On Thursday at the World Poker Tour Malta Main Event, Yorane Kerignard bested a talented six-handed final table to get his hands on the WPT Malta title, €120,000; and a $25,500 seat to the season-ending World Poker Tour World Championship.
The first elimination occurred an hour into play. Jackson Genovesi opened to 32,000 from under the gun. Then, when action got to Sampo Ryynanen, he three-bet. The flop saw Genovesi bet 85,000 and then call when Ryynanen raised to 205,000. The on the turn saw Genovesi bet 285,000 and Ryynanen quickly called. When the fell on the river Genovesi moved all-in and Ryynanen went into the tank, stayed there for 90 seconds, took a drink from his water bottle and called. Ryynanen showed but the cowboys were crushed by the in Genovesi's hand!
Mere minutes later and Zeljko Krizan followed Ryynanen to the rail. Krizan began the final table as the shortest stack and just never seemed to find a spot in which to commit his chips. He finally found that elusive spot when Alessio Isaia opened to 32,000 from under the gun and Krizan moved all-in for 102,000. Isaia quickly called and Krizan found himself in the typical coin-flip scenario.
The flop kept the Isaia's pocket threes in front but Krizan still had outs. That was until the landed on the turn to leave Krizan drawing dead. The river completed the board and with that, the game was over for Krizan, and the Main Event was down to four players.
Four became three with the exit of Hui Chen Kuo. Kerignard opened to 40,000 from the button and Kitty three-bet to 103,000. Alessio Isaia then folded his big blind and Kerignard moved all-in. Kuo called off her remaining 230,000 chips and the cards were revealed.
The first three community cards were the , giving Kerignard the spade flush draw, which was completed when fell on the turn, leaving Kuo drawing dead. The meaningless was the river card and Kuo's tournament was over.
Three-handed play lasted four 60-minute levels, during which time Isaia dropped toward the dreaded 10-big-blind stack size but then rallied again before starting a slippery slope downward. Just as Level 27 was coming to an end Isaia moved all in from the button for 475,000 and both of his opponents called. Genovesi and Kerignard checked down to the river of a board reading , Genovesi betting 200,000 on the river and forcing a fold from Keringard.
"I have a full house," said Genovesi turning over . All Isaia could muster was the and with that he was eliminated.
Going into heads-up play, Genovesi lead Kerignard by 2,850,000 to 2,222,000 chips and Genovesi opened up a small lead before Kerignard staged a comeback and then forged a two-to-one chip led for himself. Then in the 28th level of play, the final hand took place.
Genovesi opened to 125,000 and then called as Yorane Kerignard three-bet to 260,000. The flop came down and Kerignard continued with a 210,000 bet. Genovesi pondered his options for a while before moving all in for just over 1,200,000.
Kerignard removed his shades, checked his cards and smiled at Genovesi. It seemed like he honestly did not know what the best play was. He counted out the chips required to call (he would have 1,600,000 left) and stood from his seat, then knelt on the seat before sitting back down again. After almost two minutes he made the call.
"I think I got him," said Genovesi before showing , and he did indeed "have him" as Kerignard turned over .
"Just blank it out. I don't care what you do just blank it out."
Both players were on their feet, each pleading with the poker gods to let him win this hand. The dealer burned a card and put out the on the turn followed by the , gifting Kerignard the win.
"NO, NO, NO, NO! Why did it have to end like this?" sobbed a very emotional Genovesi as he stormed away from the tournament area. Within seconds he was crying, distraught at coming so close to glory in such a prestigious event. Kerignard was also overcome with emotion too and headed behind the scenes to compose himself.
Both players returned to the tournament area to shake hands and for the trophy presentation by “The Voice of Poker” Jesse May, and with that WPT Malta was brought to a thrilling conclusion.
World Poker Tour Malta Results
|*Place||Player||Prize (EUR)||Prize (USD)|
|4||Hui Chen Kuo||€39,200||$51,409|
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