Following yesterday’s main event final table, the European Poker Tour’s sixth season wound down with celebrations, big cheques and a few extra takes to get the winner’s smile just right. Then, to finish off, there was a lavish EPT Awards ceremony at the Karement Club, a few minutes’ walk away from the Salle des Etoiles.
While the winners toasted their success late into the night, eight others knew their EPT season was not quite complete. They still had the high roller event to see through to the end, a showcase of panache, gall and talent that would feature none of the caginess that turned yesterday’s main event final into a long and tense standoff.
Instead, when Germany’s Tobias Reinkemeier beat Olivier Busquet heads up to win the first prize of €956,000 tonight, it was after a speedy and enticing scrap, one of high spirits and high stakes that left a refreshing reminder that a seventh season of the EPT is already on the way.
High Roller winner Tobias Reinkemeier
It took five one-hour levels to wrap this one up, from Michael Friedrich’s first hand shove with ace-four to Busquet’s departure with ace-deuce.
That climax came about when Reinkemeier called Busquet with pocket queens, a hand that held firm to make him an EPT High Roller champion, bettering his sixth place finish the $25k event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.
After Friedrich’s first hand departure, Allen Bari departed in seventh while Sorel Mizzi, who extended the number of final tables he’s reached since January to nine today, departed in sixth place.
Paul Berende, who was a late entrant to the high roller event on day one after busting in 24th place from the Grand Final main event, span up his €50,000 pay day from that with the €191,200 he made from this.
NAPT Venetian winner Tom Marchese added another result to his 2010 resume, finishing fourth, while the amiable Dori Yacoub, who doesn’t appear on any database anywhere, was unable to make it a double win for Lebanon (after his friend Nicolas Chouity won the main event), but was a match for most, earning a good third.
For his part Olivier Busquet, a WPT champion from New York, would have made an equally worthy winner. Both players displayed the type of cold bloodedness that makes a high roller event a unique and fascinating beast. Long may they continue to feature on the EPT calendar.
The full result of the high roller final:
1. Tobias Reinkemeier, Germany, €956,000
2. Olivier Busquet, USA, €597,600
3. Dori Yacoub, Lebanon, €358,500
4. Tom Marchese, USA, €263,000
5. Paul Berende, Holland, €191,200
6. Sorel Mizzi, Canada, €143,400
7. Allen Bari, USA, €109,900
8. Michael Friedrich, Switzerland, €81,300
If the thought of three and a half months of EPT-free life is too difficult to contemplate the links below can be clicked on as many times as you like between now and Tallinn in August.
So we say for the last time this season that you can read similar accounts of the day’s action on our gibberish sister blogs, in German, Swedish, Italian, Dutch and French. Photography was provided, as ever, by Neil Stoddart, who worked off an upturned orange crate in the deserted tournament room today. Moving images come courtesy of PokerStars.tv and you can find all the scores from the high roller event on the prizes page.
That’s it. Time now to risk our lives crossing the racetrack for one last €20 club sandwich at the hotel. Thanks for reading our EPT coverage this week and during the entire season – EPT Tallinn, in Estonia, starting August 11, can’t come soon enough.
Until then it’s goodbye from Monte Carlo.