Don’t walk away from the table when you’re on a hot streak. That old gambling adage is often applied to poker cash games, where if you’re running hot and winning, that means others must be losing (and probably not playing their best). But it can also be true in tournaments.
Just ask Stefan Jedlicka. He arrived here in Malta, like everyone else, hoping for a good EPT festival with a decent score here and there. And boy, has he had a good festival. It started with a deep run in the IPT8 Malta Main Event (31st for €4,540). He followed that up a couple of days later with a win in the €2K IPT High Roller for €88,039. Two days after that he was at the final table of a €2K side event, in which he finished third for €35,600.
Jedlicka, who also took down the ESPT7 High Roller in Barcelona in August for €251,500, defeated Pierre Neuville heads-up to take down this €10K High Roller title. Neuville won €228,400 for his runner-up finish, which while very nice indeed, was not what the Belgian really hoped for. He wanted the title, and the trophy. Neuville had the chip lead coming in to the final table, and he never dipped below second in chips the entire way. But in the end Jedlicka proved too tough to crack.
Let’s rewind to 12:30pm. There were eight players coming back after yesterday’s Day 2, at which point they were all guaranteed a €43,300 payday. Here’s how they stacked up:
|Cristian Egues||Spain||Live satellite winner||1,515,000|
|Theo Jorgensen||Denmark||Team PokerStars Pro||982,000|
|Michael Kane||UK||Live satellite winner||810,000|
We got down to seven during the first level of play. Pierre Neuville opened and Kilian Kramer shoved 16 big blinds, and after a little thinking Neuville decided it was worth a call. He had king-ten against the German’s ace-queen, but a king on the flop put Neuville ahead and by the end he’d made a straight. Kramer banked the €43,300 and the action continued.
Neuville had a solid chip lead at this point, but Stefan Jedlicka was about to begin his ascent to the top of the counts. It started by busting Charlie Carrel in seventh place for €58,670. It was Carrel’s pocket threes against Jedlicka’s pocket sevens all-in pre-flop, and the bigger pair held. Don’t feel too bad for Carrel, mind; straight after busting he hopped in the small field of the €10K Bounty event, and ended up finishing second to his good friend Ben Heath for €28K (plus any €5K bounties) after just two hours of play. Nice life.
While Carrel was making fast money, Cristian Egues was easily the fastest player at the table. He was insta-calling and insta-shoving time and time again, and building a decent stack in the process. Theo Jorgensen was also increasing his chips, particularly when he busted Liviu Ignat in sixth place. It was Ignat’s ace-jack against Jorgensen’s pocket sevens, and the Dane won the race. For his performance, Ignat cashed for €78,200.
We were down to five and Jedlicka managed to double up through Egues, before taking a big pot from Jorgensen. His momentum was building, and as we described at the time, Jedlicka is an excellent big-stack player. It seemed he was destined to reach heads-up.
We can’t say the same for Theo Jorgensen. His stack dropped right down to just six big blinds when the big blind was 50,000. A fun hand played out at this point between Jorgensen and Michael Kane, a live satellite qualifier. Kane shoved all-in over Jorgensen’s 150,000 open (almost half his stack) with a pair of nines and was up against the Dane’s queen-jack off. The flop came all sixes, giving Kane a full house, but a queen on the turn gave Theo the lead. Finally the board was completed by the case six, meaning both had quads with a queen. Everyone loves a chop pot, right?
Not Cristian Egues. He would have liked to see a player eliminated in that hand, as it would have meant a payjump for him. The live satellite winner would bust in fifth when his ace-king couldn’t catch against Pierre Neuville’s pocket queens all-in pre-flop. The classic race is always a tough way to go, but there’s not a lot you can do about it. Egues won €99,870 – 15.2 times more than his previous biggest live cash.
Jorgensen looked set to be our fourth place finisher, but he then went on a bit of a tear. He doubled up through Pierre Neuville, then picked up a few blinds and antes to bring his stack back up. Things didn’t go so well for Michael Kane, who would be eliminated when his three-bet shove with K♣9♣ was called by the raiser Stefan Jedlicka’s K♦Q♦. By the turn of the A♦2♥K♥9♦ Kane had sucked out to hit two pair, but the 3♦ river gave Jedlicka a flush and Kane left with his rail (fellow Scots Niall Farrell and Ludovic Geilich) to collect €124,330.
And then there were three. Albeit not for long.
Jorgensen would bust when he got a little unlucky with big slick. Jedlicka shoved with jack-ten and Jorgensen called with his ace-king, but the runout was cruel to the Team Pro and gave Jedlicka trip jacks by the river. Jorgensen banked €150,850.
Heads-up there were whispers between Neuville and Jedlicka of chopping. Neuville had made it clear he just wanted the title and was happy to cut a good deal, but ultimately Jedlicka declined it. So off they went, Jedlicka with 3.69 million and a slight chip lead, and Neuville with 3.55 million. Blinds were 25K/50K.
It was the Austrian who got off to the best start, winning a pot that gave him a 2:1 chip lead. Jedlicka opened to 100K, Neuville defended, and the flop came Q♥10♥6♠. Jedlicka continued for 150K and Neuville called, taking them to the 6♥ turn which both paired the board and completed the flush draw. Neuville elected to lead, betting 190,000, but Jedlicka didn’t budge. The river was the 8♥ and Neuville fired again, betting 500,000. Jedlicka tanked for a couple of minutes before calling – and it was a great call; Neuville could only muster A♠9♠ and Jedlicka took the pot with A♣Q♠.
Things got right back to even though after Neuville doubled up. After Jedlicka limped, Neuville raised it up to 210,000, which was called. The flop fell 4♦3♦5♣ and Neuville continued for 275,000, only for Jedlicka to put him all-in. Jedlicka had the K♠3♠ but trailed Neuville’s Q♠Q♦. The 6♥ turn and 9♠ river completed the board and Neuville was back in it.
The chips went back and forth but Jedlicka never really lost the chip lead throughout the three-plus hour heads-up battle. He grinded Neuville down–all the way down to six and a half big blinds at 50K/100K–and eventually all the chips had to go in.
On the last hand, Neuville had limp-folded to shoves his last three buttons. But he was in no mood to do so for a fourth time. He limp-called off his 6.5 big blind stack with the Q♠J♥, against Jedlicka’s K♥9♠. The board ran 7♦10♦8♣Q♦6♣ to make Jedlicka a straight, but Neuville thought he’d doubled up! He didn’t see that the river gave Jedlicka the winner. Still, €228,400 is a nice consolation for the Belgian.
I don’t know about you, but if I were Stefan Jedlicka–having had the amazing results here in Malta, including this one for his biggest ever live cash, I would keep on riding the wave. Play as many tournaments as you can Stefan! I’m sure he wouldn’t have it any other way.
EPT13 Malta €10,000 High Roller
Dates: October 27-29, 2016
Prize pool: €1,396,800
|1||Stefan Jedlicka||Austria||€ 335,200|
|2||Pierre Neuville||Belgium||€ 228,400|
|3||Theo Jorgensen||Denmark||Team PokerStars Pro||€ 150,850|
|4||Michael Kane||United Kingdom||Live satellite winner||€ 124,330|
|5||Cristian Egues||Spain||Live satellite winner||€ 99,870|
|6||Liviu Ignat||Romania||€ 78,200|
|7||Charlie Carrel||United Kingdom||€ 58,670|
|8||Kilian Kramer||Germany||€ 43,300|
Jack Stanton is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog. Photography by Jules Pochy.