Friday, October 28, 2011 : Euro 680 000 ($975,470) reward for Pateychuk
 
The 22-year-old Russian pro Andrey Pateychuk is the latest Pokerstars Europeam Poker Tour champ, seeing off a star-studded field of 837 competitors in the San Remo, Italy leg of the Tour to claim a reduced main prize due to a chop with the runner up.
 
Pateychuck faced a formidable final table Thursday after a week of tough poker in the event: Dimitar Danchev, Daniel Neilson (chip leader), Barny Boatman, Jan Bendik, Yorane Kerignard, Rocco Palumbo and Kevin MacPhee had come to Italy to win the Euro 800 000 main prize and the action was to go at a fast pace for the following nine hours.
 
Aussie Daniel Neilson dominated much of the first half of the final day action, having started as chip leader with almost half the chips in play, but unfortunately he hit a run of bad cards which took him out of contention and ultimately saw him eliminated at third to set up the close on three hour heads up between Pateychuk and Bulgarian ace Dimitar Danchev.
 
Heads up, and about equal in chip counts, Pateychuk and Danchev agreed on an equal chop of Euro 600 000 each, with the winner to take the trophy and the remaining Euro 80 000.
 
What followed was an epic almost three hour battle as the equally skilled opponents battled for supremacy. The chip lead changed from one to the other a number of times, and featured a close one-card call for Pateychuk when Danchev almost clinched the game.
 
However, he did not, and just a few hands later the young Russian emerged triumphant to pick up a check for Euro 680 000, leaving his very worthy and dignified runner-up with a very useful take-home of Euro 600 000.
 
The win is the biggest yet for the Russian, who plays on the internet under the pseudonym ThePateychuk and now has four major live tournament cashes on his c.v., bringing his career earnings to $1.5 million.