Jason Lavallee Wins the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour London High Roller, £357,700
After five hours of play on Saturday, Canadian Jason Lavallee hoisted the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour London High Roller trophy and picked up a cheque worth £357,700. The third day of play started with 12 players, but it soon became clear that there was only one player destined to walk away with the aforementioned trophy, cash prize, and Slyde watch.
|6||David "Devilfish" Ulliott||UK||£82,315|
It was Lavallee's day today and nobody, not even David "Devilfish" Ulliott himself, had the chips, cards or aggression to push the former EPT Sanremo runner-up around. During the very first hand of play, Lavallee raised under the gun and Frederik Jensen moved all in followed by a shove from Mark Teltscher. Lavallee sighed and folded, but this was just one of the few hands he actually did not win. Jensen managed to crack Teltscher's aces on that first hand with pocket fives, but the Dane was still one of the first to go when he ran later into Ulliott's aces.
The first player that was knocked out on the day was Ariel Celestino. Celestino moved all in with Qx4x and ran into Sorel Mizzi's Ax4x. The board brought no help for Celestino, who walked away with £26,155.
A few minutes after Celestino busted, it was Antonio Lafosse who ended up all in with Ax10x suited versus Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano's KxQx. The board brought a king and Lafosse was knocked out and he picked up a £30,005 pay day. Like we stated before, Jensen was knocked out quickly too when he ran into aces again. The Danish former EPT Madrid winner held pocket queens, but Ulliott's hand held up. Jensen finished in 10th which brought us to a final table of nine.
At the final table it was Mizzi who held a slight chip leader over Carla Sabini, who started the day out on top. Ulliott was in third place followed by a bunch of players all in the same range. Last season's London High Roller winner, Talal Shakerchi, was the next player to get knocked out. First, it was Pagano who ended up all in for his tournament life against Shakerchi and a chop seemed imminent when both players turned over AxKx. Pagano had two diamonds, though, and flopped a flush. On the next hand, Shakerchi was knocked out by Mizzi and the Brit to took home £35,695.
At this point it was still anyone's game, but that all changed when Lavallee woke up with two black aces. Mizzi and Lavallee got all the chips in the middle and the former's queens went down without making its owner any money. Mizzi was crippled and Lavallee never looked back as he kept the chip lead from this point on.
Mizzi doubled right back up after losing the huge pot against Lavallee, and Teltscher was the next one who got knocked out. Teltscher ran KxQx into Lavallee's kings and walked away with £44,775. The EPT cashes and final table record holder busted out shortly after Teltscher left, as Pagano did not hit his open-ended straight flush draw against Lavallee's two pair.
The most epic hand at the final table went down when Mizzi moved all in from the button and Ulliott called from the small blind. Lavallee moved all in over the top and Ulliott tank-called with jacks. Lavallee held kings and knocked Ulliott out while Mizzi spiked an ace to triple up.
Tamer Kamel maneuvered his way to a fifth-place finish as the former EPT London finalist was very short for most of the final table. Kamel finally busted when his AxJx did not improve against Simon Higgins' nines. Kamel took home £106,170 and four players remained with a huge chip lead for Lavallee.
Sabini had the chip lead for a big part of the day, but eventually she was no match for Lavallee who called her down in two important pots. Lavallee caught Sabini bluffing and that made her stack dwindle down into shoving territory. Sabini ultimately busted with sevens versus Lavallee's Ax10x suited and cashed £132,320 for her fourth-place finish.
With just three players remaining Higgins was the short stack, but it was Mizzi who got knocked out. Mizzi four-bet pocket eights all in versus Lavallee's AxJx and once again the chip leader won a big showdown. Lavallee spiked a jack and Mizzi was sent to the cashier with a £161,560 payout slip in his hand.
The heads-up battle was not really a battle, it was a formality. Higgins started with just six big blinds, as he was dominated 20-1. A few hands in Lavallee shoved with Ax9x and Higgins made the call with KxJx suited. The board brought no help for Higgins who cashed £242,330 for his second place finish.
"So this is what it feels like to win a tournament," Lavallee said with a big smile after the final card hit the felt. Max Greenwood ran onto the set and gave his friend a big hug, and we're sure the Canadians are going to celebrate this huge victory into the wee hours of the night. Congratulations to Lavallee and all of the winners in this event.
THe next EPT High Roller will take place at the Prague festival in the final month of the year. EPT Prague is scheduled for Dec. 8-18, and the €10,300 High Roller will take place Dec. 16-18. Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for continued coverage of Season 10 of the EPT.