After five days and 1,177 bustouts, one player remained standing at the PokerStars European Poker Tour San Remo Main Event. When it was all over, it was not multi-day chip leader Dragan Galic lifting the champion’s trophy, but instead young Dutchman Constant Rijkenberg, often Galic’s only challenger for the chip lead, who took out Kalle Niemi in a quick heads-up bout to claim the championship and its €1,508,000 top prize.
Rijkenberg started fast at the final table, claiming his first victim within the first couple of orbits. Danilo D’Ettoris raised preflop with , and Rijkenberg moved all in over the top. D’Ettoris thought for a moment before calling, and Rijkenberg showed for the coin flip. No help came for D’Ettoris on the flop, but the brought a few additional flush outs on the turn. The river was a singularly unhelpful , and D’Ettoris became the first casualty of the final table, picking up €114,000 for his eighth-place finish.
Alex Fitzgerald lost most of his chips to William Reynolds when his couldn’t outrun Reynolds’ pocket jacks. He moved all in preflop on the next hand, and both Dragan Galic and Ovi Balaj called. The flop came down , and Galic bet into the dry side pot with for top pair. Balaj folded, and Fitzgerald showed for nothing. Galic’s pair held up as the turn and river ran out , and Fitzgerald collected €171,000 for seventh place.
It was just a couple of hands later when Ovi Balaj moved all in preflop with , and William Reynolds moved all in over the top with . Everyone else got out of the way, and Balaj took a huge advantage to the flop. Of course, the first card off the deck was the , making a set for Reynolds and leaving Balaj drawing extremely thin. The final board read , and Balaj was eliminated in sixth place (€229,000).
Dragan Galic was the bulldozer for the first four days of the Main Event, finishing with the chip lead every day. He never got his engine running at the final table, and busted in fifth place (€314,000) to eventual champ Constant Rijkenberg. Rijkenberg raised preflop from under the gun, and Galic moved all in over the top. Rijkenberg called with , and Galic was in a race with . Rijkenberg flopped the nuts as the board came down , and Galic was drawing dead when the turn brought the . After four days of dominating play and multiple shirts, Galic’s tournament came to an end in fifth place.
There was a long gap between Galic’s elimination and William Reynolds’ fourth-place bustout, but eventually Reynolds got the last of his chips into the middle with and Constant Rijkenberg found just enough to call with, tabling . All the suspense ran out of the hand on the flop, and when the turn brought the , Reynolds was drawing dead. The river brought the irrelevant , and Reynolds collected €377,000 for his week’s work.
Just three hands later the next player headed to the rail. The last three standing took a brief unscheduled break to discuss a deal, and as soon as play resumed, the action kicked off big-time. Kalle Niemi opened for a raise, Gustav Sundell moved all in over the top, and Niemi quickly called. Sundell’s was well behind Niemi’s , and when the board brought , both players missed and Niemi’s jack kicker played to send Sundell home in third place (€480,000).
After a short break to set up the heads-up match, the duel itself was brief. It took only five hands for Constant Rijkenberg to seal the win, busting Kalle Niemi in second place (€862,000) to claim his first EPT title. Rijkenberg raised preflop, and quickly called Niemi’s re-raise. Niemi fired a big bet on the flop, and Rijkenberg quickly called again. The turn brought the and an all-in bet from Niemi. Rijkenberg almost beat Niemi’s chips into the pot with his call, and showed for the overpair. Niemi’s could only win with a ten on the river, and when the was the last card, Constant Rijkenberg laid claim to the championship and the €1,508,000 top prize.
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