Written by Will Shillibier
Four bracelets. Four EPT Main Event titles. Four PCA High and Super High Roller titles. Not to mention more than $60 million in combined tournament earnings. This is just one of those fascinations that the high roller event sometimes turns up. But then a star-studded and record breaking field is bound to form an astonishing table of poker players sooner or later.
This perfect storm looked like this.
Eugene Katchalov won the 2011 WSOP $1,500 Seven-card stud event, but most notably both the 2011 PCA Super High Roller and High Roller events.
Mike McDonald won the EPT4 Dortmund Main Event and has had a great 2014, coming second in the Aussie Millions $100,000 challenge and days later in the $250,000 Challenge.
Doesn’t look like a scary stare to us: Mike McDonald
Mark Teltscher won his EPT title in London in Season 2, and came second in Barcelona a season later.
Jeff Rossiter came second in the Guangdong Asia Millions for $3.1 million
Dimitar Danchev, the EPT9 PCA Main Event champion
Scott Seiver, a bracelet winner in 2008 who won the PCA Super High Roller in 2013.
Max Lykov, the EPT6 Kiev Main Event champion, with a bracelet in 2011.
Alexander Bilokur, a bracelet winner this year in the $10k pot-limit hold’em as well as being the 2012 PCA High Roller champion.
(Add all of this together for more than $50 million in live tournament earnings)
Then, as I arrived at the table, there was that unnerving Mike McDonald stare, this time directed at Teltscher, but only briefly, as the Canadian was ready to fold. But this was still the early stages of the High roller event. That didn’t mean there was any shortage of action
Lykov, was the one causing McDonald some problems, but it was in a pot against Seiver in which the action got interesting.
On a board of 4♠J♠10♠10♦ Seiver’s bet was called by Lykov and with the river bringing the king of spades Seiver moved all-in, putting Lykov at risk. But Lykov insta-called with his pocket kings, rivering a full house. Seiver tried to muck his cards, but was forced to show his 6♦7♦. A bluff gone wrong.
Railing the High Rollers
A little later, it was McDonald who came up against Lykov in a pre-flop raising war. It ended with Lykov six-betting all in, and McDonald couldn’t wait to get his chips in the middle, showing A♥A♦. Lykov shook his head as he turned over his two black tens. A flop of J♦J♠6♦ brought no help. The K♠ on the turn left the Russian needing a ten on the river to double-up. The dealer duly obliged. The 10♦ landing to eliminate McDonald.
Plenty of action in the early stages. Plenty more to come.
Will Shillibier is working for the PokerStars Blog at EPT11 Barcelona.