Frenchman Alexandre Reard has won his first PokerStars European Poker Tour trophy after he emerged victorious in the €2,200 EPT National High Roller played out at the beautiful Hilton Hotel in Prague. Reard ended up on top in the 980-entry tournament after beating Italian Luigi D'Alterio heads-up in only a matter of minutes for a career-best score of €342,810.
D'Alterio had to settle for €207,840 while Lior Tal took bronze for €145,830.
Reard managed to dominate the final table after he entered as the chip leader with over 20% of the chips in play. Reard took out four opponents himself at the final table and started the heads-up match with a 5-to-1 chip advantage.
This tournament win is Reard's third of the year and the $381,648 adds on to the $2,517,000 of recorded cashes he already had according to HendonMob, getting him closer to the $3,000,000 mark.
Final Table Results
|Place||Player||Country||Prize (EUR)||~Prize (USD)|
Day 2 action
Day 2 saw 143 players return to action after playing nearly 17 full 40-minute levels on Day 1 to play into the money.
The fact that everybody that returned had already earned at minimum a first-level payout of €3,465 did not stop the field from reducing to half its size within the first two hours of play. Eliminations piled up early and often, with familiar faces such as Kristen Bicknell, Viktor Blom, Dietrich Fast and Michal Mrakes all making trips to the payout desk as 143 moved closer to nine.
Meanwhile, Reard found himself outlasting the likes of Sam Grafton (16th place) and Clement Richez (18th place), consistently above average in the counts as the field continued condensing.
Reard hit the three-table redraw with 24 players left second in chips, just a hair behind Christoforos Chrysochoidis in the counts. He kept climbing from there, becoming chip leader once the field reached 16. He then won a big pot against Chrysochoidis shortly before the unofficial final table, and entered the unofficial final table of nine with a stack north of 6 million, when less than 30 million total was in play.
Final table Seating
The official final table started with Reard in the chip lead, but D'Alterio was getting closer after he eliminated Jean-René Fontaine in ninth place.
Reard immediately stepped up to the plate and he took Robbie Toan out to get to 8 million, courtesy of ace-king over king-queen. The Irishman wasn't able to catch up and Reard continued his dominating performance.
It was at that point the clock struck midnight and players were closing in on a 12-hour day at the tables. Their resolve continued, however, as it would take some time before the next player was eliminated. Finally, Piotr Wiecek who got it in with ace-queen against the ace-jack of Tal. Tal managed to hit a jack on the flop and that was all she wrote for Wiecek who took home €45,350.
Reard kept holding on to the chip lead but D'Alterio kept creeping up on him. D'Alterio and Reard had over 50% of the chips in play between them when D'Alterio eliminated Chrysochoidis.
Moments after Jose Quintas was eliminated in fifth place, Reard saw his lead shift over to eventual third-place finisher Tal.
It wasn't for too long, though, and Reard wouldn't let it go again. He eliminated Josip Vidovic and then delivered the final blow to Tal.
The heads-up lasted only a couple of minutes and Reard finished the match after more than 13 hours of play on Day 2. Reard ended things in drama-free fashion by flopping top pair and getting it in against D'Alterio's inferior second pair. D'Alterio took home €207,840 while Reard took the tournament down for a career-best score.
Make sure to keep an eye on PokerNews as we continue with live coverage from the EPT in Prague, heading on to the second flight of the $5,300 Main Event.