American Players Ended 2017 Strong At The PokerStars Championship Prague

Matthew Clark December 21, 2017 2273 Reads
PokerStars Championship Prague

2017 has been an up and down year for American poker players on foreign soil. As recently as PokerStars Championship Barcelona, players from the United States struggled to reach the winner’s circle and final table. That trend turned at PokerStars Championship Prague as in both high rollers, side events, and the PSC Main Event, Americans ended the year on a high note.

David Peters wins one, cashes thrice more

Last year, David Peters put together a breathtaking run through the European Poker Tour Main Event in Prague. Peters took third place in the main event and more importantly, clinched the #1 spot on the GPI Player of the Year race as a result.

In 2017, Peters put on another impressive performance with four cashes and a win in the €2,150 No Limit Turbo Event. All of Peters finishes were in the top-15 and came in tournaments such as the €10,300 PSC High Roller and the €5,300 EAPT High Roller.

All told, Peters earned $118,475 in Prague to put his 2017 total up to $3.5 million.

American flags at high roller final tables

The best chance for Americans to do well, based on sheer numbers, was in high roller tournaments. The red-white-and-blue crew bricked out in the €50,000 Super High Roller event but quickly redeemed themselves.

Ryan Riess won his first PokerStars Spade trophy in Barcelona and came within striking distance of another. Riess took second in a three-way deal in the €25,500 Eight-Handed event with Albert Daher placing first and Mikalai Vaskaboinikau earning third in a field of 50 entrants. The silver medal earned Riess $327,417.

Riess also cashed the €10,300 PSC High Roller. Anthony Zinno and Mazin Khoury were the other two Americans, along with David Peters, to cash in the 256 entrant tournament.

Erik Seidel reached the final table of the other €25,500 High Roller, placing seventh out of 52 entries. In total, Seidel racked up $2.2 in earnings this year.

Closing out the festival was a €5,200 Turbo Six Max event. The tournament attracted 26 entries with Lauren Roberts and Steve O’Dwyer both making the money.

Three Americans in the Main Event top-10

The “clutch gene” might not be a thing in poker but when it mattered most, the Americans put on their best PSC Main Event showing since the Bahamas. There, the podium was filled with the stars and stripes and that result came close to happening in Prague.

Three Americans placed in the top-10 with a mix of new faces, rising stars, and grizzled vets among them.

Alex Foxen followed up his second-place finish in WPT Five Diamond by flying halfway across the world and nearly making another final table. Foxen took 10th place and put a bow on his breakout year.

A relative unknown in any poker community, Arizona’s Colin Robinson took sixth for $173,233. Coming into Prague, Robinson’s career earnings were roughly $85,000 and perhaps he will build on this run in the new year.

Jason Wheeler owns a WSOP Circuit Main Event title, a World Poker Tour High Roller win, and an EPT Spade trophy. He’ll have to wait at least another month before claiming a PokerStars Main Event win after finishing second for a career-high bankroll booster of $671,718. The Chicago pro’s tournament earnings are knocking on the door of $4 million and Wheeler is likely to eclipse that total in the early part of 2018.

What to expect in 2018

PokerStars Caribbean Adventure returns in January after last year’s rebranding experiment. Among the marquee events on the schedule include a $100,000 Super High Roller, $50,500 High Roller, $25,000 High Roller, and the $10,300 Main Event.

Americans tend to flock to PCA for the full schedule and if last year’s trend of U.S. winners including Jason Koon, Bryn Kenney, and Christian Harder holds to form, the new year will be off to a hot start.

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