The record-breaking €10,300 High Roller at PokerStars European Poker Tour Prague, which drew 407 entries, is down to just 22 after a marathon 11-level Day 2. Foremost among the remaining runners is Grzegorz Wyraz, a live satellite winner hailing from Poland who put 3,137,000 in the bag at night’s end, well clear of his nearest competitor.
Wyraz typically grinds smaller tournaments, with most of his cashes being in events in the €500 range, but he could be putting together a classic poker satellite-to-riches story if he can bink the €765,900 earmarked for first.
Wyraz started his surge up the counts late in the day. He chipped up just before the bubble by busting Yang Zhang with ace-king against . Then, he picked up queens twice against short stacks Bartlomiej Machon and PokerStars Team Pro Liv Boeree.
The pot that really did it for him, though, came against Ari Engel with the clock winding down for the day at 10,000/20,000/3,000. Wyraz and Engel played a monster pot blind versus blind, with Wyraz opening preflop, betting a flop, and check-raising on a turn. Wyraz jammed the river to put Engel to the test for about 740,000, and the Aussie Millions champ called it off with a called clock ticking toward zero. He had only , no match for a set of sixes.
Other players rounding out the top five were Glib Kovtunov (1,878,000), Tue Ullerup Hansen(1,546,000), Jussi Nevanlinna (1,417,000), and Matas Cimbolas (1,156,000).
Another player who advanced was infamously talkative Brit William Kassouf, who will tote one of the shorter stacks into the final day of the tournament. He’ll have just 336,000 with the big blind heading to 24,000. Kassouf was able to use his patented “speech play” to goadLiviu Ignat into doubling him up with a set of queens on a four-straight board when Kassouf had the straight.
The tournament reached the money on Day 2, though it didn’t come without a prolonged bubble period. Numerous tables saw players stalling just before the bubble, so hand-for-hand play was a welcome sight for some. The money was eventually reached when Isaac Haxton, who shipped a €25,500 High Roller earlier in the week, bubbled out when he blinded off nearly all of his stack and then got tens in but couldn’t hold against big stack Jens Lakemeier’s eight-six.
Boeree, David Yan, Sergio Aido, Stephen Chidwick, Andrey Zaichenko, Sam Greenwood,and Niall Farrell were some of those falling in the paid places; Nick Petrangelo, Igor Kurganov, Max Silver, Anthony Zinno, Steve O’Dwyer, and start-of-day leader Jerry Wongwere among the players busting in advance of the money.