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Home / Poker / Rodrigo Seiji leads all the way and claims €50K title after heads-up deal with Sergio Aido

Your average Brazilian needs a pretty good reason to leave the heat of South America for freezing Prague in December, particularly when there’s a soccer World Cup on. But Rodrigo Seiji, who goes by “seijistar1” on PokerStars, has every reason to feel he made the right decision to head to the Czech Republic from São Paulo this week.

Seiji, 36, just won the €50K Super High Roller title here at EPT Prague, banking €773,630 after a heads up deal, the biggest win of his live poker career. It came only a matter of days after he won the €10K Mystery Bounty tournament here, and in the very same venue where he picked up his previous career best score.

Seiji also won the €2K Mystery Bounty event here in March, for €240,655. But this one outstrips that in every department. There were 55 entries of €50,000 apiece (including 17 re-entries), the second-biggest Super High Roller tournament ever hosted at EPT Prague.

It produced the kind of final table that only events of this kind attracts, and Seiji was ruthless in laying waste to four of the five players to get knocked out today, before negotiating a deal with the other one.

That player was Sergio Aido, who took €667,120 and continued a recent hot streak of his own. The Spaniard now has more than $15 million in live tournament winnings following this latest success.

Aido and Seiji quickly agreed a deal

The pair opted to end the tournament after the elimination of Daniel Dvoress in third, coming to an arrangement when they bumped into each other on the way to the bathroom before heads-up play was due to begin.

With the original payout schedule promising the winner nearly €300,000 more than the runner up, both decided that they’d rather take the variance out of it and guarantee themselves a very tidy payday.

They shook hands, and that was that.

FINAL TABLE ACTION

The day began at 12.30pm, with the bubble burst but seven players still involved. They stacked up as follows:

Seat 1: Sergio Aido, Spain, 1,895,000
Seat 2: Pablo Brito, Brazil, 2,165,000
Seat 3: Orpen Kisacikoglu, Turkey, 1,035,000
Seat 4: Dimitar Danchev, Bulgaria, 1,355,000
Seat 5: Sam Grafton, United Kingdom, 2,420,000
Seat 6: Rodrigo Seiji, Brazil, 2,460,000
Seat 7: Daniel Dvoress, Canada, 2,420,000

The PokerStars Ambassador Sam Grafton had led this tournament at the end of Day 1, and was only one big blind behind the leader going into the final day today. But the day was barely an orbit old when Grafton hit the rail, losing everything after a huge pre-flop encounter against the only person who could knock him out.

Grafton busts to Seiji within the first few minutes of play

Grafton found AK on the button and made a standard raise. Seiji three-bet his small blind, and Grafton shoved, for about 74 big blinds. This was a huge shove, with a huge hand, but Seiji had bigger in both departments. His AA stayed safe through the A91042 run-out, and Grafton was out. He took €140,000.

The final six then posed for photographs and reconvened for the official final table, with Seiji stacking up more than twice as many chips as his closest challenger.

Final six (clockwise from top left): Rodrigo Seiji, Dimitar Danchev, Pablo Brito, Orpen Kisacikoglu, Sergio Aido, Daniel Dvoress

CALM AND THEN A STORM

After that whirlwind start, a calm descended and stayed for quite a while. Seiji’s lead remained unassailable, but all of the others exchanged chips among themselves for a good couple of hours.

This had the effect, of course, of shallowing stacks slightly, and led to an inevitable succession of fairly rapid bustouts when the dam finally broke.

Seiji ended the challenge of his fellow Brazilian, Pablo Brito Silva, picking up KK at just the right time. It was three-bet pre-flop and then Silva made top pair with his A10 on the 7108 flop. All the money went in, but Seiji’s kings couldn’t be beaten. Silva won €189,090 for sixth.

Pablo Brito Silva perished at the hands of his friend and fellow Brazilian

At this point, Seiji now had three times as many as anyone else, and was able to apply as much pressure as he needed to, while the others battled over scraps. Seiji was then on hand again to pick up another scalp, that of Orpen Kisacikoglu, but this time cracked a big pair instead of holding one.

Kisacikoglu got his last chips in with QQ and Seiji only had one over-card, with his KJ. Not to worry: he hit it on the flop, and Kisacikoglu was ousted in fifth for €226,780.

Orpen Kisacikoglu out in fifth

SUPERSTARS CONTINUE TO FALL

Dimitar Danchev, the former PCA champion, was making a relatively rare appearance in a Super High Roller event, but had made it pay through two-and-a-half days of characteristic solid play. By the time he was short stacked, he needed to get it in with A6, but ran into Seiji again, this time with A7.

The mostly low flop essentially ruled out a chop, and Seiji’s kicker played when they both turned an ace. Danchev picked up €293,490 for fourth.

Decent showing from Dimitar Danchev

Seiji now had about 12 million of the 13.75 million chips in play, and although Aido managed a double up, there was not much anybody could do in the circumstances. Daniel Dvoress, who had been picking his spots perfectly, as always, got the last of his chips in with J8 and Aido this time was waiting in the wings to pick him off.

Aido had Q10 and neither player made a pair, meaning Aido won. Dvoress took €386,870 for third.

Third for the SHR regular Daniel Dvoress

NO APPETITE FOR HEADS UP

The tournament therefore reached the heads-up stage, with Aido sitting with 4.4 million to Seiji’s 9.95 million. Blinds were 40K-80k, so there was potentially an epic duel in the offing. But neither of them had any appetite for it.

“We just decided that €300K was too much,” Seiji said, referencing that huge scheduled payjump between first and second place. Seiji said that Aido first mentioned possibly doing a deal, and the pair talked for a little while, suggesting that maybe they could play a few hands and talk again.

But even as they were talking, Seiji said he quickly came to the conclusion that a chop was the right thing to do. The tournament staff showed them the numbers, based on their chip counts, and the deal was done.

The new champion cradles his new trophy

Aido took €667,120 and Seiji €773,630, with the Brazilian claiming that a second major title of the week. They were able to wrap up at around 5pm local time and spend their evenings as they wish.

With another €25K still accepting registrations, that’s one option…

RESULTS

EPT Prague – €50,000 Super High Roller
Dates: December 11-13, 2022
Entries: 55 (inc. 17 re-entries)
Prize pool: €2,668,050

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