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Welsh pro wins EPT Prague

20 December 2010

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Popular Welsh pro Roberto Romanello has won EPT Prague – and his first major title - for a first prize of €640,000, beating Italian Emiliano Bono heads-up.

The 34-year-old from Swansea, was overcome with emotion after taking down the €5,300 event. "I've been trying to do this for a very long time," he said. "This means everything to me".

Still wearing the lucky wig that he bought at EPT Snowfest last season, Romanello added that the massive support he'd received throughout the five-day event had given him the drive to win. "I feel ecstatic," he said.

Prior to Prague, Romanello's best EPT finish was sixth place at last season's EPT Copenhagen. He also cashed at EPT Barcelona a few weeks ago – finishing in 39th place earning €15,000. Like many other players, he took up poker while convalescing from a sporting injury and since turning professional in 2005 has nearly $900,000 in live tournament earnings. His Prague victory also propels him to third place in the Wales All Time Money List.

Polish Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki made a heroic bid for the Prague title and fought hard at the final, but was ultimately eliminated by Bono in third place, earning €247,000. This was Horecki's seventh EPT cash and second EPT final table. In Season 5, the former ski champion came third at EPT London earning a £303,439 payday.

As part of his prize Romanello also wins a seat worth €10,000 to this season's EPT Grand Final, to be held in the spring of 2011. Bono, 35, from Rome, earned €435,000 for second place.

Of the 100+ players who won their trip to EPT Prague on PokerStars, Slovakian Jan Bendik went the furthest, finishing sixth to win €100,000.

Team PokerStars Pros Richard Toth from Hungary and Salvatore Bonavena from Italy, who won EPT Prague in Season 5, both enjoyed deep runs. The Italian finished 17th earning €15,000 and Toth was eliminated shortly afterwards in 15th place, earning €20,000. Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano cashed in an EPT event for a record 17th time, finishing in 43rd place to earn €10,000.

Californian couple Josh and Helen Prager also prospered in the Prague leg, the sixth EPT of Season 7. Helen qualified on PokerStars and enjoyed a career-best run until she was eliminated by a bad beat in the last hand of Day 3, finishing in 24th place for €15,000. Husband Josh bust early the next day – in 21st place.

A total of 563 players from 47 countries competed in the €5,300 Main Event creating a €2,730,550 prize pool. EPT Prague event took place December 13-18 at Golden Prague Poker at the Hilton Prague Hotel.

As well as the Main Event, there were 19 side events including a Czechs-only €10,000 free-roll to celebrate the country's victory in the best country category at last year's EPT Awards. Team PokerStars Pro Martin Hruby as well as Martin Kabrhel and last season's EPT Prague champion Jan Skampa were among the 13 entrants.

Sweden's Nichlas Mattson won the €10,000 event earning €127,000 after beating Irish pro John O'Shea heads-up. Team PokerStars Pro Max Lykov finished best in a 68-strong field to win the €1,000 NL event, earning €24,400.

Croatian pro Hana Soljan won the €330 Ladies Event and a first prize of €3,750 after beating EPT Tallinn winner Anastasiia Syvak, from Lativia, heads-up. Portuguese businessman Fernando Britto, currently leading the EPT Awards Player of the Year race, continued his astonishing run in Season 7 by winning the last event of EPT Prague, the €1k Turbo Random Bounty event.

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