Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik took down the EM European Poker Championship Super High Roller in Austria this weekend. And without a court order, none of the $433,000 first place prize money will be going to fellow high stakes pro Matt Kirk, who still has a lawsuit pending in Clark County court where he’s claiming the controversial owner-player defrauded him for $2 million.
The €25,000+ €750 ($29,000+$870) tournament got underway on Wednesday inside Austria’s Casino Velden and featured some of the top players in Europe.
Although not the largest field in history, prominent names such as Manig Loeser and Tony G were among the 27 runners.
In addition to the 27 initial buy-ins, the tournament had 14 €25,000 re-entries, seven of which went to Tsoukernik, who just two weeks ago reportedly surrendered a $50,000 deposit when he didn’t show up for the $1 million Big One for One Drop at the WSOP.
Seven Bullets FTW
By the time Day 1 of the European Poker Championship High Roller came to an end, Tsoukernik’s re-entry frenzy left the Czech Republic businessman positioned to receive a return on his investment. He sailed through Day 2, and proved to be no one even skilled and experienced players could contend with at the final table.
Despite being less experienced than his final adversary Loeser, the man behind Kings Casino Rozvadov got the run of the cards and clinched the title with big slick. With the board showing Ax5♠7♠, Loeser moved all-in with 9♠8♠.
The straight flush draw gave the German a strong chance of winning the hand but it would be Tsoukernik’s top pair that clinched it. When the action was over, the part-time player was able to add another €370,000/$433,0000 to the $2.7 million he’d won before the EM Super High Roller.
EM European Poker Championship Super High Roller Result
- Leon Tsoukernik – $433,000
- Manig Loeser – $304,400
- Maxi Lehmanski – $216,600
- Tony G – $146,300
- Niki Jedlicka – $99,500
Positive Return to Spotlight?
As well as the win being his first since December 2016, the victory will be a chance for Tsoukernik to forget about his financial dispute with Aussie pro Matt Kirk. The two players have been embroiled in a battle over an alleged $2 million debt since May 2017.
According to Kirk, the casino owner only paid back $1 million of a $3 million loan left after the two completed a now infamous heads-up match. In among the dirt being thrown by both sides, the Australian claims Tsoukernik was drunk during the game and lost his money.
An agreement was supposedly reached, but Tsoukernik later denied he’d agreed to payback the money given to him. The messy dispute ended up in court with a judge offering a split ruling on the proviso that Kirk could still pursue his reported debt.
A second lawsuit followed, which prompted Tsoukernik to file a countersuit. The latter was eventually dismissed in February 2018 and Kirk is now waiting to see if he can get back the $2 million he believes he’s owed.