Remember when ‘Y2K panic’ was a thing? If you’re a young whippersnapper, perhaps you won’t. But essentially, as the year 2000 approached, there was a sense of dread in the air due to the digits of the year. People thought that when computers were reset to the 00, it would cause mass chaos and outages the world over.
We had a similar thing here tonight. Hubert Matuszewski and Vladas Tamasauskas were heads up, in the 12th hour of the day, with the blinds at 500K/1M, and just 50 big blinds in play, and yet we still couldn’t find a winner. But as the clock ticked down on the level, we noticed there was no ‘Next Level’ present on the screen. What would happen when it ticked down to zero? This tournament had gone on for so long that we were entering unchartered waters. Panic ensued.
The tournament was ‘FINISHED’ – or at least according to the clock. Instead of moving on to a new level, it stopped thinking the event must be over. In fact, what happened was the dealer had to ask the floor staff what the next level should be. ‘Level 40’ (600K/1.2M) and ‘Level 41’ (800K/1.6M) didn’t exist on the structure sheet until tonight. The two players battled it out for more than an hour in this unexplored territory (and for three hours total), before we finally found a winner.
Poland’s Hubert Matuszewski has just taken down the last ever Eureka Poker Tour Main Event for €193,298, defeating Lithuania’s Vladas Tamasauskas heads-up to finish off a marathon final table session. Tamasauskas was level-headed throughout the entire day, battling back when he was down in the same fashion that saw him win the UKIPT6 Dublin Main Event earlier this year. But in the end he couldn’t get past the man we started calling ‘The Hube’ (mainly through deliriousness).
This tournament was a record breaker in more ways than one and an excellent way to cap off the final Eureka Poker Tour Main Event. The Day 1A runners totalled 602, which when combined with the enormous Day 1B meant we had a total of 2,031 players. Their entry fees added up to a prize pool of €1,970,070, which was split between the last remaining 391.
Of course, someone has to finish 392nd, and you might recognise the man who did. EPT12 Malta winner Niall Farrell found himself with just three big blinds on the bubble and got them all-in on a flop holding an up-and-down straight draw. Needless to say, the Scot didn’t hit and ‘Firaldo87’ had to find another way to spend the rest of his Sunday.
Just 62 of the 617 Day 2 players made it through with chips, returning on Monday for Day 3. Tom Hall and Kristen Bicknell had deep runs (finishing in 32nd and 31st respectively), as did Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki. The sole representative of the red spade made it all way down to the final two tables, but was ultimately felted in 12th for €12,340.
A hectic end to the night saw two players bust in quick succession to leave us with the final table. First Jan Susicky (10th – €16,030) lost a race with pocket tens against Rosen Angelov’s ace-queen; then Ben Farrell lost his chips with ace-deuce to the ace-five of Vojtech Horut.
It was Italy’s Alessandro “ale779” Giordano who had a slight chip lead coming into the final table, closely followed by UKIPT6 Dublin Vladas Tamasauskas of Lithuania. The shortest stack belonged to Piotr Romanczukiewicz, and – as you might have expected – he was the first to fall today. He bet most of his chips pre-flop without actually going all-in, and after a mis-click by Vojtech Horut in which he tried to make a smaller raise, the bet was called and the rest of the chips would went in on the flop. Romancukiewicz had a flush draw versus Horut’s ace-high, but couldn’t hit. He won €22,500.
Frenchman Jawad Bengourane left us next, for €31,840. He opened and then called a a Rosen Angelov three-bet to see a Q♦10♥9♦ flop. Bengourane checked and then shoved over a 1.35 million continuation bet; it was bad timing though as he was snap-called. Angelov had the 9♣9♥ against Bengourane’s A♣Q♠, and the rest of the runout didn’t see him improve.
Rosen Angelov took a strong chip lead at this point and held onto it for quite a while. His closest competitor became Hubert Matuszewski after he knocked out James Juvancic in sixth for €45,030. It was Juvancic’s A♦Q♣ against the A♠7♠, and a seven on the turn delivered the knockout blow.
Five-handed play didn’t last long. It was just a couple of hands later when Rosen Angelov opened and was called by Vojtech Horut. They saw a 7♠7♥3♦ flop, and both checked to the K♠ turn. Horut chose this point to lead out for a bet, which Angelov called after a minute of thinking. The 10♣ river completed the board and Horut jammed for 2.8 million – a shove that Angelov couldn’t have called quicker with the A♠A♥ for slow-played pocket rockets. Horut had only the 5♦6♠ for a busted straight draw, and said his goodbyes as he went to collect €63,680.
Comparably, four-handed play lasted an age. The chips moved back and forth; Giordano was the shortie then doubled through Angelov, before Tamasauskas won a big pot from Matuszewski. Ultimately it would be Rosen Angelov who fell in fourth for €90,070, calling off his short stack with K♣6♣ against Matuszewski’s A♣J♦, which held up on the 2♦2♠2♣Q♥7♣ board.
When our trio regrouped, they started chatting about a deal. ICM numbers were proposed, but ultimately they couldn’t reach a decision and play continued as normal. More than two hours later, though, with slightly more even stacks as play got increasingly shallow, they cut a deal which would give Vladas Tamasauskas €188,157, Alessandro Giordano €180,694, and Hubert Matuszewski €173,298, leaving €20,000 for the winner. The blinds were 500K/1M/100K at this point, and the biggest stack was just 20 big blinds.
With big bucks secured, Alessandro Giordano made his exit in third. Hubert Matuszewski opened for 2 million from the button, and it folded to Alessandro Giordano who jammed from the big blind for 8.85 million. Matuszewski called and tabled the K♠6♠ while Giordano had the A♠2♣. The flop came K♥J♦3♣ to put Matuszewski in front, and neither the 8♣ turn nor 4♠ river could save Giordano. He went to collect his €180,694, and we were heads-up.
And it went on and on, as you already know. It had to end sometime, though.
First, with a 4:1 chip deficit, Vladas Tamasauskas doubled up with the K♠9♣ against Hubert Matuszewski’s A♠3♠. The board ran out 5♥6♣J♠6♥9♠ and the river saved him.
But then in the next hand it was Matuszewski’s turn to get lucky on the river. He opened jammed the button and Tamasauskas called. Matuszewski had the Q♠6♠ and Tamasauskas the A♣5♥; the flop fell 7♠A♥5♠, the turn the 4♣, and the 4♠ river gave Matuszewski a flush and the win.
And then it was over. Life had returned to normal. At least for us, anyway; Matuszewski’s may have just changed forever. The 37-year-old recreational player from Poland now has €193,298 to take home to his wife and two kids. That is, unless he fancies hopping in the EPT Main Event tomorrow…
Dates: December 09-13, 2016
Total prize pool: €1,970,070
*denotes three-handed deal
|1||Hubert Matuszewski||Poland||PokerStars player||€193,298*|
|2||Vladas Tamasauskas||Lithuania||PokerStars player||€188,157*|
|4||Rosen Angelov||Bulgaria||PokerStars qualifier||€90,070|
|5||Vojtech Horut||Czech Republic||PokerStars player||€63,680|
|7||Jawad Bengourane||France||Live satellite winner||€31,840|
|8||Piotr Romanczukiewicz||Poland||PokerStars player||€22,500|
Jack Stanton is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog. Photos by Tomas Stacha.