Day 3 of the record-setting World Poker Tour (WPT) Prague was dominated by Germany’s Stanislaw Kretz during what was a great weekend for the European nation.
Stanislaw Kretz was taking almost total control at the Kings Casino in the Corinthian Hotel for the €3,200+€300 ($4,320/£2,752+$405/£258) buy-in main event as fellow German Fabian Quoss was lifting the Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour (GUKPT) Grand Final title in London for £138,750.
The starting field of 571 players, with 340 in Day 1b and 231 from Day 1a, created a $2,360,050 prize pool and overtook the WPT Vienna from season nine as the biggest event ever in the tour’s history.
Day 2 had started with Slovenian Casey Kastle as chip leader from 124 players, but it was England’s Martins Adeniya who ended the day on top with 849,000 chips as the 62 survivors eyed up the winner’s cheque of $630,263.
But, by the close of play on Day 3, Kretz was in control, holding 6.3 million chips to be almost 1.5 million ahead of second placed Frenchman Benjamin Pollak (4,865,000).
The other four final-day players are Russian Andrey Pateychuk (2,310,000), Norwegian Sigurd Estelad (1,575,000), Spain’s Adria Balaguer (1,315,000) and short stack Russell Carson (725,000), of Canada.
Kretz made a couple of massive moves during level 20 with the blinds at 5,000 and 10,000. The German held J♠ J♦ on a flop that showed J♣ 8♥ 8♠, only for Chris McClung to go all-in on the river to give Kretz the simplest 1.9 million chips he’s ever collected.
Kretz was on the move again not long after, but chip leader Adeniya was the target this time.
Kretz had hit a backdoor flush draw, with Adeniya paying him off as the German took control of the final table.
Incredibly, Kretz also took out Jan Bendik, Thomas Frandsen, Tobias Reinkemeier, Denis Pisarev and Agris Klaise on Day 3 to deservedly top the final six.
Earlier in the day, American Zachary Korik was eliminated in 10th place for $27,126 when he lost out to Pollak.
Korik moved all-in for just over 500,000 and Pollak called to reveal Q♣ Q♥. Korik showed A♣ 3♣ to be way behind.
As no ace arrived on the board, Korik was out as Pollak moved up to second place on 2,800,000 chips.
Next out was the short-stacked Canuck Watson for $33,654. Balaguer raised to 60,000, only for Pateychuk, in the cut-off, to three-bet to 160,000. This raise was met by an all-in from big blind Watson for 90,000, even though he hadn’t even looked at his cards.
Balaguer immediately made the call to create a side pot of 140,000 with Pateychuk, while Watson had the opportunity to triple-up.
The flop showed 4♥ 3♠ 2♣ and Balaguer check-called Pateychuk’s 230,000 bet. The 2♥ turn saw Balaguer again check and Pateychuk maintain his pressure by making a 340,000 bet.
That was enough for Balaguer as he folded, while Pateychuk turned over A♠ J♦, only for the Spaniard’s face to clearly show that he had folded a better hand.
Watson, on the other hand, turned over 10♦ 7♣, with the Q♦ signifying his demise and exit in ninth place.
Eighth place and $44,423 went to dynamic Dane Frandsen. Now the short stack, Frandsen went all-in in successive hands from the button and the cut-off seat.
His first shove was successful, but the second received a call from chip leader Kretz. Frandsen’s tournament life was in great danger as he revealed A♠ 5♦ to be met by Kretz’s A♦ Q♠.
The board ran out 10♠ 8♥ 6♥ 3♠ J♣ and that was that for Frandsen.
Slovakian Bendik exited the tournament in seventh place as the final elimination of Day 3 for $64,615.
Pollak, in the cut-off, raised to 100,000 and small blind Kretz three-bet to 240,000. It looked like a battle between two big stacks was upon us, but big blind Bendik then turned to one of the other short stacks in Carson to ask: “How much do you have?”
However, Carson walked from the table, leaving Bendik to take a quick look at his own stack before going all-in.
Pollak folded, but Kretz called to show 5♣ 5♦, while Bendik revealed 10♥ 10♠ to the sound of a communal sigh at the table.
However, the table was soon silent as the 5♥ appeared on the flop to give Kretz trips. The K♦ 4♦ Q♣ K♠ followed thereafter and Bendik became a rather unfortunate casualty.
Saturday’s Day 2 saw Slovenian Kastle start out as chip leader on 356,800 as 124 remaining players eyed up the top prize.
However, it was England’s Adeniya who ended the day on top with 849,000 in chips as 62 players hit the rail.
Adeniya started the second day in determined mood as he eliminated Sweden’s Michael Tureniec during the second level.
Adeniya raised, only to see Tureniec three-bet in response. The London-based Adeniya then four-bet, before Tureniec went all-in for 80,000.
Adeniya called to show aces, while Tureniec showed K-Q and could not improve following the flop, turn and river to exit.
But that elimination saw Adeniya climb up to 310,000 in chips – and he continued to add to his stack throughout the day to end it as chip leader.
The money bubble when Russian Yury Gulyy crashed out in 64th place. The action had folded to small blind Frandsen and he moved all-in for 113,000. Big blind Gulyy called, although his stack was only 90,000.
Frandsen showed A♠ 6♦, while Gulyy dominated with his A♥ K♠ and looked poised to double-up.
However, the flop showed A♣ 6♣ 3♥ to give Frandsen two pair and, when the J♣ turn and 6♠ river failed to help Gulyy, the Russian was the official bubble boy, meaning every surviving player was guaranteed at least $8,615.
Day 1b saw players such as Olivier Busquet, Shannon Shorr, Ivan Freitez and Toby Lewis eliminated.
WPT Prague Final Six, Chip Counts and Seat Numbers
1. Stanislaw Kretz (Germany) – 6,300,000 (seat 5)
2. Benjamin Pollak (France) – 4,865,000 (seat 3)
3. Andrey Pateychuk (Russia) – 2,310,000 (seat 2)
4. Sigurd Estelad (Norway) – 1,575,000 (seat 6)
5. Adria Balaguer (Spain) – 1,315,000 (seat 1)
6. Russell Carson (Canada) – 725,000 (seat 4)
Final Payouts Places 7-10 at the WPT Prague
7. Jan Bendik (Slovakia) – $64,615
8. Thomas Frandsen (Denmark) – $44,423
9. Mike Watson (Canada) – $33,654
10. Zachary Korik (USA) – $27,126
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