Will Kassouf Wins Final EPT High Roller Like a Birthday Boss

The self-proclaimed "King of speech play" Will Kassouf has capped his breakout year with victory in what will be the last ever EPT High Roller as he took down the €10,300 Prague High Roller, on his birthday no less, for €532,500 after an unusual deal was struck heads-up.

Kassouf has been dismissed by many as a flash-in-the-pan, a one-hit wonder, and that his time in the spotlight would soon be over following his entertaining and controversial deep WSOP Main Event run which saw him ruffle a few feathers before getting stacked in 17th place with KK vs AA after a nasty confrontation with Griffen Benger. However, the English motor-mouth has already proved his critics wrong with his latest win meaning he has added over $600,000 in live tourney cashes since his big run back in July and snagged an EPT trophy along the way.

The way he "won" will also no doubt be something of a talking point as the final two players, Kassouf and Canada's Patrick Serda didn't actually play a single hand heads-up. In one of the more unusual deals we've ever seen, Kassouf seemed more concered with the trophy than the money and was willing to give a little more cash equity to his opponent in order to secure the title and the winners picture. Kassouf went into the negotiations as a big underdog, with Serda holding a more than 4:1 chip lead and realising his chances of winning were slim he offered to take less than €50k on top of his guaranteed 2nd place money if Serda gave up the chance to be proclaimed the winner. Serda was happy with the €719k on offer and we had a champion!

Play started with 22 hopefuls earlier today and by the time the unofficial final table of 9 was reached the day's early leader Grzegorz Wyraz had fallen to 5th, and Kassouf was the only player left under 1m chips (he had 950,000).

Kassouf had the poker gods on his side this evening, however, as he managed to stay afloat prior to the final table after finding three double ups as a short stack. He carried this luck over to the final table when he doubled up twice more with both KK (vs Wyraz's AJ in a blind-on-blind battle) and AA (versus an unlucky Jens Lakemeier's KK). He then went on to eliminate Ihar Soika in a cruel fashion when the Brit's AQ found a Queen on the turn against Soika's AK. This was even more lucky than it sounds as after three spades fell on the flop and with Soika holding the Ace of spades, Kassouf was drawing to only q 2 cards.

Kassouf found his way from the bottom of the unofficial nine strong final table to the top of the pile with over 7m chips by the time the table was seven-handed.

However, after a couple more elimintations (Matas Cimbolas fell in 7th and Wyraz in 6th), Kassouf's table-talk seemed to be getting him nothing other than the clock being repeatedly called on him as he started to get picked off left and right. By the time a few hands had been played 4-handed (Paul Leckey fell in 5th) Kassouf once again found himself the short-stack.

Next out, however, was Bulgaria's Viliyan Petleshkov who decided to jam under the gun for 16 big blinds (3.2m) with 22 only to be called by big stack Serda who woke up in the big blind with pocket 8's.

After a short-break, Kassouf managed another double up against Tue Ullerup Hansen when the Brit called Hansen's open shove in a button vs small blind confrontation. Kassouf's A 10 was way ahead of Hansen's A 8 and the bricked board gave Kassouf close to 4m chips while Hansen fell to under 2.9m.

Hansen was out on the very next hand when he called Serda's button jam from the small blind. Although he made the correct call (his AJ being ahead of Serda's Q7) a Queen on the flop ended his tournament and he hit the rail in 3rd place for a €351k payday.

As you already know, that was actually the final hand of the tournament, after which the final two spent half an hour discussing their eventual deal which handed Serda the lion's share of the remaining prizepool and handed Kassouf his first major title and the chance to have his picture taken with all the chips, the trophy, with the 9 of hearts proudly displayed in front of them - with Kassouf managing to represent two of his catchphrases "9 high like a boss" and "heart of a lion" in the same picture. Having qualified for the high roller from a €1.6k satellite, Kassouf couldn't have asked for a better birthday present!

EPT Prague €10,300 High Roller Final Table Results

  Winner Country Prize
1 William Kassouf United Kingdom €532,500*
2 Patrick Serda Canada €719,000*
3 Tue Ullerup Hansen Denmark €351,000
4 Viliyan Petleshkov Bulgaria €283,850
5 Paul Leckey United Kingdom €224,600
6 Grzegorz Wyraz Poland €172,910
7 Matas Cimbolas Lithuania €128,700
8 Jens Lakemeier Germany €93,170

*denotes deal


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