As the one World Poker Tour event got underway at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, another ended across the pond in the Czech Republic (I know I started another article same way today, but I enjoy the symmetry). The Ukraine’s Oleg Vasylchenko captured the first major live tournament title of his career Monday, defeating Russia’s Anton Petrov to win the WPT Prague Main Event.
Vasylchenko went into the final table as the chip leader after holding that position the entire day on Sunday. With 1.595 million chips, he had a sizable lead over second place Tonio Roder, who had 1.150 million, though it wasn’t so outlandish that one would assume it was insurmountable. Compared to the other four players, though, Vasylchenko had a mountain in front of him. Third place was just over 700,000 chips.
With nobody extremely low in chips compared to the rest of the field, it looked like nobody wanted to take any huge chances early. The first elimination, therefore, didn’t happen until Hand #21. Tonio Roder bet 55,000 chips pre-flop and both Prebben Stokkan and Romain Lewis moved all-in. Roder called with pocket Jacks, up against the T-9 of hearts of Stokkan and the pocket Aces of Lewis. None of the community cards helped anyone, meaning that Lewis was helped by default and Stokkan was gone in sixth place while Lewis tripled up.
Petrov would not have been in the final two were it not for some sweet luck. On Hand #28, he shoved for 321,000 with pocket Fours. Martin Kabrhel, who had taken a lot of flak for tanking throughout the tournament, also moved all-in with Nines after having the clock called on him (as had happened many times in the tourney before that). The remaining players got out of the way and Petrov ended up hitting a Four on the turn to double-up, leaving Kabrhel crippled.
Kabrhel survived a little while before bowing out in fifth place on Hand #46.
On Hand #66, Tonio Roder raised to 80,000 pre-flop and Romain Lewis called. On the flop of 7-Q-3, Lewis checked, Roder bet, and Lewis moved all-in with 6-3. Roder made the call with A-7 and had a commanding lead in the hand. The turn was a Ten and the river an Ace to knock Lewis out in fourth place.
Things slowed down a bit after that; the remaining three players wanted to make it to heads-up. It was finally Roder who was the one on the outside looking in. Roder raised pre-flop and got a called from Vasylchenko. Vasylchenko checked the flop of 5-8-4 (two diamonds) and called Roder’s subsequent all-in. Roder had an 8, but so did Vasylchenko. Better yet, Vasylchenko had two diamonds and when another diamond landed on the turn, he eliminated Roder in third place.
Going into heads-up play, Vasylchenko led Petrov 3.115 million to 1.895. It went quickly, as Petrov managed to only win one hand. On the eight hand of heads-up, Petrov bet 115,000 pre-flop and Vasylchenko called. Both players checked the T-4-7 flop to bring on a Jack on the turn. Vasylchenko bet 315,000, Petrov moved all-in, and Vasylchenko called. Petrov showed J-3 suited for top pair, while Vasylchenko revealed that he had T-7, for a flopped two pair. The river was no help to Petrov and Vasylchenko was crowned WPT Prague champion.
2016 World Poker Tour Prague Main Event – Final Table Results
1. Oleg Vasylchenko – €132,200
2. Anton Petrov – €82,000
3. Tonio Roder – €52,500
4. Romain Lewis – €39,120
5. Martin Kabrhel – €29,410
6. Prebben Stokkan – €23,520