Paul Michaelis won the European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague Main Event Tuesday, the first EPT title of his career. This was the second consecutive year that he had a deep run at this event, finishing 28th last year when the tournament was branded as the PokerStars Championship Prague.
Michaelis won €840,000 (approximately $953,646) for the victory after coming to a deal with the other top three finishers, Artem Kobylinskiy and Alexandr Merzhvinskii. There was actually a four-way deal discussed earlier, but terms could not be reached. In the three-way deal that was finalized, Michaelis got €770,000, Merzhvinskii received €631,500, and Kobylinskiy got €571,910. The remaining €70,000, a PokerStars Platinum Pass, the trophy, and the glory stayed on the table for an incentive to keep playing hard.
This was Michaelis’ second major live tournament title. In 2015, he won a bracelet in the World Series of Poker $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em event. He now has nearly $1.8 in live tournament earnings, so this EPT Prague Main Event win accounts for more than half of his total.
“It feels pretty unreal,” Michaelis told PokerNews.com afterward. “It’s an unreal amount of money. Obviously due to swaps and backing, I only get to take a portion of this but it’s still an unreal amount of money.”
As mentioned, Michaelis did really well at last year’s PokerStars Championship Prague, but it was actually a disappointing finish for him. He was the chip leader at the end of two of the tournament’s days, one of those days being the one during which he was eliminated. While nothing is a given in poker, the chip leader is usually going to have high hopes, so when Michaelis busted in 28th, he wasn’t too pleased, despite what would normally be considered a success.
“Honestly, it was a little on my mind,” he told PokerNews. “Especially when 28th place busted, I looked at the board and I was like, ‘Got that one crossed out.'”
In my mind, I picture Michaelis giving himself a little head nod and grin when he looked at the board.
He also readily admitted he was blessed with a little luck from the Poker Gods today.
“It went really well,” Michaelis he said to the PokerStars blog. “I had a big stack most of the day and ran very pure. I was very happy with how it went.”
“The last hand basically described how I ran,” he added. “It was not meant to be for him, I guess.”
As for that last had, Michaelis went into it with more than 29 million chips. He limped pre-flop, but when Kobylynskyi shoved for about 6 million, Michaelis quickly called. As he said, he ran pure. In this case, his Jacks were up against Kobylynskyi’s Tens and the board was uneventful.
2018 European Poker Tour Prague Main Event – Final Table Results
1. Paul Michaelis – €840,000*
2. Artem Kobylinskiy – €571,910*
3. Alexandr Merzhvinskii – €631,500*
4. Laurynas Levinskas – €316,000
5. Carlos Branco – €242,560
6. Parker Talbot – €179,360
7. Liviu Ignat – €136,720
8. Diego Zeiter – €97,420
*Prize breakdown as the result of a three-way deal.