Breaking Down the Action:
  • Sinclair Among Those to Leave Final Early
  • Kitai Unable to Add to Triple Crown Glory
  • Three-Handed Play Produces First-Time Spadie Winner

4 Minute Read

The atmosphere in Prague has been top dollar all week, but who won the High Roller event that closed the show?

The 2022 European Poker Tour has come to Prague and conquered the Czech capital, with a record-breaking festival concluding in style. With an incredible 274 entries, the final $10,0000-entry High Roller event of the live PokerStars festival featuring a prize pool of over $2.4 million and a top prize of $543,750, with 20 players making it to the final day.

Sinclair Among Those to Leave Final Early

While 20 players started the final day, only nine could make the last table. When they did so, it was the Kyrgyzstan player Kubanychbek Abakirov who busted, cashing for $63,340 in ninth place as his ace-seven was unable to overtake Askar Bekbayev’s pocket kings. The flop of T-8-6 was followed by an eight on the turn and a three on the river to reduce the field to eight players.

Out in eighth was the British high roller Jack Sinclair. He was all-in with ace-eight, but had committed his chips well behind Carlos Spoddig’s ace-king, and a board of Q-J-7-T-J had the British player drawing dead after the turn. Sinclair’s cash was worth $76,010, but he went no further, unable to add to his many major titles.

In seventh place, Swiss player Kreshnik Maloku was the player who lost his stack. Cashing for $91,220, he fell just short of the final six when his king-queen lost to Kannapong Thanarattrakul’s ace-ten, as a flop of 6-6-4 was followed by a ten on the turn and jack on the river.

Kitai Unable to Add to Triple Crown Glory

With six remaining, it was the second Kyrgyzstan player who left the action. Sanjarbek Sabyrkulov busted with ace-ten and was unlucky to do so, with Thanarattrakul’s weaker hand hitting a four-flush on the river to cut the field to five. In losing with the best hand, Sabyrkulov cashed for $110,480.

Out if fifth place was the Triple Crown winner Davidi Kitai. The Belgian poker professional won $143,630 when he lost out to the eventual winner too. All-in with ace-three, Kitai was a marginal favorite to win the all-in if indeed there was to be a winner, with Thanarattakul’s ace-deuce behind. But the board of 9-8-2-7-K sent the Belgian home in unfortunate fashion instead.

Askar Bekbayev left in fourth position, winning $186,710 when he lost, but this time it was with the worst hand. Shoving with ace-queen, he lost to Marius Kudzmanas’ pocket kings as the board of J-7-4-9-K saw the latter build a set by the river.

Three-Handed Play Produces First-Time Spadie Winner

A long period of the game went by without an elimination, but eventually, it happened. Spoddig was the unfortunate player to miss out on the heads-up, with his pocket sixes unable to survive against the suited ace-jack of Kudzmanas, as the board came J-8-3-5-7 for the Lithuanian to hit top pair top kicker on the flop.

The final duel was upon the two players and with almost $900,000 being played for, the atmosphere inside the building was intense. Thanarattakul had an initial lead of 2:1, but play went back and forth before the Lithuanian Kudzmanas got back into it then dropped back to just 3.2 million chips, some way behind Thannarattakul’s stack of 10.5 million.

All-in with ace-queen, the Lithuanian dominated his opponent but lost out to Thannarattakul’s ace-jack when the board of 4-Q-4-K-T gave the winner an improbable runner-runner rivered Broadway straight after his opponent had flopped two pair.

EPT Prague 2022 $10,000 High Roller Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Kannapong Thanarattrakul Thailand $543,750
2nd Marius Kudzmanas Lithuania $339,830
3rd Carlos Spoddig Germany $242,740
4th Askar Bekbayev Kazakhstan $186,710
5th Davidi Kitai Belgium $143,630
6th Sanjarbek Sabyrkulov Kyrgyzstan $110,480
7th Kreshnik Maloku Switzerland $91,220
8th Jack Sinclair United Kingdom $76,010
9th Kubanychbek Abakirov Kyrgyzstan $63,340


James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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