As their counterpart in the United States, the World Poker Tour, wraps up their Season XII schedule on Saturday night, the European Poker Tour began the final leg of its Season Ten scheduled with their Grand Final at the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco. Day 1A of the Main Event is in the books and the €100,000 Super High Roller tournament has concluded.
€10,000 Main Event
Rather than step into the beautiful city (and the beautiful people) of Monaco, 214 players decided to spend their day inside the confines of the Monte Carlo Casino for Day 1A of the EPT Grand Final Main Event. The players who made up the Day 1A starting field read like a “Who’s Who” of the professional tournament circuit, with players such as Mike Watson, Mike McDonald, Mark Teltscher, Maria Ho, Justin Bonomo, Erik Seidel and Isaac Haxton on hand for the first card in the air. Haxton, a Team PokerStars Pro, was joined by compatriots Bertrand Grospellier, George Danzer, Jake Cody and Fatima Moreira de Melo as the first level rolled along.
One of the most watched arrivals of the day was that of Vicky Coren-Mitchell, who became the first player to ever win two EPT events by taking down last week’s EPT Sanremo Main Event. Unfortunately for Coren-Mitchell, her stay on the coast of the Mediterranean was cut short when her pocket Queens were routed by Chris Oliver’s pocket Aces. Coren-Mitchell was her ever self-deprecating self as she Tweeted, “Well, I’m afraid there won’t be a three-time EPT champion THIS season…It would have been too soon anyway, wouldn’t it?”
There was that mood of playfulness throughout the Monte Carlo Casino through Saturday’s Day 1A play. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t some players who weren’t taking advantage of what will be probably the smaller of the two Day One fields. By the end of the day, Samir Hadad had been able to accrue 178,100 in chips over a strong field of players behind him.
1. Samir Hadad, 178,100
2. Talal Shakerchi, 159,500
3. J. C. Alvarado, 145,000
4. Tom Middleton, 124,000
5. Timo Echhert, 116,000
6. Simon Deadman, 115,000
7. Nick Maimone, 114,800
8. Mark Teltscher, 114,000
9. Gil Morgenstern, 110,700
10. Sotirios Koutoupas, 102,300
Lurking beneath these players are Elio Fox (99,700), Micah Raskin (88,200), Jonathan Karamalikis (87,400) and Grospellier (72,700) among the 117 players who made it through the day. Those that will be enjoying Monaco a bit more than they might like include Jonathan Duhamel, Vanessa Selbst, Patrik Antonius, Seidel and Haxton.
The players for Day 1B will convene at 12PM in Monaco (5AM East Coast time) when the final field will be determined for the 2014 EPT Grand Final Main Event.
€100,000 Super High Roller
Battling through a 50 player field that contributed 62 entries, Dan Colman was able to defeat Dan “Jungleman” Cates to capture the championship of the EPT Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller event, which took place alongside Day 1A of the EPT Grand Final Main Event.
Rono Lo led the final table of eight to the line on Saturday afternoon with a nice lead, but the competitors behind him were waiting to attack. Ole Schemion, Cates, Paul Phua, Colman, Richard Yong, Olivier Busquet and an extremely short-stacked Igor Kurganov were all in contention for the title and the €1.8 million first place prize. Schemion would draw the first significant action in the tournament when, holding pocket Queens, he fell behind Yong’s K-8 on a K-4-7 rainbow flop before catching up with a Queen on the turn to take a big pot.
To say that the pace of the final table was glacial would be an understatement. It wasn’t until the 69th hand of play that Busquet, who saw his chip stack crushed down to crumbs on the previous hand, was dispatched by Cates. That seemed to get things moving a bit as, only three hands later, Schemion was eliminated by Colman, who would use those chips to move into the lead. After 100 hands of play, though, six players still remained.
After the players took a dinner break, the next elimination would occur. Phua would push all-in pre-flop and Colman, after a pause, decided to make the call from the small blind. Phua had a suited 8-7 to take to battle against Colman’s A-J and the 10-J-4 flop actually helped him in bringing a few more outs. A seven on the turn brought a couple more for Phua, but a King on the river wasn’t one of them as he departed in sixth place.
Lo was never able to get much going throughout the final table play. His chip stack slowly dwindled and, following a bet from Cates on Hand 124, he would push all in. Kurganov would make the call, allowing Cates to get out of the way, and Kurganov showed a dominant A-J over Lo’s K-9. An Ace on the flop was good for Kurganov, but Lo picked up a flush draw. Kurganov would fade that draw on the turn and river, dumping Lo from the tournament in fifth place.
Yong would be eliminated ten hands later as he tried to push Colman off a 7-3-5 flop with a K-J bluff. It might have worked had Colman not hit a set with his pocket fives. Drawing dead to only chopping the pot, a nine on the turn sealed Yong’s fate in fourth place.
At this point, the three remaining players – Colman, Cates and Kurganov – discussed the possibility of chopping the remaining prize pool. After some discussion, they split it according to chip counts and virtually equally. They did save back some money for the first and second place finisher to give them something to play for.
Although each man was guaranteed more than €1.1 million for their efforts, they still fought as if everything was on the line. It would take over forty hands of play before Kurganov was sent away from the table, his A-2 being run down by Colman’s Q-8 on an A-Q-10-9-8 board. Even with that hand, Colman entered heads up with Cates at a four million chip disadvantage.
It would take Colman all of five hands to take the lead from Cates and “Jungleman” wouldn’t see the lead again. Although it would take 17 hands to achieve the goal, Colman, on the final hand, called a Cates all-in and showed a K-6. Cates could only muster a Q-10 for the fight and the 3-9-6 flop didn’t help matters. Looking for six outs, Cates instead saw another trey and an Ace on the river come, eliminating him in second and crowning Dan Colman the Super High Roller champion.
1. Dan Colman, €1,539,300*
2. Dan Cates, €1,283,700*
3. Igor Kurganov, €1,128,300*
4. Richard Yong, €637,600
5. Rono Lo €493,340
6. Paul Phua, €385,000
7. Ole Schemion, €307,000
8. Olivier Busquet, €241,000
* – reflects three-way deal