Czech Republic’s Martin Soukup brought home the first ever Unibet Open victory to his country after defeating a field of 292, capturing the first-place prize of €65,000. Soukup fought out a tough battle against Ukraine’s Vitalii Belyaev who took home €45,000 for finishing second.
The day started with 10 contenders, and after Mariusz Czarnojan hit the rail it was time for the final table. Bas de Laat from the Netherlands had already surrendered his chip lead by that point, and sat in fifth behind one of the pre-day favorites: Griffin Benger.
Emil Westerberg was the first player to get knocked out at the final table, and the Swede took home €6,400 for his efforts. The aforementioned Benger – who has amassed $8.9 million in career tournament earnings – was then very unlucky to bust out in eighth for €8,550. Benger found himself in great shape with ace-king versus ace-ten, but a ten on the river sent him to the rail.
A few hands later it was the eventual runner-up – Belyaev – who doubled through De Laat in the biggest pot of the day until that point. Belyaev watched his pocket queens hold up against the ace-king of De Laat, and the Dutchman was knocked out a few hands later. De Laat cashed for €10,700, and Belyaev grabbed a chip lead he wouldn’t relinquish until the heads-up phase.
Sweden’s last horse in the race – Christian Ostfelt – was knocked out in sixth place for €12,900. Ostfelt woke up with pocket tens, only to find out that the eventual winner held pocket queens after a raising war. Soukup increased his stack significantly, and he jumped into second place.
In fifth we lost Tim van Meene who found himself short for a long time, and he ended up taking home €16,150. The four-handed battle took quite a long time and ultimately it was Marzejon who busted out for €21,500. Marzejon ran pocket fours into sixes, and not too long afterwards there were just two players.
The biggest – and most crucial – pot of the tournament played out between Gerret van Lancker and Soukup, when the former got all his chips in the middle holding pocket kings. With more than five million chips in the middle Soukup turned over ace-jack, and the turn spelled disaster for Van Lancker when an ace hit.
Van Lancker collected €29,000 for his run, and Soukup grabbed a firm lead heading into the heads-up stages of this event. After 90-minutes of one-on-one action it was all over, as Soukup flopped a flush and Belyaev called him down with middle pair. Belyaev collected €45,000 for his second-place finish and Soukup collected €65,000 for the biggest win of his poker career.
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