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❤️
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…
…things looked good for the Maltese player to double up, but fate had something else in store…
…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♣
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
|Gab Yong Kim
|Igor Pihela Jr.
Images Courtesy of Danny Maxwell/PokerStars