European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague’s little brother, Eureka Prague, has grown up and is ready to challenge the current status quo in the Czech Republic.
The mini-poker festival surprised everybody as the Main Event became an instant record-breaker for the largest ever Eureka tournament. A total of 1,315 players gathered in Prague to take part in the €1,100 event and try to take a slice from the €1,275,550 prize pool. Just to put the matter into proper perspective, the previous record attendance for a Eureka main event was 644!
Amateurs and pros alike battled each other for five crazy days and one German conquered them all. It was Dmitry Holdeew in his first shot at a Eureka title. He started the final day third in chips behind the more experienced British tournament expert Steven “stevie444” Chidwick and Canadian online guru Ami “UhhMee” Barer.
Although he doesn’t have major results in live play (a $13,264 cash in one 2012 WSOP side event being his most notable) and considers himself a recreational cash game poker player, Holdeew played like a real champ and eliminated both Chadwick and Barer to win the Eureka Prague Main Event. What’s even more impressive are the numbers tied to the German’s opponents: they cashed in astronomical profits by playing online – around $9.5 million.
Chadwick was the first to leave the final table among the three. He took a chance by shoving his 20 big-blind stack with King-Ten only to get called by Holdeew, who had pocket sevens. The German dodged any card that could have potentially put stevie444 in front and entered heads-up play with a slight lead. Chadwick finished third and took home €92,500. According to the PokerStars Blog, the Brit has won almost $4 million online and over $1.5 million in live tournament action.
Heads-up play lasted two hours before the winner was decided. The chip lead changed sides four times during the battle and two all-in pots were needed for Holdeew to take down the Eureka trophy. In the first all-in, the German lost when his pocket fours didn’t improve against Barer’s pocket eights. However, the second all-in knocked out the Canadian. Barer check-raised with all his stack on the last turn of the tournament with a flush draw and a potential overcard. Holdeew took a closer look at the cards and the pot and decided to call. He had top two pair and was an 82% favorite to win the pot at showdown. The river brought Barer the top pair but it wasn’t enough; he finished second and collected €131,400. The Canadian is a well-known MTT grinder, having won over $5.5 million online under the nickname UhhMee.
Along with the 2013 Eureka Prague trophy, Holdeew won €226,400. Will his latest success convince him to take poker more seriously?