After ten starting days and a long Day 2, only 12 hopefuls out of a 4,115-entry strong field were left at the end of level 31 in the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe Event #5: THE COLOSSUS €550 No-Limit Hold'em the previous last night. They returned to Europe's biggest poker arena in the King's Casino in Rozvadov to determine the seventh winner of a coveted golden bracelet on Czech soil and it was Matous Skorepa who defeated Florian Fuchs in heads-up to take home the first-place payout of €270,015 and third Czech bracelet of the series with his maiden WSOP cash.
Fellow countrymen Michal Schuh and Lukas Zaskodny, who defeated Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler in heads-up in Event #6: €2,200 Pot-Limit Omaha a few days ago to join the champion's club, were the first to congratulate Skorepa. "I'd like to say it was easy but it wasn't. I needed to be lucky. I've been preparing for this tournament for almost a year,” Skorepa added with a big smile on the face. "I'm pretty excited but I just called by mom and she calmed me down. I'm excited of course and pretty happy."
Up next besides work is a vacation for the Czech: “The summer was really busy so I couldn't go for a vacation so I need to disappear and just relax." Throughout the final table, Skorepa always seemed very relaxed and didn't let any setbacks get to him. The pivotal hand on his way to victory saw him all in and at risk with queen-nine against the pocket aces of eventual 4th place finisher Ivaylo Sivinov, and Skorepa rivered a straight before knocking out Sivinov soon after. Just before the hand got underway, he had jokingly predicted a double up in this very hand.
"Something strange with me, if I play small cash games or small tournaments its the same for me as if I was playing a big tournament. It was like, ok a ten, yeah perfect, lets go. Everyone on the final table was shaking but not me. If you believe it, then it will happen."
In the winner interview right after his victory, Skorepa admitted “I just played it like it's a bounty for me,” with a grin on the face. When asked if he is going to play any more events and in particular the upcoming Main Event, Skorepa had a rather unusual answer. “Actually, I don't think so because I need to go to work tomorrow. “I run a restaurant and don't have a waitress, if somebody want to work at my restaurant … and I need to be there.”
The best cash to date for Skorepa was for €8,000, while runner-up Fuchs also bested his previous highest score of $12,420 by taking home €166,855 for his efforts. Among the other finalists was Makarios Avramidis, who won the first-ever bracelet for his home country at the 2015 WSOPE in Berlin, and the Greek had to settle for 5th place and €68,771 this time around.
Final Result Event #5 THE COLOSSUS
|1||Matous Skorepa||Czech Republic||€270,015|
|6||Roman Motovsky||Czech Republic||€51,968|
Action of the Final Day
With two six-handed tables back in action and plenty of short stacks around, it took quite some time until the first seat open. Eventually it was Philipp Lutkemeier that ended up second-best with pocket sixes against the pocket eights of Ivaylo Sivinov, and the German was drawing dead after the turn already. Ruben Garcia Blancas check-raised all in with king-ten suited for second pair on a jack-high flop and again it was Sivinov that dealt the final blow. The Bulgarian called with queen-four suited for the flush draw and got there on the river.
[Removed:35] was all in and at risk with ace-king and Matous Skorepa and the Czech flopped top pair with queen-jack suited to set up the official nine-handed final table. Skorepa and start-of-the-day chip leader Jonathan Khalifa were at the top of the counts with near identical stacks.
Gaetan Cauchy became the first casualty of the final table in the fifth hand, three-bet shoving ace-eight out of the big blind. Matous Skorepa called with pocket nines and held a full house on a queen-high board to eliminate Cauchy. It was the third WSOP cash for the Frenchman, who had to settle for a payday of €23,499.
Nebojsa Ankucic reached the final table with just four big blinds and managed once before getting involved into a three-way all in showdown. Pascal Pflock was at risk with pocket threes, Ankucic held king-jack suited and Jonathan Khalifa looked up both with king-queen suited. While Ankucic flopped best with second pair and a flush draw, Khalifa got there with a broadway straight on the turn and a blank on the river reduced the field to the last six hopefuls.
Two Czech players reached the final table and they would clash when Roman Motovsky got it in with king-jack suited. Matous Skorepa called with ace-queen off suit and a king-queen high flop was followed by an ace on the turn, the river blanked and Motovsky ended up in 6th place.
Makarios Avramidis, who was the only finalist with a WSOP bracelet already, eventually bowed out in 5th place after running with ace-six into the pocket aces of Jonathan Khalifa. It was yet another deep run for the Greek, who fell just shy of becoming the first Greek to win two WSOP bracelets.
The roller coaster ride of Ivaylo Sivinov came to an end in 4th place. After topping the leader board, the Bulgarian lost a big pot with queen-ten versus pocket aces on a ten-high flop, then had his aces cracked by the queen-nine of Matous Skorepa and lost the remainder of his stack with ace-eight against the pocket tens of Skorepa.
In hand #69 of the final table, Jonathan Khalifa took a big flip with pocket nines against the ace-ten of Matous Skorepa and the latter rivered a ten to leave his opponent in shambles. Skorepa entered heads-up against Florian Fuchs with a commanding lead and steam-rolled over the Austrian in the first few hands to reduce Fuchs to fewer than ten big blinds. A shove by Skorepa with king-eight suited was called by Fuchs with king-four off suit and the Austrian found no help to crown a champion in Skorepa.
Among the big names to cash on Day 2 when all survivors of the ten starting days combined were such big names as Barny Boatman (233rd Place - €1,500), Kevin MacPhee (231st Place - €1,500), Kristen Bicknell (195th Place - €1,625), Max Pescatori (166th Place - €1,625), Mike Leah (165th Place - €1,625), John Racener (128th Place - €1,777), Marcel Luske (104th Place - €1,777), Alex Foxen (83rd Place - €2,393), Hossein Ensan (76th Place - €2,824), Kenny Hallaert (62nd Place - €4,035), Ognjen Sekularac (49th Place - €4,886) and Lukasz Wasek (14th Place - €14,404).
With seven out of eleven golden bracelets already awarded, another champion will be crowned later tonight in Event #9: €25,000 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller, and the PokerNews live reporting team will provide all the action from the floor until November 10th 2017.