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Graner Rips to EPT Prague Main Event Title, €969,000 Payday
"I planned and prepared for this tournament for several months," Stephen Graner told the PokerStars blog shortly after his triumphant blitz to the 2014 EPT Prague Main Event title this evening.
The 26-year-old from Las Vegas ripped through the final table in just 81 hands to cap an impressive week of poker that saw him barely move from the top of the chip counts.
Thwarting the efforts of notable crushers Vanessa Selbst and Davidi Kitai along the way, plus a last gasp heads-up from Swede Anton Bertilsson, Graner cruised past 1,107 players to win his first EPT title in his first-ever EPT event.
His take? The full €969,000, a luxury SLYDE watch and a nice side trip to Paris with his girlfriend to celebrate.
Bertilsson, Sperling, Castaignon Can't Gain Ground
Coming into the final table with a big chip lead Graner stepped on the gas early and never let up.
The only player really in his vicinity all day was Bertilsson, who started with about 4m less than Graner but never got much closer.
In fact by the time they were three-handed Graner had roughly 28m of the 33m chips in play and no talk of a deal surfaced.
"I woke up with a lot of premium hands and won a lot of critical flips," Graner told the PokerStars blog. "... I ran very pure."
Bertilsson did double up once heads-up but couldn't muster another before bowing out in second for €582,720.
German Fabio Sperling and Frenchman Remi Castaignon, who was vying to be the second two-time EPT winner, fell in fourth and seventh, respectively. The full final table and payouts:
EPT11 Prague, €5,000 NL Hold 'em Main Event
Places paid: 159
Prize pool: €5,535,000
1 - Stephen Graner, United States, €969,000
2 - Anton Bertilsson, Sweden, €582,720
3 - Jonathan Wong, United Kingdom, €410,190
4 - Fabio Sperling, Germany, €308,180
5 - Simon Mattsson, Sweden, €235,700
6 - Bjorn Wiesler, Germany, €172,340
7 - Remi Castaignon, France, €129,390
8 - Miltiadis Kyriakides, Greece, €92,610
For a full recap of the action, check the PokerStars blog. Watch the EPT Live Stream replay here.