That's all she wrote for the fifth iteration of the PokerStars.com EPT Prague. Six days ago, a record-smashing field of 722 turned up with the buy-in burning a hole in their pockets, and just eight of them survived to unbag chips on Day 5.
After a yo-yo heads-up finish, Germany's Martin Finger has just put his name in the record books, topping David Boyaciyan in a marathon duel. For his win, Finger earns himself €720,000, a shiny bracelet from Shamballa worth about €10,000, and the coveted EPT trophy that money can't buy.
Finger's path to the title was a relatively smooth one today -- at least until he got to heads-up. He began the day with more than 25% of the chips in play, and he quickly chipped his way upward from there. Finger was responsible for the elimination of Andreas Wiese in seventh place, and he took care of Ari Engel in sixth just a few hands later. An aggressive player with a big stack is a recipe for domination, and Finger soon had half the chips in his corner with four players left.
Guillem Usero ran his ace-eight into Finger's pocket kings to exit in fourth place, and the German went ahead and took care of Nicolas Levi in third place as well. Things were plugging along just fine, but closing it out proved to be the most difficult chore of his day.
It was Finger in one corner and Holland's David Boyaciyan in the other, and they were playing quite deep. They decided to make a chip chop and leave €100,000 on the table to play for, along with the two pieces of precious hardware. Normally, that lends itself to a quick finish, but such was not the case here.
While the play from eight down to two took just four hours, the heads-up battle was a marathon. Finger began with a big chip lead, but Boyaciyan stood his ground and played back methodically at his opponent. He continued to gain momentum as play wore on, and Finger's focus and optimism seemed to wane just a bit. Everything began to go Boyaciyan's way, and he even managed to pip into the chip lead at one point.
But that lead lasted just a couple hands. Finger won one of the largest pots of the day a few minutes later, and it was just a few more shuffles before they were dealt a coin flip and got it all in. Finger was putting his trust in ace-king against Boyaciyan's pocket tens. Two kings on the flop was essentially all she wrote, and it was the German left alone at the table with the trophy and all the chips.
Finger is just 21 years old, and he's a Business Science student back home in Frankenberg. He's a Supernova Elite on PokerStars, and that's where he won his seat to this event -- earning a cheap entry via the step tournaments. It's not a bad parlay for a few Euros' investment, and Finger is going to be the toast of the town in Prague tonight.
One more time, we send our congratulations to Martin Finger, the champion of this PokerStars.com EPT Prague! The next EPT stop is the real gem of the tour, and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will make a few more poker millionaires to begin the new year. Thanks for following along with us here at PokerNews, and we'll see you on Paradise Island in 2012!