Gab Yong Kim Dominates Way to 3,000 Mystery Bounty Victory at EPT Prague (214,674)
South Korea's Gab Yong Kim has won the 3,000 Mystery Bounty at the 2023 PokerStars European Poker Tour Prague for 219,214 after defeating heads-up opponent Andrej Tekel of Austria in what proved to be a back-and-forth heads-up battle.
Kim came into Day 3 as the chip leader and continued to build his stack throughout the day, "I felt good, I really thought I could win," said Kim talking about his day. He continuously used his aggression for success, "I knew I could put a lot of pressure on the final table."
He used to play a lot more cash games, but now he just focuses mostly on tournaments. It's easy to see why he does, as he has had a lot of success, with $2,580,215 in live earnings not including today's victory. On top of the lion's share of the tournament prize pool, he also collected a total of 13 bounties, earning an additional 40,000.
Like other tournaments at this stop, the Mystery Bounty event attracted a sizable field of 787 runners for a prize pool of 1,350,492, that didn't include the bounty prize pool featuring three 50,000 bounties. Only 16 players returned on Day 3 and eight made the final table including Aleksandar Tomovic of Serbia, and Pavlos Xanthopoulos of Greece.
Final Table Results
|Gab Yong Kim
|Igor Pihela Jr
Player Booted from EPT Prague Main Event for Head-Butting Opponent
There weren't many Bounty sweats on Day 3, as the three largest bounties had already been claimed. On Day 2 Iurii Senchylo was the first player to pull the elusive 50,000; this singular bounty pull represented Senchylo's third biggest live cash to date. Senchylo is no stranger to success on the EPT series, having come 3rd in 500 No Limit Hold'em at EPT Barcelona for 17,750 just a few months ago. Senchylo finished 15th place, adding 12,740 to his bounty prizes.
Mats Nylander was the second to pull a 50,000 bounty, but didn't manage to cash in this event. Jelle Moene was the final recipient of a 50,000 bounty, who managed to battle his way to 26th place and collect an additional payout of 7,280.
However, Day 3 still had the second-largest bounty available of 25,000, with Ioannis Oikonomidis claiming it once again. There were only two bounties awarded worth 25,000, and miraculously Oikonomidis was the receiver of both. Oikonomidis claimed a total of seven bounties, for a total of 59,000.
The Day 3 field of 16 dwindled down quickly as players including Russia's own Vladimir Troyanovskiy (13th - 15,290), Romania's Marius Alexandru (10th - 20,575), and Dutch Cornelis van Gent (9th - 20,575) were eliminated. Alexandru and Van Gent went out on the final table bubble, busting on different tables during the same hand and splitting the tenth and ninth payouts.
The first casualty of the final table took a little over an hour with Igor Pihela Jr hitting the rail in eighth place when his pocket tens ran into the kings of Tekel.
It didn't take long from there for Aleksandar Tomovic to be the next to go in seventh place as he called off his extremely short-stack, blind versus blind, with jack-high against the king-high of Tekel and couldn't get there.
Henri Kasper had multiple double-ups throughout the day but still fell short, ending the day in sixth place, losing a flip with ace-jack versus Oikonomidis' pocket eights.
Finishing in fifth was Ioannis Poulloswhen he called off with ace-five and couldn't connect against Tekel's ace-ten.
Hitting the rail right behind him was Pavlos Xanthopoulos In fourth place, who did have the chip lead at one point on Day 3, but took two brutal beats. His final hand was another unlucky one as his ace-seven fell short to the queen-nine of Gab Yong Kim.
Three-handed play carried on for a good portion of time, with the chips flowing back and forth. Eventually, Oikonomidis bowed out in third when his ace-eight couldn't hold against Tekel's nine-seven.
Thus began the heads-up battle, Kim had a dominating chip lead with three players left but when they reached heads up, the chips were relatively close. They made an ICM deal, with Kim taking 214,674 and Oikonomidis locking up 186,278.
Play continued, battling for the trophy and the remaining bounties, until eventually all of the chips went in the middle before the flop and Kim's king-queen defeated Tekel's king-ten.