One for the Amateurs! Tsoukernik Clips Carrel for €50k SHR Crown
To call Leon Tsoukernik an "amateur" poker player is a bit of a misnomer.
The owner of the biggest poker room in Europe has certainly played his fair share of big poker hands - and at stakes that would make most of us blanche.
But he's not a "pro" poker player by definition, though. And had yet to stake a claim to any kind of live tournament prowess with just one previous live cash in 2011 on his resume.
Until today in Prague, that is.
Thrilling Back & Forth Between Pro & Am
37 other high-stakes poker players entered the €50,000 Super High Roller at EPT Prague this weekend but it ended up being the Leon Tsoukernik-Charlie Carrel show for much of it.
Carrel busted Tsoukernik on Day 1 but the owner of the King's Casino in Rozvadov of course had the funds to buy back in, and did.
While the impressive young pro - on a year-long heater more or less that has seen him pocket around $1.5m in earnings in 2016 - dominated the early stages of the tournament, Tsoukernik found his legs late.
He finished Day 2 of the event with the chip lead and hit the final table with Carrel, Juha Helppi, Paul Newey, Julian Thomas and Viacheslav Buldygin with a similar advantage.
Tsoukernik then stared down some bigs moments at the table with Carrel to show he belonged. After getting pushed off a flush with a big bluff by Carrel earlier, Tsoukernik regained his momentum when he rivered a straight with 2-7 and Carrel paid him off after an 8-minute tank.
With a huge chip lead heads-up he finished Carrel off pretty quickly although he needed a bit of luck with KJ to beat Carrel's AK.
In his winner's interview Tsoukernik said he was definitely thankful to win such a prestigious event but he also had a message for pros who take amateur player lightly:
"They should respect us when we play, and don't call us fish."
Read the full report of the final table here. Final-table results below:
EPT13 Prague Super High Roller
Dates: December 11-13, 2016
Buy-in: €48,500 + €1500
Entries: 49 (39 unique players; 10 re-entries)
Total prize pool: €2,352,735
|1||Leon Tsoukernik||Czech Republic||€741,100|
|2||Charlie Carrel||United Kingdom||€535,250|
|5||Paul Newey||United Kingdom||€200,000|
|7||Anthony Zinno||United States||€123,520|