Martin Soukup has made history by winning his second Unibet Open title, becoming only the third player to achieve such a feat.
Cutting his way through a field of 366 entries, the Czech player notched up his fourth career title and his biggest payday to date.
Heading into the final day of the Unibet Open Sinaia main event, Soukup and Cristian Grecu were the two chip leaders. Noting wanting to sit on his lead, the former put the pressure on Catalin Moraru just a few rounds into February 17 finale.
Soukup Sinks Moraru with Eights
Holding pocket eights, Soukup put in a four-bet to force Catalin Moraru all-in. Pondering his options with A♥K♦, the Romanian was too committed to throw his hand away and duly made the call.
Despite putting his faith in the poker gods, the powers that be didn’t return the favor as a 9♠5♥2♥2♠4♣ board meant he was out in eighth.
With a commanding chip lead, Soukup was able to sit back and let eventual runner-up Marius Gicovanu do all the hard work. Taking out a selection of compatriots on route to a three-way battle for first, Gicovanu looked like the man to deny two former Unibet Open champions a second coming.
Joining Soukup in the race for another Unibet title was Traian Bostan. Having one the Unibet Open main event in Bucharest the year before Marius Pertea, the Romanian certainly had the experience to mount a challenge.
However, whatever he had in experience, he lacked in chips. Without any ammunition to worry the chip leader, Bostan had to settle for third place after his pocket eights couldn’t hold on against Gicovanu’s A♥T♦.
Holding almost two million more chips than his counterpart, Gicovanu looked as though he was going to secure the win. Soukup had other ideas and quickly rallied to overhaul the deficit and secure his second Unibet Open title in style.
Soukup and Unibet Open Win Again
Winning the majority of significant pots, the Czech pro had Gicovanu on the ropes three times before landing the decisive blow with A♦5♣ (see video above). Moving all-in, Soukup was marginally ahead after his opponent called with K♦T♦.
An ace on the flop skewed the odds further before a relatively helpless turn and river brought the event to an end.
In clinching the $79,987 top prize, Soukup not only surpassed his 2016 Unibet Open Malta achievement ($72,461) but joined Dan Murariu and Mateusz Moolhuizen as the only the third two-time winner on the tour.
Unibet Open Sinaia Main Event Result
- Martin Soukup – $79,987
- Marius Gicovanu – $51,045
- Traian Bostan – $38,259
- Cristian Grecu – $30,964
- Toni Judet – $24,407
- Stefan Drusca – $18,639
- Espen Uhlen Jorstad – $13,688
- Catalin Moraru – $10,060
In closing another live event, Unibet continued to make inroads into the casual market. Following the 2018 decision to remove its high stakes games, the operator has continued to make its products more appealing to novices.
The latest Unibet Open in the Romanian ski resort of Sinaia was designed to offer entertainment both on and off the felt. Hosting parties and snow-based activities throughout the festival, Unibet ensured that latest event was about something more than poker.