The European Poker Tour (EPT) is officially back in business in Prague and a very familiar face picked up some new silverware in the first high roller of the festival.
PokerStars Ambassador Sam Grafton outlasted a 57-player field to take down the €10,200 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty High Roller for €80,360, plus plenty of €5,000 bounties along the way.
The British pro–known as “samsquid” on PokerStars–took hold of the chip lead on the final table bubble and never relinquished it. To win the lion’s share of the €267,900 prize pool, Grafton had to battle with some of online poker’s toughest players.
Alexandros “pwndidi” Theologis (7th – €13,360) and Teun “tinnoemulder” Mulder (4th – €28,400) both fell just shy of a podium finish, while Grafton went on a tear, eliminating three players in a row to capture the victory.
He’d ultimately defeat a player who many believe is the greatest online tournament player of all time–Niklas “Lena900” Astedt–after just four hands of heads-up play. Grafton opened with pocket tens and Astedt jammed his 17.5 big blinds with king-seven offsuit. The tens held and Astedt would have to settle for €58,130, plus any bounties he picked up along the way.
Bounty tournaments are incredibly popular on PokerStars (in fact, the Bounty Builder Series is running right now!) and if this event is anything to go by, they’ll now become a staple of EPT schedules moving forward.
This high roller saw half of the buy-in go towards a regular prize pool, while the other half was reserved for bounties. That meant every time a player knocked out another player, they won €5,000.
A total of €559,200 was paid out in the €10K Bounty Event, with €267,900 going to the regular prize pool and €285,000 to the knockout payouts.
“I’ve always said that live poker offers something increasingly special as the years go by,” Grafton told us after becoming a PokerStars Ambassador last year. “As more and more of our lives have moved online, it’s special to go somewhere and sit with people you don’t know, sharing something energises all of you.
“One table change and you meet seven or eight new people to make friends with and drink in a bar afterwards. I love the variety of live poker, from skill levels to nationalities, and the shared poker language. We can have completely different backgrounds but we all come together because of poker. There aren’t many things like that.”
Dates: March 5-6, 2022
Prize pool: €552,900 (inc. €285,000 in bounties)
1st – Sam Grafton, UK, PokerStars Ambassador, €80,360
2nd – Niklas Astedt, Sweden, €58,130
3rd – Daewoong Song, South Korea, €37,510
4th – Teun Mulder, Netherlands, €28,400
5th – Alex Kulev, Bulgaria, €21,970
6th – Gab Yong Kim, South Korea, €17,150
7th – Alexandros Theologis, Greece, €13,660
8th – Zhong Chen, Netherlands, €10,720