Gab Yong Kim scoops €219,214 Mystery Bounty victory at EPT Prague

Andrew Burnett
Published by:
Posted on: December 15, 2023 4:57 pm EST

Mystery Bounty tournaments are all the rage and PokerStars’ EPT Prague proved no exception, with Korea’s Gab Yong Kim taking down the tournament and Malta’s Ioannis Oikonomidis scooping the two €25k bounties among his seven scalps!

The €3,000 buy-in tournament at King’s Casino Prague attracted a very healthy 787 runners, making a €1,105,014 prizepool with the same amount going to the Mystery Bounty pool, with players only finding out how much a KO has been worth after they draw an envelope containing the good (or not quite so good but still good!) news.

With three €50k and two €25k prizes among them, the Mystery Bounties could quite easily equal or far outweigh even a final table cash, which makes the format so unpredictable and exciting.

By the time day three arrived, all the €50k prizes had been won, Iurii Senchylo, Mats Nylander and Jelle Moene the lucky recipients, and for Senchylo it represented his third-biggest cash ever.

Sixteen players returned for the third and final day, among them Senchylo (who would eventually finish 15th) and Ioannis Oikonomidis, who had already pulled a €25k bounty and would somehow fluke his way to a second €25k prize, as well as picking up a podium spot, as we shall see.

Final table action

The real final table action kicked in after about an hour or so of 8-handed play, Igor Pihela Jr hitting the rails after shoving what must have looked like a very good hand short-stacked.

Igor Pihela Jr: 10♠10♣
Andrej Tekel: K♣K❤️

Flop: K♠6♣Q♦️

Turn: 3♠

River: J♣ 

Coolers aside, it was a case of short-stacks unable to double through when needed, Tomovic, Kasper and Poullos all falling by the wayside though with impressive 5-figure cashes to soften the blows.

Pavlos Xanthopoulos, who had held the chip lead earlier in the day, had to settle for 4th spot and €84,690 when Kim flopped top pair to overtake the Greek player’s ace.

That left three players vying for their podium share of more than €500,000 in prizemoney and it was Oikonomidis who fell in third after snap-calling Tekel’s small blind shove.

Ioannis Oikonomidis: A❤️8❤️
Andrej Tekel: 9♠7♣

Out in front after the flop…

Flop: 10♣2❤️Q❤️ 

…things looked good for the Maltese player to double up, but fate had something else in store…

Turn: 8♠ 

River: 6♠

…and that was a straight to end Oikonomidis’ challenge, though he pocketed a monster €59,000 in bounties to go with his €110,110 third place prize.

Heads-up saw Kim and Tekel first make a deal – Kim locking up €214,674 and Tekel taking €186,278 –  before a clash of big hands brought matters to a head.

Tekel limped in, Kim shoved over the top from the big blind and the Austrian called…

Andrej Tekel: K♠10♦️
Gab Yong Kim: K♣Q♣

Flop: 4♣6♠Q❤️

Turn: 2♠ 

River: 3♣ 

That was enough for the Korean pro to bag victory, the regular visit to the Czech republic now closing in on top spot in the South Korea all-time money winner’s list.

“I felt good, I really thought I could win,” Kim told reporters after his big win, adding, “I knew I could put a lot of pressure on the final table.”

Meanwhile, the EPT €5300 Main Event and €10,300 High Roller are both in full flow and we’ll bring you all the best of the action from those two tournaments shortly.

EPT Prague Mystery Bounty payouts

PlacePlayerPrize (€)
1Gab Yong Kim€214,674
2Andrej Tekel€186,278
3Ioannis Oikonomidis€110,110
4Pavlos Xanthopoulos€84,690
5Ioannis Poullos€65,150
6Henri Kasper€50,120
7Aleksandar Tomovic€38,560
8Igor Pihela Jr.€29,660

Images Courtesy of Danny Maxwell/PokerStars