The festivities at the first stop for the European Poker Tour’s Season Ten have come to a conclusion, with Tom Middleton finishing off what he started in winning the Main Event and Thomas Muhlocker besting Daniel Negreanu in the €10,000 High Roller.
Middleton, who took over the lead in the Main Event on Day Four, stormed to the final table with a sizeable lead over the competition with 9.85 million. Kresten Nielsen held down the second place slot with his 7.3 million, while the rest of the field – Andreas Christoforou, Kimmo Kurko, Pasi Sormunen, Eduard Bhaggoe, Luca Fiorini and Benoit Gury – were scattered down the leaderboard.
Middleton wasted little time getting down to business, cracking the ten million chip mark only eight hands into play. Only nine hands after that, the first elimination would occur when Nielsen bet out with pocket tens and had Christoforou push all in over him with an A-J. Kurko (in the small blind) looked down and saw pocket Jacks, which brought an all-in from him over Christoforou’s stack. Nielsen agonized over the decision, eventually opting to release his hand, and Christoforou and Kurko were off to the races. The Q-10-5 flop would have hit Nielsen, but it kept Kurko in the lead against Christoforou. Two more blanks on the turn and river would send Christoforou to the exits in Barcelona as the eighth place finisher.
It wasn’t all a cakewalk for Middleton. He would double up Bhaggoe and lost a big pot to Nielsen to drop to only 7.4 million in chips and give Nielsen the lead. Kurko also put his name in the mix in eliminating Bhaggoe in seventh as Middleton continued to tumble down the leaderboard. Nielsen responded to Kurko’s challenge by knocking off Gury in sixth to move over 12 million chips, but then would give some of them and the lead to Kurko after Kurko cracked Nielsen’s pocket Aces when he rivered a straight against him.
Middleton slowly rebounded in five handed play, getting a nice pot off of Sormunen to get back up to eight million in chips. After Sormunen was eliminated by Fiorini, the final four players discussed a deal but were unable to come to a consensus. With the failed discussion out of the way, the four players went back to work to determine the first Main Event champion of Season Ten.
As the play continued, Middleton began to recapture his mojo. He chopped down Fiorini’s stack before taking the rest of it to send the Italian home in fourth, but Kurko would end the day for Nielsen to set up the heads up battle with both he and Middleton within two million chips of each other.
After almost two hours of play, Middleton seized control of the match. On a K-K-6-A flop and turn with almost 2.5 million in the center, Middleton and Kurko checked it down to see a nine on the river. Another double check had Kurko show his 6-5 for Kings and sixes, but Middleton showed an A-10 for a better two pair on the turn. With that hand, Middleton seized a 3:1 chip lead over Kurko and wouldn’t look back.
On the final hand, Kurko opened the betting with an A-4 off suit, only to see Middleton fire a three bet back at him with pocket fives. Kurko decided to make his stand here, pushing his stack to the center and Middleton immediately called. There were no miracles in the offering for Kurko as the board ran out 10-6-7-K-8 to end his day in second and crown Tom Middleton the champion in Barcelona.
1. Tom Middleton, €942,000
2. Kimmo Kurko, €750,000
3. Kresten Nielsen, €440,500
4. Luca Fiorini, €328,000
5. Pasi Sormunen, €253,000
6. Benoit Gury, €188,000
7. Eduard Bhaggoe, €143,000
8. Andreas Christoforou, €102,430
€10,000 High Roller
After a three day fight (and some other drama along the way), Thomas Muhlocker was able to defeat a resilient Daniel Negreanu to take down the €10,000 High Roller championship during the EPT Barcelona final day yesterday.
Nine players actually returned on Saturday (one more than the usual EPT final table) and it was a quality field. Former World Champion Jonathan Duhamel, 2013 WSOP “November Niner” David Benefield, Ole Schemion, Richard Yong and Negreanu were the notables on the felt with Schemion holding the lead after Raoul Refos was eliminated. Schemion kept the pressure on the field in knocking off Benefield in eighth and Yong in seventh before Negreanu came to life.
Negreanu put a halt to Schemion’s push when his pocket fives hit a set against Schemion’s flush draw and they held to double him up. Schemion never regained his momentum and was busted by Jean-Noel Thorel in sixth. Duhamel, who never got anything going on Saturday, was next out the door at the hands of Muhlocker in fifth place, while Joni Jouhkimainen was felted after running into Thorel’s pocket Aces in fourth.
Between Negreanu, Thorel and Muhlocker, Negreanu would prove to be the most aggressive. At one point, he held seven of the nine million chips in play and seemed to be in a dominant position when he dumped Thorel in third. Muhlocker, however, fought back and doubled up twice through Negreanu to take over the lead. On the final hand, Muhlocker once again had the edge with his A-K over Negreanu’s A-Q and, after the board ran an intriguing K-10-9-5-6, Muhlocker had come from behind to take the tournament from Negreanu.
1. Thomas Muhlocker, €390,700
2. Daniel Negreanu, €263,800
3. Jean-Noel Thorel, €181,500
4. Joni Jouhkimainen, €148,000
5. Jonathan Duhamel, €118,000
6. Ole Schemion, €90,700
7. Richard Yong, €66,000
8. David Benefield, €47,850