Going into this past weekend, Dan Smith was already putting together one heck of a year at the poker tables. Now, after winning the European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller Event, he is making a run at having the best year of any live tournament player this year.
When the 8-handed final table began Sunday, Smith held 5.108 million chips, leading an extremely divided field. After Smith, Mike “Timex” McDonald had 4.650 million chips and JC Alvarado had 3.116 million, giving the top three players more than 80 percent of the chips in play. Nobody else had more than 700,000. The rest of the field, which included Erik Seidel and Ilari Sahamies, had four players in the 600,000 chip range, with short stack Jim McCrink sitting with just 500,000.
And frankly, it was fairly smooth sailing for Dan Smith on his way to the title. He did relinquish the chip lead, but not for very long, and was never anywhere close to being felted. While he played well and had the chips to throw around, it’s not like he didn’t benefit from a little luck. But then again, what tournament winner doesn’t at some point? With just four players remaining, Smith and Sahamies got into a raising war pre-flop, until both were all-in with Smith easily covering the Finn. Sahamies was in great shape to double up with A-Q suited versus Smith’s A-T suited, but Smith flopped a Ten and Sahamies couldn’t re-suck out. That increased Smith’s lead, giving him 9.655 million chips versus the 4.450 million of Alvarado and the 1.895 million of Mike Watson.
After Watson was eliminated in third place, Smith went into heads-up play with a five-to-three chip lead over Alvarado. Before they began, the two made a deal, agreeing that Smith would win €862,925 and Alvarado would receive €788,675, with €100,000 up for grabs.
Alvarado was able to snatch the chip lead away from Smith early on, but his view from the top was short lived, as Smith quickly wrested it back and proceeded to run away with the tournament. On the final hand, Smith went all-in with A-K and Alvarado called him with K-K. But like what happened earlier against Sahamies, Smith was able to flop the card he needed – an Ace – and take down the €50,000 Super High Roller Event, along with €962,925.
As mentioned earlier, this has been the year of Dan Smith’s poker life. In January, he won the $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em Challenge at the Aussie Millions, a win which earned him over $1 million. Then, in April, he pulled a trifecta at the EPT Grand Final. Dan Smith won three €5,000 No-Limit Hold’em events: Six-Handed, Six-Handed Turbo, and a good, old regular freezeout, good for around €520,000 (almost $690,000) total. Additionally, he placed third in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event at the 2012 World Series of Poker this summer ($368,943). Before this year, Dan Smith had less than $630,000 in career tournament winnings. He now has almost $4 million.
Have a year, Mr. Smith.
European Poker Tour (EPT) €50,000 Super High Roller Event – Final Table Results
1. Dan Smith – €962,925
2. JC Alvarado – €788,675
3. Mike Watson – €399,500
4. Ilari Sahamies – €291,900
5. Mike “Timex” McDonald – €215,100
6. Erik Seidel – €153,600
7. Talal Shakerchi – €138,300
8. Jim McCrink – €122,960