Paul Michaelis Wins EPT Prague As Tour Continues Its Resurgence

December 19th, 2018 | by Kaycee James

Germany’s Paul Michaelis has more than quadrupled his largest live win after taking down the latest European Poker Tour (EPT) main event in Prague.

Paul Michaelis EPT Prague

Germany’s Paul Michaelis has beaten his previous highest cash by almost 4X after winning the EPT Prague main event. (Image: Winamax)

In beating another bumper EPT field, Michaelis ended his 2018 on a high both emotionally and financially. After 893 entries were collected in the €5,300/$6,000 main event, the prizepool was pushed beyond the $6.4 million mark, meaning Michaelis was able to take home just short of $1 million.

In making his way to the winner’s podium, the German pro had to overcome a tough final table. Looming large on December 17 inside Casino Atrium Prague was Romanian online pro, Liviu Ignat.

Otherwise known as 0Human0, Ignat was arguably the most technically skilled No Limit Hold’em player at the table on the penultimate day. However, a missed opportunity with A♣Q♠ against Laurynas Levinskas’s pocket kings sent him to the rail and set the final table of six.

Michaelis Doesn’t Relinquish Lead

When play resumed on December 18, Michaelis was out in front but it was Twitch streamer Parker Talbot who had the most support. With more than 90,000 online followers, gamers across the spectrum were fixed on the Canadian’s fate.

Despite having the virtual rail on his side, Talbot was the first to exit the finale after Levinskas was on the right side of another all-in. With five left, Carlos Branco was next to fall, before would-be executioner Levinskas finally met his maker.

Three-handed, Michaelis took control. After taking out Russia’s Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy in third, the German needed just a few hands to clinch the title. Never losing his lead, Michaelis eventually saw off Artem Kobylynskyi with a cooler.

After watching his opponent move all-in with pocket tens, Michaelis tabled pocket jacks and maintained his lead as the board rolled out 5 ♠Q♦K♣9♠7♦. In winning his first EPT title, Michaelis told Pokernews that his experience in big buy-in events over the last year allowed him to remain calm on route to victory.

EPT Prague Main Event 2018 Result

1 – Paul Michaelis – $953,646

2 – Artem Kobylynskyi – $649,285

3 – Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy – $716,937

4 – Laurynas Levinskas – $359,434

5 – Carlos Branco – $275,377

6 – Parker Talbot – $203,626

EPT Prague Attendance Justifies Return

As impressive as this year’s turnout was, it fell short of breaking the EPT Prague main event attendance record. Always one to bring out the masses, EPT Prague tipped the scales at 1,107 entries in 2016.

The following year, PokerStars replaced the EPT with a new series of Championship tournaments. However, after an outcry from the community, it was reinstated in 2018.

Although the recent turnout hasn’t beaten the record, it still stands as one of the largest EPTs ever.  Between that and the recent main event in Barcelona, PokerStars appears to be justified in its decision to bring back the longstanding tour.


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