The €10,000 High Roller at EPT9 Prague today crowned one of the most appropriate winners of any event in the history of the modern game. After a sensational 2012, during which he won two WPT titles, had two other six-figure cashes among a string of results as long as your arm, Marvin Rettenmaier out-lasted a super tough field to take this one down.
Rettenmaier was made to work for it. The final table featured Jason Mercier, Juha Helppi, Sorel Mizzi and Fabian Quoss, among others, and if you can outlast any of that lot, you deserve all you have coming to you. Rettenmaier has a cheque for €365,000 with his name on it - and also the plaudits for Bluff Magazine Player of the Year, which he has now wrestled from Dan Smith.
The final table threatened to be over before we had even blinked as the high rollers, returning to an average stack of only 24 big blinds, soon started rolling out the door. Mizzi's chip-leading overnight stack was sliced in two on the first hand, when Mercier got a much-needed double up. But then Mercier started spreading it around the table and pretty much the only move in anyone's armory was a shove.
Andrey Gulyy went, then Mercier. Then Marcin Wydrowski (recent WPT Prague winner) and then Mizzi. There was barely a 15 minute interval between them. Only when they got four handed, with Philippe Ktorza joining Helppi, Quoss and Rettenmaier, did matters slow slightly. But any ace was still good enough and when Ktorza found A♣7♠ on the button, he jammed straight into Rettenmaier's A♥K♥ in the big blind.
The last three finally had stacks sufficient to play some real poker, having caught up the precipitous blinds. But when two legitimate hands go up against one another, there's nothing anyone can do. Helppi bust when he flopped top pair with A♦J♦ against Quoss's A♠7♠. But by the time all the money went in on the turn, Quoss had now seen another seven. Helppi was out of help.
The heads up encounter was one for the purists, though, and lasted long enough for the swings to go both this way and that. It was also one for the Germans, who totally whiffed the main event but who had the final two of the High Roller. Not a bad consolation prize.
Quoss led, then Quoss led some more. Then Rettenmaier stormed back. Then Rettenmaier took over the lead. Then Quoss won some. Then Quoss edged ahead. But eventually, after a couple of hours, Rettenmaier got the decisive breaks and ploughed into a lead that he would not relinquish.
The final hand was A♦2♣ for Rettenmaier and K♥T♥ for Quoss and although both hit their high cards, Rettenmaier's was highest. That, eventually, was the end of that and Mad Marvin adds another bunch of cash, plus a Shambala Bracelet, to his sensational haul for the year.
Although plenty of side events are still playing here in Prague, as well as the dramatic final stages of the main event, that's the last we'll see of the High Rollers for 2012. It's been emotional. And wealthy.
Congratulations to Marvin Rettenmaier -- watch the video wrap below -- and see you all in the New Year.
Full result from EPT9 Prague €10,000 High Roller final table:
1st - Marvin Rettenmaier, Germany - €365,300
2nd - Fabian Quoss, Germany - €210,300
3rd - Juha Helppi, Finland - €121,800
4th - Philippe Ktorza, France - €96,900
5th - Sorel Mizzi, Canada - €74,800
6th - Marcin Wydrowski, Poland - €55,500
7th - Jason Mercier, USA, Team PokerStars Pro - €44,200
8th - Andrey Gulyy, Russia - €33,200
9th - Aubin Cazals, France - €27,700
10th - Morten Klein, Norway - €27,700
11th - Gurgen Melkonyan, Russia - €25,000
12th - Eugene Katchalov, Ukraine, Team PokerStars Pro - €25,000
Read more: http://www.pokernews.com/live-reporting/2012-pokerstars-net-ept-prague/high-roller/payouts.htm