Posts Tagged ‘Kalidou’

Kalidou Sow Wins PokerStars Championship Prague

 Kalidou Sow Wins PokerStars Championship Prague

Going into the final table of the PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event, it looked like it would likely come down to Kalidou Sow, Jason Wheeler, and possibly Michal Mrakes, and this is exactly what happened. Sow bested Wheeler heads-up for the title, winning €675,000 after a deal was made, while Mrakes came in third in what will be the last official PokerStars Championship Prague.

For those wondering about that last statement, I refer you to Earl Burton’s article from Sunday. The “Cliff’s Notes” are that the Stars Group has decided that it was a mistake to reorganize the European Poker Tour and smaller regional tours into the PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival, so the former tour names will return in 2018. That means no more “PokerStars Championship Prague,” though one would expect it will become “EPT Prague.”

As for the tournament this weekend, Sow was the chip leader going into the six-handed final table with 8.135 million chips, but he was in a virtual tie with Wheeler, who had 8.1 million. Mrakes was the only other player with any real semblance of a chip stack, holding 5.01 million chips. The other three players had fewer than 2 million chips each, hence why it looked like a three horse race.

As expected, the three short stacks were the first to be eliminated at the final table and after they were, Wheeler had grabbed the reins, building his stack to 11.86 million chips, with Mrakes elevating to second with 9.265 million and Sow falling to third with just 4.57 million.

A few hands later, Wheeler took a chunk from Mrakes to move upt o 13.2 million, but a few hands after that, Sow won a huge hand when he and Wheeler both flopped straights. Fortunately for Sow, his was the nut straight while Wheeler’s was on the low end and Sow doubled-up to reverse stacks, jumping all the way to 14.48 million.

That was Hand #67; on Hand 90, Wheeler eliminated Mrakes to send the tournament to heads-up with Sow holding a 14.085 million to 11.63 million chip lead. During a break before the showdown, the two men agreed to a deal in which both got €570,000 and left €105,000 for which to battle.

Sow stayed in control the entire heads-up match, gradually building his lead until Wheeler had no choice but to find something with which to commit. On Hand #109 (thank you to PokerNews for the play-by-play), Wheeler raised pre-flop with Ah-9s, Sow re-raised with Th-Td, and Wheeler moved all-in for about 6 million chips total. Sow made the quick call and Wheeler saw the bad news.

The flop was Jack-high with two spades, but the 5h on the turn took away any thoughts of a runner-runner flush for Wheeler. He was unable to procure an Ace on the river and France’s Kalidou Sow had his first-ever major tournament title (and his first six-figure cash, for that matter).

PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event – Final Table Results

1. Kalidou Sow – €675,000
2. Jason Wheeler – €570,000
3. Michal Mrakes – €332,000
4. Gabriele Lepore – €249,000
5. Harry Lodge – €196,000
6. Colin Robinson – €147,000

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2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event Day 4 – Final Table Determined, Kalidou Sow Leads Jason Wheeler, Michal Mrakes

 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event Day 4 – Final Table Determined, Kalidou Sow Leads Jason Wheeler, Michal Mrakes

Day 5 of the first and, as it will turn out, final PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event is in the books, setting up the final table for Monday night. The six men will be led by Kalidou Sow, who was able to bypass Jason Wheeler and Days 3 & 4 chip leader Michal Mrakes to take over the chip lead.

15 men came back on Sunday afternoon to the Casino Atrium Prague to decide who would be the main contenders for the final PokerStars Championship. Mrakes was the chip leader at the start of the day, the only player over the four million mark with his 4.945 million in chips. For his part, Wheeler was sitting a bit back in the pack with his 2.4 million in chips and Sow was definitely looking at an uphill climb with his 640,000 in chips.

Mrakes, who basically could do no wrong over the past two days of the tournament, didn’t come out of the gates making his best decisions. He four-bet Aleksandr Mordvinov to 390K but, after Mordvinov made it known he was serious with a five-bet all in, Mrakes quickly dropped his hand. Mrakes then gave some chips to both Alex Foxen and Gabriele Lepore to drop down to 4.175 million, still in the lead but not as much as previous.

Sow began his march to the top by knocking out Serhil Popovych. Popovych moved all in from under the gun and Sow looked down to find gold. He immediately called Popovych’s bet and tabled pocket Aces, more than good enough to take on Popovych’s pocket Jacks, and the six-high board that rolled out kept Sow in the lead, knocked off Popovych in 14th place and set Sow up with 1.55 million chips.

Surprisingly, instead of staying away from each other, Sow and Mrakes knocked heads in a critical hand. After Sow opened the betting and Mrakes (button) and Robert Heidorn (big blind) made the call, a 6-4-3 flop brought checks out of the shorter stacks. Mrakes fired off a 150K bet and Sow called after Heidorn folded. On a deuce turn, Sow once again check-called a bet from Mrakes, this time for 250K. When a J♠ came on the river (putting three spades on the board), Sow suddenly woke up and led out for 650K in chips. Mrakes made the call and immediately regretted it as Sow showed the A♠ 7♠ for the rivered nut flush as Mrakes could only muck his hand and let the million-chip stack go over to Sow.

This wasn’t the last time the duo would clash. Sow raised Mrakes’ big blind and, on an A-K-J flop, Mrakes check-called another bet out of Sow. The same thing happened on the turn and river, with Mrakes check-calling bets of 235K and 575K out of Sow, creating another million-chip pot. Once again, Sow had the goods, showing a Q-10 for the flopped Broadway straight. Mrakes could only shake his head and send his cards to the muck and the chips again to Sow.

Mrakes would right the ship eventually, knocking off Heidorn in 11th place, as Wheeler took over the chip lead while Sow and Mrakes were fighting with each other. He picked up a hefty two million chip pot against Colin Robinson to smash the seven million chip mark and, after Sow took down Foxen to reach five million and bring the final nine men to the unofficial final table, looked to carry some momentum as the chip leader. Once the action began at that nine-handed table, however, Sow took control.

Sow would knock off Mordvinov (ninth), Valentyn Shabelnyk (eighth) and Matas Cimbolas (seventh) to end his Sunday of poker with a flourish. That flourish will also allow him to start the six-handed final table on Monday afternoon with the chip lead:

1. Kalidou Sow, 8.135 million
2. Jason Wheeler, 8.1 million
3. Michal Mrakes, 5.01 million
4. Gabriele Lepore, 1.815 million
5. Colin Robinson, 1.425 million
6. Harry Lodge, 1.23 million

It looks as though the championship will be determined between Sow, Wheeler and Mrakes. Lepore, Robinson and Lodge need a great deal of help if they are going to make a run at the top and it may be a bit too much to ask for one of them to challenge for the title. Mrakes’ confidence took a bit of a hit on Sunday and Sow’s grew at the same time. The best bet to watch is Wheeler, who has been a steady, strong player throughout the tournament that has never been down the leaderboard too far.

The final table will resume play at 1PM Prague time (7AM Eastern Time) and the PokerStars Live! stream will pick up the action on delay one hour later. At the end of the rainbow for one of these six players will be the €775,000 and the final PokerStars Championship trophy ever.

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