There has been much discussion over the past few days after William Kassouf won the EPT Prague 10k High Roller; following a deal with Patrick Serda that awarded more money to Patrick and the title and trophy for Will. I would like to offer my version of the events and some of my own thoughts.
How/why was I involved?
I was fortunate enough to have purchased a small piece of Patrick’s second bullet in the high roller. I was on the rail to offer support and advice for the latter half of the final table. A deal was discussed 3 handed but quickly nixed after Patrick and Tue Hansen both wanted more money. Patrick having the majority of the chips shoved Q7 blind versus blind and won versus the AJ of Tue. The clock was paused to discuss a heads up deal with Patrick having roughly a 4-1 chip lead.
My goal was to get Patrick the best deal possible.
I believe Patrick had a strong position going into the deal. He had more headsup experience at both short and deep stack depths, momentum and obviously a 4-1 chip lead.
Negotiations were slow and arduous, Patrick wanted more money and Will didn’t want to budge much. All signs looked like we were going to play; and then I had an idea.
Offering Will the Title was MY idea
I asked Patrick how much he cared about the title/trophy, he said it would be nice but it wasn’t hugely important to him and maximizing EV was more important. I then proposed to Will that if it was allowed by the tournament organisers, did he want to take the trophy and title in exchange for a $10k difference than chip chop numbers.
The tournament director at first told us that any deal would have to award the title to the player with more chips, only to be told minutes later that anything we wanted to do was fine. It was on.
Will consulted with his friends and the expert opinion of British pro Adam Owen; Adam did a fantastic job of breaking down the deal to Will and representing his best interests throughout with no financial incentive.
Despite pretty much all of his friends telling him to take the deal Will wanted to fight on, he wondered if he’d regret having “not gone for it”. I strongly felt the deal was great for both parties, Patrick would get more money and Will would cement himself in poker history, not a one hit wonder. I believe that if Will plays his cards right after making the deal he would stand to profit significantly more in future career opportunities.
Repeated attempts at number lower than $10k were refused by Patrick. Thomas Lamatsch, the head tournament director, was called and eventually after almost 30 minutes a clock was called on Will. With the seconds counting down Will shook hands with Patrick and the deal was done.
I’d love to see more coverage of the deals made by the poker media, I feel often they are an extension of the heads up battle with each side trying to get the edge over their opponent
While I don’t agree with everything Will does at the table, particularly the speed of his play; off the table he is one of the nicest guys around.
He’s gone from grinding the UK tournament circuit and small stakes cash to having an amazing run in the WSOP Main Event and taking down one of the largest and last EPT High Roller in history. He’s living proof that the poker dream is not dead.
Congratulations to William and Patrick!