The inaugural High Rollers Series made this a big-money week on PokerStars, with 22 events paying nearly $15 million in prize money. The biggest payday though was reserved for the final event of the series, the $2,100 Main Event. The $2.2 million prize pool provided more than enough incentive for players to bring their best game, as the final table demonstrated, concluding when the final four players struck a deal worth at least $225,000 for everyone at the table. Finland’s Sanderssi then outlasted the others to walk away with the title.
The field was whittled down from 1,135 players to just 64 o Day 1. Coolhandluke83 of the Faroe Islands led with 2.3 million chips, trailed by Brazil’s Bernardo “bedias” Dias (2.08 million), the United Kingdom’s Tamthemanwho (1.98 million), Denmark’s Hoegh93 (1.85 million), and Denmark’s philipoo (1.56 million). Lurking further back was Team Pro ElkY. He outlasted half of the remaining players but would depart in 29th place.
Simultaneous knockouts during hand-for-hand play set up an eight-handed final table. On Table 22 OMGACEACEACE’s K♥ Q♥ caught a queen on the flop to top Hoegh93’s 10♣ 10♠, while on Table 15 MATT HOLVIK’s K♣ K♥ held up against Squa1l’s A♥ Q♥. Hoegh93 took tenth place as the smaller stack at the beginning of the hand, while Squa1l got a bump in pay for ninth but missed out on joining this final table line-up:
Seat 1: PokerFan_lol (4,629,222 in chips) TCOOP win & WCOOP final table in 2017
Seat 2: jutrack (4,814,615 in chips) past SCOOP/TCOOP/WCOOP/Sunday Warm-Up finalist
Seat 3: philipoo (2,561,732 in chips) past Sunday Million/TCOOP runner-up
Seat 4: MATT HOLVIK (11,884,602 in chips) $109 Sunday Cooldown runner-up last week
Seat 5: OMGACEACEACE (8,014,150 in chips) WCOOP 2017 Sunday Kickoff Special Edition champ
Seat 6: Maz&Yauskas (7,510,558 in chips)
Seat 7: Sanderssi (11,695,066 in chips) past Sunday Million & WCOOP finalist
Seat 8: quiditbear (5,640,055 in chips) made Super Tuesday, TCOOP & SCOOP finals in 2017
jutrack scored the next knockout a few hands into the final, thanks to an unfortunate board for philipoo. Both players had pocket tens. jutrack initially called a min-raise from PokerFan_lol with 10♣ 10♦ and was the only caller when philipoo jammed for 2.2 million chips with 10♥ 10♠. The board ran out 7♥ 3♣ 5♣ 8♣ 4♣, making a club flush for jutrack. philipoo was gone in eighth.
Sanderssi was the next to get a shot at a knockout but lost with A♠ J♣ and a pair when quiditbear’s 8♥ 8♠ turned a jack-high straight. Sanderssi soon got those chips back, opening the action for 428,000 in early position, once again with A♦ J♠. PokerFan_lol jammed for 3.2 million in the cutoff with A♣ 10♦ and made a pair of tens on the flop. But the same flop gave Sanderssi a pair of jacks, which held through the river. PokerFan_lol departed in seventh.
Six-handed coming back from the break, MATT HOLVIK picked up A♦ A♥ on the same hand that saw quiditbear open with A♣ K♠. quiditbear’s chips went in and the 4♦ 9♣ 2♣ J♣ 10♠ board nearly delivered a club flush, but quiditbear would leave sixth. Three hands later OMGACEACEACE re-raised all-in for 4.8 million chips with A♦ 10♦ in the big blind after jutrack opened small on the button. jutrack called the re-raise with J♣ J♠ and dodged yet another flush draw as the board fell K♥ 4♦ K♦ 10♠ 5♠, taking down to 10-million-chip pot and busting OMGACEACEACE in fifth.
The remaining players agreed to look at numbers. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the chip stacks (78 big blinds for Sanderssi, 50 each for the others) and the massive remaining pay jumps (more than $50K from fourth to third, $100K from second to first), they agreed and the game resumed within minutes, another $48,400 awaiting the winner.
With the pressure off, players were free to play aggressive poker, and it wasn’t long before that led to an all-in confrontation.
MATT HOLVIK re-raised all-in for 7.7 million in the small blind with A♠ 9♦ over the top of jutrack’s small button opener, and jutrack quickly called with A♣ K♣. MATT HOLVIK took the lead with two pairs and the nut flush draw on the 9♣ A♦ J♣ flop and looked good for a double after the 7♦ turn. But the K♥ river made two pair for jutrack and MATT HOLVIK was gone in fourth.
jutrack and Maz&Yauskas held their ground against Sanderssi for 20 minutes before they took each other on. jutrack opened for 645,000 on the button with 6♣ 5♣ and called when Maz&Yauskas bumped it to 2.3 million in the small blind, bringing a flop of 8♣ 9♥ K♥. Maz&Yauskas led for 1.7 million but checked after jutrack called and the 3♣ came on the turn. jutrack shoved for 11.5 million and Maz&Yauskas called with K♣ 10♣ for a pair of kings and a better flush draw. jutrack was drawing to a seven and only a seven – and got the 7♠ on the river, making a nine-high straight to win the 31.6-million-chip pot.
A desperate Maz&Yauskas doubled up on the first two hands after the break, chipping up to about 15 big blinds. Then jutrack and Sanderssi clashed in a monster pot that started with Sanderssi limping from the small blind for 300,000. jutrack raised to 998,900 and then called when Sanderssi re-raised to 3.5 million, bringing a 4♣ 2♥ 9♣ flop. jutrack called Sanderssi’s 2.4-million-chip bet and then both players checked the K♦, bringing the 4♦ on the river. Sanderssi overbet the pot, shoving all-in for 17.5 million, and jutrack snap-called, turning over A♦ A♠. That was no good, though – Sanderssi had made trips on the river with Q♣ 4♠.
That turned out to be the beginning of the end. Both jutrack and Maz&Yauskas were fighting uphill with fewer than 16 big blinds each, and minutes later they clashed in a classic race. jutrack’s Q♦ Q♣ won the pot unimproved against A♦ K♣, crippling Maz&Yauskas. The Brit departed moments later in third. Two minutes later Sanderssi min-raised on the button with 8♣ 6♠ and caught bottom two pair on the J♦ 8♥ 6♣ flop; jutrack’s K♥ J♠ made top pair but never improved after the chips went in, and that was it for the first-ever High Rollers Main Event.
Congratulations are due to all four of the players who shared in the deal, which was worth at least $225,000 for everyone involved. It’s the second big deal of the year for Sanderssi, who struck one three-handed in the Sunday Million back in August, but much more satisfying for coming with the High Rollers Main Event title.
High Rollers Series Main Event ($2,100 NL Hold’em) results
Entrants: 1,135 (833 entries, 302 re-entries)
Total prize pool: $2,270,000
Places paid: 134
1. Sanderssi (Finland) $294,685.23*
2. jutrack (Germany) $226,162.26*
3. Maz&Yauskas (United Kingdom) $226,501.89*
4. MATT HOLVIK (Canada) $225,689.88*
5. OMGACEACEACE (Poland) $102,423.08
6. quiditbear (Belgium) $74,325.02
7. PokerFan_lol (Bulgaria) $53,935.20
8. philipoo (Denmark) $39,138.88
9. Squa1l (United Kingdom) $28,401.78
* – denotes results of a four-way deal leaving $45,400 for the winner
Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.