After negotiating a deal that basically ensured both would receive the same payday, Ole Schemion defeated Mustapha Kanit in heads up action to take down the championship of the European Poker Tour’s €100,000 Super High Roller event on Saturday night.
The final eight men presented one of the more difficult final tables that you’ll see. While Ali Reza Fatehi was at the top of the table, Stephen Chidwick, Igor Kurganov, Sam Greenwood, Ivan Luca, Paul Newey, Schemion and Kanit were seated in the other seats. All but Newey, Greenwood and Luca were situated with seven-figure stacks, ensuring that there would be some play once the stacks deepened up a bit. After Newey (who started with only 250K in chips) doubled up on the first two hands, he got out of the danger zone and could actually muster some offense against his tablemates.
After Newey’s renewal of life, some of the men at the top came back to the pack. Kurganov, at this final table for the third year in a row, made a misstep bluffing into Luca, who found his J-4 offsuit turn into a K-Q-4-K-4 river boat as Kurganov bluffed with an A-6. As Kurganov’s stack fell to around 800K, Greenwood would slow play his pocket Kings into allowing Kanit to river a straight with his 9-2 offsuit on an 8-6-5-2-7 board. After calling a Kanit bet, Greenwood would fall to only 440K in chips as the tournament moved on.
On the very hand following Greenwood’s slow play, the first elimination would occur. After a bet from a frisky Kanit on the button, Luca shoved his stack from the small blind and Kanit wasted little time in calling. Luca’s pocket Jacks looked great, but they were cooled by Kanit’s pocket Queens; once the river failed to bring any knave to the festivities, Luca was on the rail in eighth place.
Greenwood never recovered from the hand against Kanit, his chips slowly bleeding out to the table as he got his final ducats to the center in the small blind against Kanit. Greenwood’s 7-5 off suit didn’t measure up to Kanit’s 10-5, but the board brought both a piece of the action in coming down 6-10-7. A King on the turn didn’t help anyone and, on Greenwood’s request, the river card was dealt face down for a squeeze. As Greenwood peered for another seven, he instead saw a deuce to end his tournament in seventh place.
Kanit would prove to be perplexing during the tournament, his chip stack roller-coastering through the afternoon as he freely splashed chips around. Kurganov and Fatehi would surge back during Level 20, with both men holding the chip lead at one point. Chidwick, however, wouldn’t be as fortunate, instead tussling with Newey on two consecutive hands and coming out on the losing end both times to head out in sixth place.
Kanit would find the “up” button for his day (and stay there) in a huge hand that saw him double and Fatehi fall. On a 3♣ 6♦ 7♣ K♣ 3♠ board, Kanit would find a call of Fatehi’s all in with only his J♣ 8♣ for an OK flush. Fatehi, however, had nothing but air with his Q-J off suit, sending a huge pile of his chips to Kanit as he took over the chip lead with a 5.58 million pool.
Despite his early heroics that kept him around much longer than probably anyone thought, Newey’s fortunes came to a close soon after the Kanit/Fatehi clash. With pocket eights, Newey bet out pre-flop and Schemion made the big blind defense with a Q♣ 6♣ to see everyone get a piece of the 9♦ 8♣ 10♣ flop. Schemion pushed his stack in and Newey called for less, pleased with his bottom set but sweating a multitude of cards that could beat him. The 3♣ was one of those cards, but Newey still had some hope with a paired board. A K♦ failed to give Newey what he was looking for as he exited the stage in fifth place, a vast improvement over where he started the day’s action.
Kanit would finish off Kurganov in fourth (after much of Kurganov’s stack went to Fatehi) to try to keep pace with Schemion, but Schemion would bring the party down to two when he rivered an unnecessary Aces up two pair to vanquish Fatehi’s pocket fives. As he entered the battle with Kanit holding nearly nine million chips to Kanit’s 6.2 million, the action was paused as the gentlemen decided to discuss a deal. After some number crunching, it was determined that Schemion would pocket €1,547,800 and Kanit €1,462,000, leaving €50K and the trophy in the center as an added bonus to the eventual champion.
After the deal was set, the tournament quickly concluded. Perhaps because of an adjustment in the timing of the levels (both men agreed to reduce the duration to 20 minutes), the duo started jamming chips, with Schemion coming out on top more often than not. Within 30 minutes of the resumption of action, Schemion closed the deal when they actually had real hands – Schemion’s pocket Queens found what was thought to be a useless Queen on the flop for a set against Kanit’s pocket sevens, until the river brought a seven for Kanit’s own second-best set. With that, the tournament was over and Ole Schemion crowned the champion.
1. Ole Schemion, €1,597,800*
2. Mustaphan Kanit, €1,462,000*
3. Ali Reza Fatehi, €828,500
4. Igor Kurganov, €627,300
5. Paul Newey, €485,300
6. Stephen Chidwick, €378,750
7. Sam Greenwood, €301,820
8. Ivan Luca, €236,750
(* – denotes two-way deal)
These men are already there, so perhaps they’ll be jumping into Day 1B of the EPT Grand Final Main Event, which will take place on Sunday. For now, Ole Schemion will enjoy the nearly two million extra Euros in his bank account as the final stop for the European Poker Tour’s Season 12 schedule plays out.