EPT Prague Glory for Irishman O'Neill with Season-Ending Trophy in Main Event
The final stage of the 2023 edition of the European Poker Tour ended in the capital of the Czech Republic. Irish player Padraig O'Neill became the champion in the Prague Main Event.
He is 34 years old and recently became a father for the first time. Therefore, this win is very important for the Irishman. Next year he plans to devote a lot of time to his family, as well as to play tournaments at some stages of the EPT 2024.
The €5,300 NLH main event in Prague attracted an unprecedented 1,285 entries, surpassing the previous high of 1,267 participants set in 2022. This remarkable attendance is even more notable considering the event coincided with the WSOP Paradise main event and the WPT World Championship this year.
Starting the final table with the shortest stack of only 12 big blinds, the future champion only dreamed of getting into the top three:
"I was hoping to get fourth. Third would've been amazing. To get heads-up, I never thought it would've happened."
But after knocking out several opponents and winning a few doubles, O'Neill managed to get into the heads-up, where he met Norway's Jon Kyte, who started the final day with a monstrous stack of 288 big blinds.
"I honestly didn't want to play heads up against Kyte. He put me in very difficult situations. He really could become a worthy champion."
Before the start of the heads-up, the opponents tried to make a deal, but did not reach an agreement. The face-to-face game lasted more than 5 hours. The leader changed several times. But in the end, O'Neill managed to squeeze Kyte and win the title and €1,030,000 in prize money. O'Neill also became only the second Irishman to win an EPT Main Event. The first was Steve O'Dwyer, who won 11 years ago.
Final top-5 results in EPT Prague 2023 ME: