It was a Stuer slaughter at the final table.
After we got down to six players at the €25,000 High Roller tournament of the PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino®, Germany’s Julian Stuer took care of every single elimination. By the time he got heads-up with John Juanda, Stuer had a nearly seven-to-one chip lead. Juanda managed to double up and give him a good fight, but nothing was stopping Stuer this time.
“That’s the most insane run I’ve ever had,” Stuer said. “I always had the nuts. Always the nuts, it was super easy.”
This is Stuer’s first live tournament victory and by far his largest cash. The €1.015 million grand prize almost doubles his lifetime tournament earnings.
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Stuer started the final day sixth in chips from 27 still left with but jumped into the lead with 11 players still involved after he knocked out Team PokerStars Pro Felipe Ramos. It was Ramos’s third consecutive cash in PokerStars Championship High Rollers and he had his sights set on this trophy, but he ran his ace-king into Stuer’s pair of jacks with 12 players left.
The hand put Stuer in the lead and he held on to it for the rest of the tournament.
While Stuer clinched the grand prize, everyone who made it to Day 3 made some money.
We started getting close to the money late in Day 2 and even with the shot clock, play slowed considerably. Some players were using up all 30 seconds for every action and tournament staff decided to go hand-for-hand early.
Only 27 players would cash, but hand-for-hand play started at 32. We hit the real bubble about 90 minutes after that and it finally burst when Steffan Sontheimer ran his A♦K♦ into Thomas Muelhloecker’s Q♥Q♦.
That day dragged on a bit thanks a stunted Day 1. That day was cut short so players could see the Champions League semi final match between Monaco and Juventus that was taking place just up the road.
Late registration was left open for a few hours in Day 2 and we saw a flurry of players come in, including Daniel “Jungleman” Cates, who took a break from high-stakes games in Asia to come play.
That pace picked up considerably today, especially thanks to Stuer’s dominating run at the final table. While Stuer did most of the damage at the final table, Muelhloecker started off the eliminations.
Julian Thomas was the first final table casualty. Thomas moved all-in with 8♦6♦ on a monochromatic K♦10♦5♦ flop and Muelhloecker called with A♦J♥. A fourth diamond hit on the turn and Thomas was eliminated in eighth place.
Then there was another all-in on the flop. Ekrem Sanioglu moved all-in on a Q♥J♦9♦ flop with Q♦J♣, but his two-pair was no good against Sammartino’s flopped straight. Sammartino took down the pot with K♥10♣ and that was the last time anyone not called Stuer would knock a player out of the tournament.
Then the slaughter happened.
First a short-stacked Charlie Carrel moved all-in with Q♠7♠ and Stuer found himself with pocket aces. It was an easy call with no surprises and Carrel was eliminated in sixth place.
Then Javier Gomez hit trip eights on the flop and called all-in when Stuer moved in on the river. Stuer had rivered a straight and he took Gomez out in fifth place.
Stuer had been dealing out some tough beats all day and the worst was probably Dario Sammartino’s elimination. Sammartino moved all-in with aces in that one and Stuer called with a pair of jacks. Sammartino hit a set of aces on the turn, but Stuer had a flush draw and got a four-card flush on the river.
Then Muelhloecker, who started the day with the lead, found himself short by the time play got three-handed. Muelhloecker made his final move with J♠9♠ and Stuer called with 8♣8♥. The board brought no help for Muelhloecker, but it did give Stuer a straight. It was just that kind of day for him.
The final player left standing in the slaughter was John Juanda. By the time they got heads-up, Stuer had that enormous lead and could never overhaul it.
After one double up, Stuer hammered Juanda back down and then Juanda moved all-in with A♦10♣. Stuer called with K♠J♥ and he hit a royal flush. Just kidding, he did hit a king on the flop and win a million Euros though.
Juanda finished second and won €684,900 for the runner-up finish while Stuer took down that maiden major tournament title.
PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino® High Roller
Dates: May 3-5, 2017
Buy-in: €25,000 + €7500
Entries: 187 (including 48 re-entries)
Prize pool: €4,581,500
|1||Julian Stuer||Germany||€ 1,015,000|
|2||John Juanda||Indonesia||€ 684,900|
|3||Thomas Muehloecker||Austria||€ 471,400|
|4||Dario Sammartino||Italy||€ 384,340|
|5||Javier Gomez Zapatero||Spain||€ 306,500|
|6||Charlie Carrel||UK||€ 235,450|
|7||Ekrem Sanioglu||France||€ 171,300|
|8||Julian Thomas||Germany||€ 124,150|