2013 has been a successful year for the Germans and Julian Track finished things off in style in Prague yesterday. The online qualifier turned his satellite buy-in into over €700,000 and a shiny new EPT trophy.
The 1,007 runner field had been whittled down to just eight for a final table that included Brits Max Silver and Stephen Chidwick, along with emerging superstar Ole Schemion.
The stacks were deep and it took a preflop war to eliminate the first player from the final table. Jorma Nuutinen had opened the action with A♦-K♠ only for Chidwick to three-bet with the same holding. It was looking like a split pot until chip leader Track woke up with pocket tens. His cold four-bet induced a shove from Nuutinen and Chidwick made an impressive fold, the ten-high flop meant the perfect start for the German.
Croatian Zdravko Duvnjak was knocked out in seventh before the demise of the first British player. Silver came into the day second in chips but had a disastrous run of hands that left him in short stack mode. Eventually he lost an entertaining flip to good friend Chidwick, who spiked a two-out river to bust him in sixth.
Schemion was many people’s pick to outlast this final table and it took a horrible beat to stop him from going further than fifth. Track had three-bet pocket Sevens and called once Schemion had come over the top with his pair of Tens. It was a Seven million chip pot and it went the way of 30-year-old Track when the 7♠ hit on the turn.
Georgios Sotiropoulos had been wielding one of the shorter stacks for a while but got a slice of luck to propel him into contention. Ka Kwan Lau defended his big blind with K♦-T♣ and saw the 2♦-K♠ -8♦ checked through. The action on the 7♣ turn saw Lau all-in but behind to the Greeks 8♥-7♦ and the brick river wasn’t the miracle he hoped for.
Chidwick followed up an impressive third place in the huge Eureka Prague main event with another third place here. It’s an unbelievable achievement, although there will be a tinge of disappointment at not closing one of them out. Had a standard A♥-T♣ versus K♦-Q♥confrontation gone his way then perhaps there would have been another British EPT champion.
By now Track was visibly suffering from flu but the 50/50 deal (€700,000 each) was still surprising given his 18 million to 12 million chip lead. The pair played on for a while but the German eventually came out on top. There was just enough time for him to lift the trophy before heading off to bed to recover!
Rumours have been flying around that the victor may never play another live tournament again. Track is an online cash game grinder and was apparently dissatisfied at the time players took to act in the live arena. We’re not sure it will be the end of Track and live poker but if so he will certainly bow out on a high!
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Photo courtesy of Neil Stoddart
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