Posted on: December 19, 2022, 02:02h.
Last updated on: December 19, 2022, 02:40h.
France was destined not to win on Sunday. The soccer team couldn’t do it in the World Cup final against Argentina, and Antoine Saout couldn’t do it against Jordan Saccucci in the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague main event.
This €5,300 (US$5,620) main event reached 1,267 entries last week, breaking the previous record for this iconic stop on the EPT in the Czech capital.
Saturday was the first day of the final table, reducing the field to just four players by the end of the day. It was a day in which Spain’s Javier Gómez Zapatero saw his dreams busted, dropping from championship contender to spectator as he exited in eighth for €126,700 (US$134,390).
Running Out the Cards
The last four survivors met on Sunday at the Hilton Hotel to fight for the top prize. Despite a $6.55-million prize pool, none left with seven figures in their pocket.
Saccucci, Saout, Istvan Pilhofer, and Jun Obara were the stars of Day 6 of the event. Saccucci started in front, followed closely by Hungary’s Pilhofer, then Saout. Obara, who traveled all the way from Japan for the event, trailed from the start and never had a chance to gain ground.
As the final four players sat down for the action, Obara almost immediately hit the rails. He fell in the first hand when his K-J lost to Saccucci’s pocket Kings.
Three-handed play started evenly, and the trio swapped chips back and forth. But, little by little, the Hungarian began to bleed until he was the short stack. Saout shoved with pocket deuces, and Pilhofer responded with his A-9.
No help came on the board as the Frenchman hit a set and then a full house on the river. Pilhofer’s run was over, although he left the game $494,025 richer. Before that, he had only won about $22K in live poker, according to Hendon Mob.
Let’s Make a Deal
The final duel began with Saccucci and Saout, with 19.4 million and 18.3 million chips, respectively. They cut a deal that allowed each of them to take home $840K and to play out the remained of the event for the glory and the title.
Saccucci immediately took advantage and increased his stack. With almost a 2-to-1 chip lead, he finished off his opponent in style.
It was A-3 for the eventual winner taking on 6-6, and the two raised the stakes before any cards hit the board. Finally, they were all-in preflop, but Saout wouldn’t find any help. The flop came 4-3-3, giving his opponent a set, which was followed by consecutive 9s on the turn and river for the boat.
That allowed Saccucci to claim the remaining $118,913 that was on the table, as well as the title. He won just under $1 million in total and pushed his career earnings into seven figures. Hendon Mob has his live earnings at $1.329 million since he began on the live circuit almost seven years ago.
DNegs Falls Short
In the US, the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship was taking place with Daniel Negreanu desperately seeking a deep run. DNegs knows bad beats, though, and he suffered another on Sunday.
In his final hand, Negreanu had pocket deuces. When he hit a set on the flop, he must have thought he was in perfect condition. A 10 on the turn paired the 10 that came out with the deuce, which led DNegs’ opponent, Lucas Foster, to go all-in.
Negreanu had to be happy. He was looking at a full house and a confident win. However, Foster wasn’t done. He had pocket Kings, with one chance to pull off a victory.
The river brought the unthinkable – a King, giving Foster a better full house and Negreanu a killer headache. Still, he took home $176,200, so it wasn’t a complete loss.
The bigger defeat is not being able to pick up enough cash to reach the top of the charts. He’s second behind Carlos Mortensen on the all-time WPT money list and needed to see a final table to be able to take over.