EPT selection for Mixed Game Player of the Year. As reported by Brad Willis a few days ago, such a selection was too difficult to obtain, so the eight finalist are joined here today for a Sit and Go to determine the award's rightful owner. What better way to test their skill than to play in the 8-game rotation:
Limit Triple Draw Deuce to Seven
Limit Hold Em'
Limit Omaha Eight or Better
Limit Stud Eight or Better
No Limit Hold Em'
Pot Limit Omaha
Our lineup with half of them patched up as Team PokerStars Pros:
Katja Thater (Team Germany)
Ben Kang (Team Germany)
Joe Hachem (Team Australia)
Alex Kravchenko (Team Russia)
And the other foursome looking to snag that Mixed Game Player of Year trophy stuffed with a package to the EPT Season 7's Tallinn, Estonia event:
Scott "BigRiskky" Clements (Runner up and 3rd place in Omaha Eight or Better at $10,000 and $5,000 buy-in events at last year's World Series of Poker)
Mike "gordo16" Gorodinsky (winner of the NAPT Carribean Poker Adventure 8-Game tourney for $105,540)
Matthias "mattes123" Kuerschner
Ilari "Fabahaba" Tahkokallio (Runner-up at EPT Germany stop for $817,417 and won the PLH/PLO side event at 2009 EPT London for almost $48K)
The eight would start on two tables since 8-Game is played six handed here's how the players looked all fresh with their 8,000 chip stacks and six minute rotations between the games:
Table one's lineup:
Table two's lineup:
Scott "BigRiskky" Clements
Mike "gordo16" Gorodinsky
The second round of NLHE (blinds 150/300 ante 40) proved to be deadly for two of our elite eight. First, Matthias "mattes123" Kuerschner down to just 1,845 chips looked at A♥9♦ on the button and shoved into Ilari "Fabahaba" Tahkokallio's big blind who covered and made the call with Q♠J♦. A jack would hit the end of the flop [Kd 8♦ J♣ 7♦ 4♣ and beat out Kuerschner's ace-high for the 4,000 chip pot reducing our field to seven.
Germany vs. Russia
Two hands later Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko tried to make a move in a blind vs. blind battle with fellow PokerStars Pro Ben Kang. A short-stacked Kravchenko tried to shove for 3,306 chips holding T♥J♦ but the well-stocked Kang had plenty of chips to spare and a decent A♣T♠ in his hand to make the call. Both players would flop their kickers A♥ 7♠ J♥, but Kravchenko couldn't find trips on the turn and river 3♣ 5♣ finishing in seventh place sending everyone to one table.
Here's how our final six stacked up after combining the two tables:
Seat 1: JoeHachem (11700 in chips)
Seat 2: BigRiskky (8225 in chips)
Seat 3: Katja Thater (6002 in chips)
Seat 4: gordo16 (6073 in chips)
Seat 5: BenKang (22694 in chips)
Seat 6: Fabahaba (9306 in chips)
Big Risk, Big Reward
Ben Kang fell on hard times quickly after coming to the final table of six with a third of the chips in play. While in the third round of Deuce to Seven and bets at 1000/2000, Kang would three-bet all-in for 740 over BigRiskky's raise for less than the full raise amount as Clements made the call. Kang drew two the first draw as Clements took one. One card for Kang on the second draw as Clements stood pat, same action on the third draw as Clements flipped up a nine 9♠ 6♣ 4♣ 3♠ 2♦ beating out Kang's draw to an eight that ended with a pair 8♦ 3♥ 8♥ 5♦ 7♣ also ending Ben's game in sixth place.
Nines are easy to find
Check out Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem's search for a nine while knotted up with Mike "gordo16" Gorodinsky who is all-in preflop:
Hachem's 9♦K♠ would find the winning nine on the turn 3♥ 6♣ T♠ 9♠ A♠ overcoming the preflop disadvantage to Gorodinsky's J♣K♥ and taking down the 8,298 chip pot.
Sevens, Sevens, Sevens, Oi, Oi, Oi
While still in the Limit Hold Em' section and blinds at 1200/2400, Hachem would open for a raise from the button as Clements three-bet from the small blind and Hachem called to see a 9♦ 7♦ 5♠ flop. Clements led out as Joe Hachem raised, Clements three-bet, as Hachem capped and Clements made the call all-in for less.
BigRiskky: A♠ A♥
JoeHachem: 7♣ 7♠
No getting away from rockets at this point, but the former Main Event champ had flopped a set of sevens which would take down the 16,250 chip pot after an ace failed to hit the 3♣ turn and T♥ river.
One less World Series bracelet holder left
The former world champ's chip leading stack would take a turn for the worse during Omaha Hi/Lo after not being able to catch much and with blinds 800/1600 catching a worth while hand early was crucial. Unfortunately, Joe Hachem was left with just 2,610 chips after the game moved on to Razz and was nearly forced to call Katja Thater's completion showing a 6♠ to the World Series of Poker Razz champ's 5♣. Thater would show a seven 3♠ A♦ / 5♣ K♦ 2♦ 7♦ / 3♣ to take out Hachem's ten 4♣ 8♣ / 6♠ 9♦ 4♠ T♥ / 9♥ and take the 5,620 setting up heads-up play.
Heads-up for the trophy
With nether player holding more than nine big bets, it would take some timely bets and a little luck to take home the EPT Mixed Game POY trophy today.
Katja Thater (27,234 in chips)
Ilari "Fabahaba" Tahkokallio (36,766 in chips)
After taking down a huge 40,800 chip pot in Razz (what else?) Thater maintained the lead going into the final hand in Stud Eight or Better (limits 3000/6000). With a 47,834 to 16,166 chip lead both player would cap third street Thater showing 8♦ and Tahkoallio a J♠. Fourth street brought a 4♦ to Thater and 3♣ to Ilari as after a few raises Tahkokallio was all-in holding split jacks T♠J♦ to Thater's low draw and an ace 7♠A♥. Thater would pair up on fifth 4♠ as Ilari missed with the 2♣. Q♣ for Thater on sixth missed the low draw again as Tahkokallio still led with the jacks 6♥. But, a lady for the lady on the river Q♠ gave Thater two pair as Tahkokallio missed hitting trips Q♦ sending the 32,332 chip pot and the EPT Mixed Game Player of the Year award to Team PokerStars Pro Katja Thater.
Congratulations to the German pro who wins the EPT Mixed Game Player of the Year trophy and will be freerolling the first EPT Season Seven event in Tallinn.