Posted on: December 19, 2022, 02:02h. 

Last updated on: December 19, 2022, 02:02h.

France was destined not to win on Sunday. The soccer team could not 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.

European Poker Tour Prague
Poker players play during the European Poker Tour Prague Main Event. Jordan Saccucci took down the tournament and a prize of almost $1 million (Image: Winamax)

This €5,300 (US$5,620) buy-in Main Event reached 1,267 entries last week. This allowed it to break 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. However, 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 the final 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, had trailed from Day 6 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 fell to Saccucci’s pocket Kings, which he found a set for on the river.

3-handed play started evenly, and the trio swapped chips back and forth. But, little by little, the Hungarian began to bleed until he was short stack. Saout shoved with pocket deuces, and Pilhofer responded with his A-9.

However, 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 $22,000 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 decided to cut a deal that allowed each of them to take home $840,000, but would play out for the glory and the title.

Saccucci immediately took the advantage and increased his stack. When it was already a little over 2 to 1, 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 arrived on the board. Finally, they were all in pre-flop, 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. It was just under the million-dollar mark in total, but pushed him over $1 million in total earnings. 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 going on at the same time, and Daniel Negreanu desperately wanted a deep run. DNegs knows bad beats, though, and he suffered another on Sunday.

In his final hand, Negreanu had pocket deuces, which he tried to make the most of as he slowly entered the hand. 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.

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