The 2015 PokerStars European Poker Tour Season 12 Prague €10,300 High Roller attracted 315 entrants, which created a €3,150,000 prize pool. On Wednesday, the final 18 returned to battle down to a winner, and when the dust had settled, Kenny "kenny05" Smaron emerged victorious to capture the €595,500 first-place prize.
For Smaron, who will turn 31 on Christmas Day, the win was by far his largest live cash to date. In fact, prior to this one he had just $202,744 in live tournament earnings with his largest cash being $90,175 for finishing third in the 2008 World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic.
Smaron, who finished 91st in the EPT Prague Main Event for €11,540, is best known for his online exploits where he plays high-stakes six-max hyper sit-n-gos on PokerStars. Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the online poker expatriate now splits his time between Costa Rica and Colombia.
"I played like a savage at this final table," said Smaron, who hadn't played in an EPT for nearly five years. "It was finally my time."
The day kicked off with a flurry of eliminations; in fact, it took just three levels for 10 players to fall and set up the final table. Among those to exit early were Artem Metalidi (18th - €31,480), Nicholas Palma (17th - €36,060), Bryan Paris (16th - €36,060), Mikkel Lokkegaard Hansen (15th - €40,640), William Foxen (14th - €40,640), Luc Greenwood (13th - €45,220), Mihails Morozovs (12th - €45,220), Aleksandr Denisov (11th - €51,330), and Kevin MacPhee (10th - €51,330).
In regards to MacPhee, he began the day as chip leader and was looking to close out his very impressive 2015 with another big win. Unfortunately for him, he fell after he opened to 60,000 and was three-bet to 215,000 by Smaron. MacPhee responded with an all-in four-bet for around 900,000, and Smaron insta-called with the . MacPhee had the , and he looked to have earned a reprieve when the flop came into view. But, he then fell behind on the turn. After the hit on the river to seal his fate, MacPhee headed to the cashier's cage.
The elimination of Davidi Kitai came a short time later and set up the official final table of eight. From there, Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst fell in eighth after shoving with the and running into the of Felix Bleiker. She was soon joined on the rail by Rocco Palumbo, who was the loser of two back-to-back hands, and then Daniel "Jungleman" Cates, who grew short only to shove into two pocket pairs.
The smaller of those pairs, held by Greece's Iliodoros Kamatiakis, ended up getting crippled in the hand, and then he lost a race to bust a short time later. By that time the blinds were getting big, so it was no surprise to see Ihar Soika go with queens in a three-way all-in pot. Two players managed to survive, but the Belarusian was not one of them.
Three-handed action took awhile, but eventually the blinds whittled away at Bleiker, who fell when his failed to get there against the of Smaron. That set up a heads-up match with Smaron holding a more than 6-1 chip lead against Jaroslaw Sikora. For as long as three-handed play lasted, heads-up play was just the opposite, as It took just two hands for Smaron to seal the deal.
Final Table Results