This time last year we were reporting on how Will Kassouf took down the last ever EPT High Roller, earning the trophy thanks to a heads-up deal that saw the bigger-stacked Patrick Serda take away a larger final prize.
Twelve months on, and now we’re reporting on how the last ever PokerStars Championship High Roller has played out here in Prague, and the story ends with a somewhat familiar final chapter.
From a 256-entry field in the €10,300 event only Sergio Aido and Danny Tang remained late Monday night, and with Aido the chip leader the pair struck a deal to award Tang the trophy and winner designation while Aido took the lion’s share of the remaining prize money according to an ICM deal giving Aido €449,000 and Tang €381,000.
Rewind back to yesterday and it took almost an entire level to burst the bubble. Rocco Palumbo would ultimately become the last person to leave with nothing, and you can read all about that went down right here.
Just 16 players returned for this third and final day, and after around three hours of play and the eliminations Christopher Kruk, David Peters, Igor Yaroshevskyy, JC Alvarado, Guillaume Pau Davy, Tsugunari Toma and Viliyan Petleshkov, they were down to a final table. Here’s how they stacked up with nine left:
Kfir Ivgi’s rail consisted of Artan Dedusha and the aforementioned winner of this event last year, Will Kassouf. Despite coming into the final table with the second biggest stack, Ivgi would be the first of nine to fall, unable to replicate his friend’s success.
Most of his chips were shipped to Liwei Sun after his ace-king won a flip against Ivgi’s pocket jacks. Ivgi was down to just one big blind, and with J♥3♣ he stuck it in against Sun’s 9♠9♥ and Preben Stokkan’s 10♦10♥. The 5♣4♥K♠9♣5♦ runout trebled up Stokkan and sent Ivgi to the cage.
However, the Norwegian would soon join him thanks to a brutal cooler. Hossein Ensan and Stokkan both checked a 7♠7♦K♦ flop to see the J♥ on the turn. Ensan led for 75,000 and got a call, bringing the 9♦ on the river. Ensan bet 270,000, and Stokkan shoved for 945,000, which was snap-called.
Stokkan turned over 9♣7♣ for sevens full of nines, but that was no good. Ensan had the 9♠9♥ and had rivered a better full house to eliminate Stokkan in eighth.
Seven-handed play went on for a quite a while, but eventually Roman Emelyanov would exit in seventh when he bluffed the river with a busted straight draw and was called by Sergio Aido with top pair. Aido would then eliminate Liwei Sun in sixth, when his K♦Q♥ hit a king to beat Sun’s A♣10♣ after he’d shoved preflop.
Orpen Kisacikoglu made his second Prague high roller final table in this one, having earlier finished fourth in the Super High Roller won by Timothy Adams, but here would also fall shy of the win by going out in fifth. Short-stacked, he jammed with Q♣7♣, but ran straight into Hossein Ensan’s A♣A♠, and the pocket rockets held up.
The man who began the finale as the chip leader would be the next to go. Ben Heath lost the majority of his stack after he three-bet shoved with pocket sixes only for Danny Tang to call with pocket kings, which held. In the next hand Heath found pocket eights, but they lost a flip against Aido’s ace-king and Heath was done in fourth.
EPT12 Prague Main Event champion Hossein Ensan battled gamely as the short stack among the final three for some time before finally becoming the next to fall. The German’s final hand saw him reraise push from the blinds with queen-ten suited versus Aido’s pocket tens, with a seven-high board proving unamenable to Ensan.
With that pot Aido enjoyed a better than 2-to-1 chip advantage over Tang with 9,025,000 to Tang’s 3,775,000, and as mentioned rather than play it out the pair decided on the deal-making route.
The finish represents significant tournament scores for both players. For Aido it’s his third-highest tournament cash and carries his career live earnings over the $6.4 million mark, while this marks Tang’s largest ever cash, moving him close to $1.3 million overall.
Congratulations to both Tang and Aido for their triumphs over yet another especially tough PokerStars high roller field.
PokerStars Championship Prague €10K High Roller Single Re-entry
Dates: December 16-18, 2017
Players: 256 (including 61 re-entries)
Prize pool: €2,483,200
|1||Danny Tang||Hong Kong||€381,000*|
*denotes heads-up deal
For a comprehensive blow-by-blow account of all the big hands from the exciting final day, head over to our friends at PokerNews.
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Photos by Rene Velli. Jack Stanton is a Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.