12/7/09 – The Pokerstars European Poker Tour Prague ended in the Czech Republic this week and delivered another great performance by 23-year-old local player Jan Skampa, who scooped the main prize of Euro 682 000 and a seat in the EPT Grand Final after besting a large field of 584, many of them top pros. The field generated a prizepool of $2 842 000.
The starter field included Jeff Sarwer, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Katja Thater, Thierry van den Berg, Marcel Luske, Noah Boeken, Antony Lellouche and Luca Pagano.
Following five days of tough action, the final table was set, with Skampa holding an impressive 432 000 chip lead over his nearest opponent, Stefan Mattsson (3 553 000). Other final tablers included Anthony Roux (2 839 000), Eyal Avitan (2 627 000), Luca Pagano (2 119 000), Laurence Ryan (1 338 000), Sven Eichelbaum (658 000) and Gustav Ekerot (502 000).
Skampa appeared confident throughout following his fourth place finish in the EPT Vilamoura in November, pointing out that the Prague epic had been only his fourth EPT tournament and what a pleasure it was to win in his home town. The fact that the big entry field made EPT Prague the biggest yet Czech poker tourney was not lost on the young player either: “It was the biggest tournament in Czech Republic ever, so it feels marvelous,” he said.
The German player Sven Eichelbaum was the first to be eliminated after running into Laurence Ryan’s aces. He was followed by Gustav Ekerot of Sweden, bundled out by Eyal Avitan and then Luca Pagano was ousted from his sixth EPT final after a clash with Stefan Mattsson. Laurence Ryan's run ended when he was busted out in fifth place, again by a rampant Mattsson, who took over the chip lead on the proceeds.
Mattsson was himself pulled up short by Jan Skampa, who doubled up on the Swede to retake control. Shortly thereafter Israel's Eyal Avitan was in action again, this time taking out Anthony Roux to make the contest a three-sided affair between himself, Mattsson and Skampa, with very little advantage in the trio's chips.
It appeared to be going all Avitan's way as the game progressed with aggressive play all round; he managed to take the chip lead but then took around three hours to finally knock out Mattsson, setting up the heads up with Skampa and looking goof with a 2 to 1 chip lead. It was far from a done deal, however as Skampa played a clever and disciplined three hour game to erode the Israeli's advantage and eventually retake the lead….and the match.
We'll be hearing a lot more of Skampa, an economics student at Prague's St Charles University who for the past three years has been honing his poker skills on Internet sites.
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