December 14, 2008 (InfoPowa News) — Italian player Salvatore Bonavena has been crowned the Pokerstars European Poker Tour Prague champion after a wild ride of fluctuating chip leads and a tough, hour-long heads up against fellow Italian Massimo Di Cicco. It was the first EPT honor to go to an Italian player.
Bonavena survived an initial field of 570 entrants for the popular event, which included well known players like Dario Minieri, Davidi Kitai, Chris Moorman, Anthony Lellouche, Katja Thater, current WSOP champ Peter Eastgate and Alex Kravchenko.
By Day 3, the field was reduced to just 32 players, most of whom were eliminated over the next nine hours to leave a final table comprised of Salvatore Bonavena, in the chip lead with 1,402,000; Alexiou Konstantinos as his closest opponent on 1,382,000, followed by Francesco Cirianni, Fredrik Nygard, Massimo Di Cicco, Nasr El Nasr, Raul Mestre and Andrew Alan Chen.
Despite holding a strong position at the start, Bonavena's fortunes fluctuated, taking with it his chip lead on several occasions, but he managed to enter heads up play against Di Cicco still well ahead by almost 4 to 1, and after a tense hour of final action in the game he emerged the winner of the main prize of €774,000. Di Cicco's second placing was worth €445,000, with the 20-year-old Canadian player Andrew Alan Chen coming in third for a take home of €257,000.