Three days of tough battle at poker tables saw Philipp Salewski emerge victorious in the inaugural Sunday Million Live. The 33-year-old from Germany defeated a giant field of 5,045 entries, taking down the biggest poker tournament ever held in the Czech Republic. Salewski took home €111,674 along with the title and a trophy after cutting a four-way deal with Dominik Kabas, Jozef Komorny and Karel Kovarik.
A total of 2,672 unique players competed in the €1 million guaranteed €220 Sunday Million Live, generating a huge field of 5,045 entries to make up for the biggest tournament audience the Czech Republic has ever seen.
"My tournament was quite a roller coaster but today we could say I ran like a god. I won almost every all-in, lost just a few ones," Salewski described his journey through the final day.
Salewski was one of 166 players who arrived in the King's Casino for Day 2, having qualified through an online flight at PokerStars.
"We could say I play it occasionally but not regularly. Because it's way too late for my sleep schedule," Salewski revealed his experience with the regular online Sunday Million, the most prestigious weekly tournament in the virtual realm.
Salewski, who hails from a small town near Berlin, defines himself as a semi-professional player who plays as many tournaments as his work and other responsibilities allow. While this the biggest accomplishment of his poker career, Salewski claims he will keep sharing his time between the regular job and poker. "I will continue playing the same tournaments I've played so far, not much more nor less. Those that my free time allows me ", he said.
The German player was one of 27 players who came back for the third and final day of the Sunday Million Live, sitting in second place behind Russian player Andrei Kurdyukov. Both of the leaders made it to the final table with Kurdyukov eventually finishing in fifth place for (€39,680).
After Kurdyukov's elimination, the remaining four players came to terms on a deal. The final four agreed on payouts ranging between €76,000 and €112,000 with €10,000 left aside for the eventual winner.
Czech player Karel Kovarik (fourth for €76,522) and Jozef Komorny from Slovakia (third for €81,093) were sent to the rail thereafter, leaving an all-German heads-up for the title.
Dominik Kabas started the final match with a slight chip-advantage. However, Salewski eventually managed to accumulate all the 100 million in tournament chips to become the last man standing in the inaugural Sunday Million Live.
“It is a big one to win. I've always dreamed of winning the Sunday Million. Why not the Sunday Million Live? At every moment I thought that I could win," Salewski said albeit aware of the high variance in such a large field.
"I just tried to stay concentrated, stay as 'zen' as possible and be confident about my chances and my decisions. The feeling is now great."
With this victory, Philipp Salewski set his new personal-best result achieved in a live poker tournament. His previous biggest cash had been €7,500 for a 39th place in the 2011 Irish Open €3,300 Main Event.
Final Table Payouts:
1st - Philipp Salewski, Germany, €111,674 *
2nd - Dominik Alexander Kabas, Germany, €92,011 *
3rd - Jozef Komorny, Slovakia, €81,093 *
4th - Karel Kovarik, Czech Republic, €76,522 *
5th - Andrei Kurdyukov, Russi, €39,680
6th - Werner Nather, Germany, €29,000
7th - Filip Zak, Czech Republic, €21,400
8th - Markus Kowalski, Germany, €15,500
9th - Patrick Vogelsanger, Switzerland, €11,300