Another thrilling high-roller case culminated at the EPT festival in the beautiful city of Prague, and it was Japanese player Tsugunari Toma who lifted title worth half a million euros.
Recently setting the high roller scene alight, Japan’s Tsugunari Toma has cashed for nearly $800,000 in the past fortnight, and is the toast of the popular Christmas market city after overcoming a stacked field for his career’s biggest live performance.
Having earned over $2.2 million in his lifetime playing live poker alone, Toma is a new name on the minds of many poker enthusiasts, but he is very well recognised by the high roller circuit, which is the frequency he appears at the final tables.
With just a few days earlier winning a single-day high roller event at the EPT Prague, Toma’s latest victory saw him come into play behind overnight chip leader Simon Lofberg, after 17 players from the 255 entries kicking off the final day action.
Sam Greenwood had already won a single-day high roller of € 25,000 and was still interested, but began the short day and left shortly after taking his seat. He was joined by players including Thi Nguyen, Daniel Dvoress and Ludovic Geilich to take an early leave.
As big names left, the eventual winner scored a vital double, Toma’s pocket jacks doubling through Lofberg’s tens in what would turn out to be a sign of things to come in the tournament much later.
The final table started with a bang, first busting fellow high-roller regular George Wolff, Rainer Kempe joined him on the rail in 8th place. The second Japanese player at the final table, Masato Yokosawa, followed these players out of the tournament by the strong Austrian Pokercode founder, Matthias Eibinger, in seventh place.
When Chinese player Yunye Lu eliminated Gianluca Speranza from Italy in sixth place, the event was building up to its end and it felt like a head-up race. Toma was in the lead and Lofberg tried to regain control of the table, busting Lu in a big pot to step into the leader’s four-bet. It would be Eibinger who eventually bust in 4th place, flopping quad seven against the unfortunate Austrian before flushing him in the same orbit out of the field.
It didn’t take at all time to conclude matters with three left. As he shoved with pocket jacks, Danish pro Simon Pedersen busted and was called by Lofberg, whose ace-eight on the flop met with another ace.
Perhaps unexpectedly, the heads-up match was also a fast ending. Toma four-bet pushed his cards on the table in the very first hand, and when he put all – in with ace-eight in the next hand, Lofberg had the simplest of ace-king calls. The board was unkind to Lofberg, though, as Pedersen came back to bite him with the very side he had taken advantage of, an eight on the flop ending the tournament and confining him to a € 352,230 runner-up reward. Toma had the € 523,120 top prize, but the title was most important.
EPT Prague €10,300 High Roller final table results:
|1st||Tsugunari Toma||Japan||€ 523,120|
|2nd||Simon Lofberg||Sweden||€ 352,230|
|3rd||Simon Pedersen||Denmark||€ 248,340|
|4th||Matthias Eibinger||Austria||€ 201,340|
|5th||Yunye Lu||China||€ 159,290|
|6th||Gianluca Speranza||Italy||€ 120,950|
|7th||Masato Yokosawa||Japan||€ 88,300|
|8th||Rainer Kempe||Germany||€ 64,560|
|9th||George Wolff||United States||€ 53,430|