The poker action at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic is certainly heating up as the latest event went to 6AM before it was completed. That event, the €25,000 High Roller, was taken down by Michael Addamo, who became the third man this year to capture a bracelet in both Las Vegas and Rozvadov.
Guaranteed Prize Pool Blown Away
There was some initial concern that the field size wouldn’t make the €1 million guarantee for the event. Not only did the players come out in droves, but they were able to crush the guarantee by more than three times. By the start of Thursday’s Day 2 and the close of late registration, 133 entries had been received in the tournament to set a prize pool of more than €3 million and a first-place prize of €848,702.
49 survivors from Day 1 were joined by 9 newcomers to the field who beat the late registration clock, meaning that it was going to be a long day for the High Rollers as they played to a champion. Addamo started the day as the chip leader on an 8.12 million stack, but the challengers were aplenty around him. Jean-Noel Thorel was the one who was closest to him with a decent 5.91 million stack, but other contenders including Kristen Bicknell (3.89 million), Dominik Nitsche (3.02 million) and the defending champion of the event, Niall Farrell (1.575 million) were in the pack.
Once the final entries were added to the kitty, the €3,158,750 prize pool crushed the €1 million guarantee that had been put up by the King’s Casino. Only 20 players would be able to take part in the bounty, however, which made much of Thursday’s action quite tense as the players tried to stick around to get the €38,365 payday that would come to the min-cashers.
Liv Boeree was one of the first players out on Thursday, but she had plenty of company. Michael Soyza, Ryan Riess, Adrian Mateos, Christoph Vogelsang, Stefan Schillhabel, Sergio Aido, Steffen Sontheimer and Igor Kurganov were all out of the event before the money bubble was even close. Once Manig Loeser dismissed Fabrizio Gonzalez from the tournament in 21st place, his A-2 catching a deuce on a 10-6-2-7-7 board to run down Gonzalez’s A-J off suit, the final 20 players were determined.
On to the Bracelet!
The work was far from over, however. There was still a bracelet to hand out to one of the fortunate competitors and the players went to work on determining who this player would be. Loeser had taken over the lead with his knockout of Gonzalez, but Matthias Eibinger and Timothy Adams had taken over the top slots on the board by the time the play reached two tables (16 players). Kempe, Nitsche and Loeser rounded out the Top Five, but Addamo was just off the table as the sixth-place player as the action continued.
When the final table bubble popped, it did so in dramatic fashion. Adams made the initial raise to 1.2 million and Eibinger moved all in on him for 12 million total. But it was Benjamin Pollak who was the curious one as he analyzed both opponents’ stacks and made the call on Eibinger’s stack. Now the decision was on Adams, who shot his chips into the pot and put his tournament life on the line.
Once the hands came up, the hand played itself:
Timothy Adams: pocket Kings
Benjamin Pollak: pocket Queens
Matthias Eibinger: Q♣ J♣
Perhaps Eibinger’s move was the only surprise pre-flop, but more was to come. The Q-10-3 impossibly brought the one-outer to Pollak and there was a club as well to give Eibinger hopes for a backdoor flush draw. Eibinger’s dreams were ended on a six turn and an Ace on the river shot down Adams, leaving Pollak to scoop the 42 million-plus pot and take over the lead heading to the final table.
There were more changes to come in the event. Just as soon as the final table got seated, Winfred Yu took out Loeser in eighth place and Christian Rudolph eliminated James Romero in seventh place to emerge as challengers to Pollak. Rudolph and Yu weren’t happy with rising as challengers, clashing with each other after Rudolph trapped Yu on a 2-8-9 flop after flopping a set of nines and Yu had four to a diamond flush. That diamond flush failed to come home for Yu, who departed the table in sixth place as Rudolph passed Pollak for the lead.
Addamo, meanwhile, drifted to the basement of the five players remaining. He got a bit healthier after doubling up through Rudolph, but Rudolph replaced those chips in eliminating Nitsche in fifth place. But Addamo kept coming, chopping huge chunks of chips from both Pollak and Rudolph to pass the 30K mark.
Arguably the biggest hand of the tournament occurred with four handed play. Addamo, in the small blind, pushed his 25 million stack in against the big blind Pollak. Pollak mulled his decision for a few moments, getting a count, before making the call – which turned out to be correct. Pollak’s A-J off suit was ahead of Addamo’s K♥ 9♥, but the flop is a cruel mistress. Coming down K-9-9, Pollak was left with slim and none chances that became none once the turn blanked on him. The duo switched positions after this blow, with Addamo taking over the lead with 51.6 million in chips and Pollak shot down to only 14 million.
This hand seemed to energize Addamo as he quickly dispatched of Mikita Badziakouski in fourth place and, after doubling up Rudolph, took out Pollak in third place. He held a slim lead of three million chips over Rudolph going to heads up play, but that disappeared on the first hand of battle. The war between the duo raged on for more than three hours before the end would come.
On the final hand Rudolph, who had been chopped down when Addamo miraculously rivered two pair against Rudolph’s pair of Queens moments earlier, pushed all in and Addamo immediately made the call. Rudolph had done the right thing in pushing with any Ace (A-7 off suit) and Addamo had made the right move in calling with any two (in this case, pocket fives). The twosome sweat out the Q-8-3-8 flop and turn and, once the 10♥ came on the river, the tournament was over and Addamo was the champion.
1. Michael Addamo, €848,702
2. Christian Rudolph, €524,532
3. Benjamin Pollak, €370,219
4. Mikita Badziakouski, €266,767
5. Dominik Nitsche, €196,328
6. Winfred Yu, €147,642
7. James Romero, €113,505
8. Manig Loeser, €89,253