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Matt Adams Wins GSOP Prague for €106,200; Craig McCorkell Finishes Fourth

Matt Adams

The GSOP Live Prague main event has been completed and it is the United Kingdom’s Matt Adams who has had his name written into the festival’s history books. Adams outlasted a star-studded field of 590 entrants to get his hands on the €106,200 winner’s prize.

The GSOP Live Prague main event’s huge crowd was helped by a whole host of stars entering at the last minute, stars who had failed in their attempts to win the World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour main event that proceeded it. The likes of Jason Wheeler, Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree, Dominik Nitsche and Anton Wigg were amongst the 590 starters, but each failed to navigate their way through their starting day.

Day 1 saw the massive field – up 18% — reduced to a more manageable 191, of which only 72 made it into the money places. Included in the list of those who cashed were a number of familiar names and faces, Karl Mahrenholz one of them. The Poker Encore owner fell in 12th place when his three-bet shove with {3-Clubs}{3-Diamonds} lost out to Oliver Schaffmann’s {A-Spades}{9-Diamonds} when the board ran out {2-Clubs}{q-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{10-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}.

Lardo Leheste of Estonia busted in 11th place and when Kasper Kjeldsen headed to the rail in 10th place, the final table was set.

1Amit Zulkowitz2,284,000
2Oliver Schaffman1,118,000
3Thomas Taubenschuss823,000
4Joel Lindpere802,000
5Rocco Palumbo798,000
6Tapio Vihakas2,977,000
7Mathew Adams541,000
8Craig McCorkell2,092,000
9Thomas Mericer367,000

The first player to bust out was Thomas Mericer, who got his chips into the middle in very bad shape. With blinds of 12,000/24,000/3,000a, Tapio Vihakas opened to 50,000 from early position, Adams folded to his direct left and Mericer moved all in from the very next seat. The action folded back to Vihakas, who snap-called and showed {A-Clubs}{A-Hearts}. Mercier turned over {k-Diamonds}{j-Diamonds} and when the board ran out {j-Hearts}{10-Clubs}{4-Spades}{8-Spades}{9-Clubs} it was game over for Mericer.

Next to go was Joel Lindpere, an professional footballer who regularly represents Estonia at international level. Lindpere moved all-in from under the gun with what turned out to be {A-Spades}{7-Spades} and this 386,000 shove was called by Amit Zulkowiitz and his pock kings. The {10-Hearts}{9-Spades}{8-Clubs} gave Lindpere some hope but when the turn and river were the {2-Clubs} and {5-Diamonds} respectively, the football star was eliminated.

Shortly after Lindpere’s demise, Mahrenholz’s executioner was sent to the rail in seventh place. Oliver Schaffmann moved all in for 319,000 (blinds 20,000/40,000/5,000a) and was called by the only Brit to win a World Series of Poker bracelet this year, Craig McCorkell. The latter turned over pocket nines, which held against the {A-Clubs}{9-Diamonds} of Schaffmann and the final table lost another player.

Sixth place went to Thomas Taubenschuss who managed to run his {K-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} into the {A-Spades}{A-Clubs} of Vihakas. Taubenschuss spiked a king but could not catch any other outs and he became the sixth place finisher.

The dangerous Italian, Rocco Palumbo was the next to exit the tournament, his {5-Diamonds}{5-Spades} proving to be no match for Adams’ dominating pair of eights. The five community cards failed to help Palumbo and he headed to the sidelines via the cashier cage.

The surviving four players headed off for a 60-minte dinner break, during which time it appears they struck a deal due to them being very close in chips. The exact details of the deal were not published but McCorkell confirmed on his Twitter account that one had been made:

Ironically, McCorkell benefited most from the deal as he busted out on fourth spot. His last 15 big blinds found their way into the middle of the felt whilst holding {J-Hearts}{10-Spades} and they were at risk against the {A-Diamonds}{8-Spades} of Vihakas. The final board read {5-Clubs}{5-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{a-Clubs} and McCorkell headed to the rail.

Zulkowitz was the next player to bust out, he three-bet all in for 10 big blinds with {8-Clubs}{7-Clubs} after Adams had opened the betting, Adams snap-called with tens, flopped a set and sent the tournament into the heads up stages.

Adams started the one-on-one section of the tournament with an 8,500,000 to 3,500,000 chip lead over Vihakas and although Vihakas managed to close the gap, it was Adams who emerged victorious in the Corinthia Towers Hotel. The final hand saw Adams min-raise to 400,000 and Vihakas call the bet. The duo shared a {7-Hearts}{j-Hearts}{2-Hearts} flop, Adams fired a continuation bet and, in a flurry of action, all the chips went into the middle. Adams was nicely in front with his {A-Hearts}{J-Diamonds} as he was against the {j-Spades}{5-Hearts} of his opponent, and when the board ran out {k-Clubs}{9-Hearts} Adams had won all of the chips in play and was the GSOP Live Prague main event champion.

GSOP Prague final table payouts

1Matt Adams€106,200
2Tapio Vihakas€70,800
3Amit Zulkowitz€50,740
4Craig McCorkell€39,530
5Rocco Palumbo€29,500
6Thomas Taubenschuss€23,069
7Oliver Schaffmann€17,995
8Joel Lindpere€13,570
9Thomas Mercier€10,797

Lead image courtesy of the GSOP Live blog, whose live updates were used to create this article.

The GSOP Live festival now takes a two-month hiatus and when it returns on Feb. 13, 2013 it will do so in Vienna, Austria. Online qualifiers are available now on the Ongame Network, one such site being Betfair Poker. Download Betfair Poker through PokerNews, enter the bonus code PNE250 and you will be eligible for a $250 bonus and be able to participate in all future promotions we hold in conjunction with Betfair Poker.

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