czuczor laid out another 720K on the turn, van Putten decided discretion was the better part of valor, mucking his hand and sending the pot and the chip lead over to Czuczor.
It wasn’t long after this battle that Peters got back into the game. He raised pre-flop from the cutoff and only the small blind of Sergei Petrushevskii came along for the ride. A 4-Q-3 flop saw Petrushevskii check-call a bet of 145K from Peters and, after a ten came on the turn, he would do the same, this time following a 260K bet. A four on the river opened a couple of different options as Peters fired a third bullet of 370K at Petrushevskii. After some deliberation, Petrushevskii made the call and saw Peters toss pocket Kings on the felt. Whatever Petrushevskii had it wasn’t good enough; as he sent his cards to the muck, the nearly million chip pot pushed Peters back into the lead with almost four million chips.
Czuczor and Peters remained the story of the day’s play on Sunday, with one or the other at the top of the leaderboard for much of the day. By the time the last nine players were reached, it was Czuczor’s turn to lead the event with his 6.7 million in chips. Sam Cohen, the final lady in the tournament, was a bit behind in second place with her 4.88 million in chips, while Peters was located down the ladder with the second shortest stack after having run into some bad fortune.
Peters showed tremendous fortitude in forging his comeback. He took some chips from Czuczor to get back over three million, then capped another pot off Janos Kurtosi to top the four million point. When he knocked out Kurtosi in ninth place after turning a flush against Kurtosi’s air bluff, Peters was back up to 6.3 million chips and in the middle of the battle for the chip lead once again.
Not to be outdone, Czuczor took out a player himself. Instead of stopping with eight players remaining (the traditional EPT final table), action continued as Czuczor bumped off Kiryl Radzivonau off in eighth place, Czuczor’s pocket Kings holding against Radzivonau’s pocket nines, to push his lead back out to a comfortable level with 8.55 million chips. By the end of Level 28, Czuczor had more than a 2.6 million chip lead over Peters.
Both Czuczor and Peters captained the table as Level 29 began. It seemed that, if Czuczor wasn’t winning a pot, it was Peters, as the duo pulled away from the other five players on the table. Czuczor at one point cracked the 11 million chip mark before settling back to under 10 million by the end of the day’s play. Peters would be the one to bring about the closure of play, knocking off David Lopez Llacer in seventh place to firmly grasp the second-place slot for Monday’s final table.
1. Marton Czuczor, 9.71 million
2. David Peters, 8.88 million
3. Sergei Petrushevskii, 5.265 million
4. Sam Cohen, 4.52 million
5. Jasper Meijer van Putten, 3.815 million
6. Marius Gierse, 3.55 million
(Llacer in seventh and Radzivonau in eighth will both receive credit for making an EPT final table.)
Czuczor and Peters are going to have most of the attention for Monday’s final table, but it isn’t out of the question for someone from the remaining four players to make their mark. Cohen in particular has played a strong game and, should she win, she would join the sorority of Victoria Coren-Mitchell, Sandra Naujoks and Liv Boeree as the only women to have ever won an EPT Main Event.
Whatever happens on Monday it will be bittersweet as the EPT Prague – and the EPT itself – come to a close.
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