Breaking Down the Action:
  • Former Chip Leader Hits Rail Early at Final Table
  • Talbot Falls Before the Final
  • Last Day Provides Fast Drama

4 Minute Read

Jordan Saccucci won the EPT Prague Main Event for a career-high score of over $900,000 after a dramatic day at the felt.

The European Poker Tour’s final event of the year, the Prague Main Event, has been won by Canadian player Jordan Saccucci, who claimed the top prize of $913,250 after he beat Frenchman Antoine Saout heads-up for the ‘Spadie’ trophy and the title.

Former Chip Leader Hits Rail Early at Final Table

With the final nine players gathering on Saturday lunchtime, it was the Romanian player Paul-Adrian Covaciu who busted first. All-in for around 16 big blinds with pocket sevens, he was flipping for his tournament life against the eventual winner Saccucci, who held ace-king. A flop of A-6-2 put the Canadian into the lead and a four on the turn was no help. Covaciu was drawing to a two-outer on the river and couldn’t find a seven, a king ending his chances of victory and sending him home with $97,450.

It was the former chip leader Javier Gomez Zapatero who busted in eighth place for $126,700. All-in with queen-jack offsuit for 15 big blinds, the Spaniard was called by Italian player Luigi D’Alterio with ace-seven of hearts. The flop of K-T-2 kept D’Alterio ahead, but gave Zapatero an open straight draw, taking out aces into the equation for his opponent too. But a clean eight turn and three river meant the Italian stayed ahead and reduced the field at the Spanish player’s expense.

It was Bulgarian player Petar Kalev who left in seventh place, cashing for $164,700. Jamming for exactly seven big blinds, Kalev was behind pre-flop with king-ten of clubs as D’Alterio called with ace-jack offsuit. The board of 8-3-2-Q-J never really gave Kalev much hope, with no flush or straight draw to chase to a killer river that left him on the rail.

Talbot Falls Before the Final

Despite a flying previous elimination hand, D’Alterio was the next player to leave, in the end committing his stack for just 12 big blinds with pocket eights. Hungarian player Istvan Pilhofer was never going to fold ace-king and was immediately repaid for that call immediately by a king of the flop of K-T-6. The four on the turn was no use to D’Alterio, who now needed an eight and only an eight on the river. It came a queen and the field was down to five with Pilhofer out for $214,150.

One more player needed to bust on Saturday night and it turned out to be PokerStars Team Pro Parker Talbot. The Canadian former 888poker Team Pro had been a big personality at the final table and throughout the EPT Prague Main Event, especially on Day 3 but by the penultimate day, it was a long time since the drama from the first day of action in the Main Event.

Talbot was all-in and at risk with pocket kings. He was way ahead of the initial raiser Jun Obara and eventual sole caller of Saccucci with pocket nines, but the first card out of the deck was a nine and the eventual board of 9-6-3-Q-5 sent the Canadian home in fifth for $278,450.

Last Day Provides Fast Drama

With four players left, Saccucci was in charge and the short stack, Japanese player Jun Obara, would last only one hand. Obara was all-in on the J-T-7 flop with king-jack, but Saccucci held pocket kings, and an eight on the turn and king on the river sent Obara to the rail almost as quickly as he sat down, with a result worth $361,950.

Three-handed poker saw an extended period without an elimination, but it didn’t last forever, and it was the Hungarian Pilhofer who eventually fell for $470,500. He was all-in with ace-nine but lost a flip to Antoine Saout, who held pocket deuces and hit the flop right between the eyes when it came 8-6-2. An eight on the turn gave the French player an unassailable full house and an inconsequential jack on the river saw Pilhofer railed as Saout went into heads-up just behind Saccucci.

Before that heads-up took place, a deal was discussed and eventually agreed, with both players locking up $800,000, playing on for $113,250 and the EPT Main Event trophy. Working into a quick 2:1 lead, Saccucci sealed victory when his ace-three beat Saout’s pocket sixes, a stunning board of 4-3-3-9-9 handing the Canadian the title and sending his rail into raptures.

EPT Prague 2022 Main Event Final Table Results:

Position Player Country Chips
1st Jordan Saccucci Canada $913,250*
2nd Antoine Saout France $800,000*
3rd Istvan Pilhofer Hungary $470,500
4th Jun Obara Japan $361,950
5th Parker Talbot Canada $278,450
6th Luigi D’Alterio Italy $214,150
7th Petar Kalev Bulgaria $164,750
8th Javier Gomez Zapatero Spain $126,700
9th Paul-Adrian Covaciu Romania $97,450


Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson writes for about the gambling industry. His experience ranges from crypto and technology to sports, casinos, and poker. He went to Douglas College and started his journalism career at the Merritt Herald as a general beat reporter covering news, sports and community. Arthur lives in Hawaii and is passionate about writing, editing, and photography.

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