PokerStars.net EPT London Final Table: Michael Martin Captures Title
In a comeback for the ages, Michael Martin battled back from a one-time micro stack to take down the PokerStars.net European Poker Tour London Main Event title and its £1,000,000 first prize. The young American beat out a tough final table that included WSOP bracelet holder Alan Smurfit and Frenchman Antony Lellouche, who played his third EPT final table in a year's time. It was a hard-fought final table, and it took a lengthy heads-up match for Martin to claim his first major tournament victory.
Michael Tureniec held the chip lead to begin the day, as the final eight stacks looked like this:
Seat 1: Eric Liu - 1,308,000
Seat 2: Johannes Strassmann - 434,000
Seat 3: Philippe D'Auteuil - 478,000
Seat 4: Antony Lellouche - 1,021,000
Seat 5: Michael Tureniec - 1,333,000
Seat 6: Alan Smurfit - 396,000
Seat 7: Marcin Horecki - 309,000
Seat 8: Michael Martin - 728,000
After flirting with the chip lead on several previous days, Antony Lellouche couldn't get anything going at the final table, and busted early in eighth place (£81,569). He moved all in over the top of Johannes Strassmann with , and Strassmann called with . Strassmann moved firmly ahead on the flop, and when the board ran out , Lellouche was done.
It took a couple of hours for the next elimination, but eventually it was Johannes Strassmann's turn to head to the payout line. Michael Martin moved all in preflop and Strassmann called. Strassmann's was a coin flip against Martin's , but the coin came down tails for Strassmann when the flop landed . No jack showed on the turn or river, and Martin sent Strassmann to the rail in seventh place (£120,723).
Alan Smurfit was the next to run afoul of Michael Martin when he moved all in preflop with , and found Martin re-raising to isolate behind him with pocket jacks. Martin's re-raise worked, and he and Smurfit went heads-up to the flop. The flop of gave Martin a set and left Smurfit drawing very thin. The turn gave him outs to the straight, but the river made a full house for Martin and a sixth-place finish for Smurfit, who earned £153,351 for his tournament.
Day 2 chip leader Philippe D'Auteuil moved all in from under the gun with , only to find Marcin Horecki behind him with . The board ran out , and D'Auteuil headed home in fifth place (£195,766). Eric Liu started the final table with one of the biggest stacks, but finished in fourth place (£234,920) when he too busted at the hands of Michael Martin. Liu moved all in preflop with , and Martin quickly called with . The flop came down a very interesting , giving Martin top pair but leaving a Broadway draw for Liu. The on the turn was no help, and the on the river sent Liu packing.
The pace of eliminations picked up as the evening wore on, and it took only half an hour more for Marcin Horecki to bust in third place (£303,439). From the button, Horecki open-shoved with . Martin re-raised all in to isolate with , and Michael Tureniec got out of the way. Martin held the lead through the flop, but the on the turn swung the pendulum in Horecki's direction. The on the river was a heartbreaker for Horecki, giving Martin the bigger pair and sending Horecki to the rail.
Michael Martin took a significant chip lead into heads-up play, but the back-and-forth battle raged for nearly 90 minutes before he finally put away his last opponent. Martin moved all in from the small blind with , and Tureniec called with . The flop was an uneventful , but the on the turn gave Martin a set and left Tureniec drawing to only a chop. The on the river made a full house for Martin and busted Tureniec in second place for £525,314, as Martin took down the PokerStars.net EPT London Main Event and its £1,000,000 first-place prize.