At 12:30 p.m. local time on Thursday, the final table of the 2015 PokerStars.com European Poker Tour Season 12 Prague €50,000 Super High Roller began, filled with some of the biggest names in poker. After 156 hands of play, none other than Steve O'Dwyer came out on top. After having won the first super high roller of 2015 at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure back in January, he has now won the last EPT super high roller of the year in Prague.
John Juanda, EPT Barcelona Main Event champion and recent Poker Hall of Fame inductee, was the first one to get eliminated. He found himself short and pushed from the button when the action folded to him. Austrian pro Thomas Muehloecker, who was in the big blind, woke up with ace-king and beat out Juanda's jack-nine. A king on the flop left Juanda drawing slim, and he was dead on the turn.
Dzmitry Urbanovich then started gathering more and more chips, and Daniel Dvoress doubled through Sam Greenwood. But, it was Luuk Gieles who would suffer the most in the period following Juanda's elimination.
Gieles first doubled Greenwood in a preflop all-in situation with nines versus Greenwood's ace-king. An ace on the flop, and river, resulted in a a much shorter stack for Gieles. An ace-high flush for Igor Kurganov versus Gieles' king-high flush did even more damage later, and the Dutchman was left with just four big blinds. Gieles busted not much later when he failed to improve with jack-nine suited against Muehloecker's kings. With Gieles' elimination, the start-of-day chip leader was out in seventh place and had to settle for €137,140.
Dvoress was next to go. Action had folded to Greenwood in the small blind, and he pushed all in. Dvoress called with ace-ten suited from the big blind, but failed to improve to beat out Greenwood's aces. The ten on the turn wasn't enough to save Dvoress' tournament life.
While Urbanovich continued to crush and his wall of chips grew, Muehloecker's stack was doing the exact opposite. Muehloecker then decided to make his move with pocket sixes and got called in two spots, by Urbanovich and Kurganov. The hand was checked down by the two active players, and Muehloecker's sixes were beaten by Kurganov's flopped pair of jacks with jack-ten, resulting in a spot on the rail for Muehloecker and €220,500 in his pocket.
In the levels that followed, Urbanovich couldn't hold on to his chips. The Polish poker prodigy first doubled up Greenwood in a thriller of a hand. Urbanovich had ace-king and was up against pocket sixes. He flopped a king, turned an ace, but was crushed by the six on the river that gave Greenwood the double up. Urbanovich was left with just 14 big blinds and moved in with king-queen suited from first position not much later. Urbanovich got called by O'Dwyer with ace-seven suited and the Polish pro didn't hit, sending him home in fourth for €285,000.
Kurganov had taken the chip lead not too long before that, but doubled O'Dwyer in a huge preflop all-in hand with ace-jack against ace-queen. O'Dwyer, holding ace-queen, hit a queen and rivered a flush to take most of Kurganov's chips. Kurganov had the lesser hand there, but he would get his last chips in dominating O'Dwyer with ace-jack against king-jack for 22 big blinds each. O'Dwyer hit a king on the flop to send Kurganov home in third place for €376,400.
Greenwood (41 big blinds) and O'Dwyer (98 big binds) went on a 75-minute dinner break and came back having discussed a deal. With just €22,315 to play for, O'Dwyer was guaranteed the biggest winner of the tournament already with €724,228 locked up. Greenwood was guaranteed €643,607.
The heads-up match didn't last too long, with O'Dwyer eventually getting the better of Greenwood in a big hand. Greenwood pushed the action with an open-ended straight draw and ended up pushing all in after having missed on the river. O'Dwyer called with second pair, mediocre kicker, and soon he found himself posing for photos with his jack-ten off suit, giving interviews with the trophy on his side.
With his first-place prize, not only did O'Dwyer win €746,543 and the trophy, he also moved 280.55 points closer in the race for the 2015 Global Poker Index Player of the Year title, overtaking Nick Petrangelo and getting him close to Anthony Zinno and Byron Kaverman.
After the result, the GPI Player of the Year race now looks as follows:
|1||Byron Kaverman||United States||4,736.90||Yes|
|2||Anthony Zinno||United States||4,649.05||Yes|
|4||Nick Petrangelo||United States||4,406.04||No|
|5||Jason Mercier||United States||4,175.44||Yes|
|7||Connor Drinan||United States||3,996.08||No|
|10||Scott Seiver||United States||3,834.10||No|
That wraps up the PokerNews coverage of the 2015 EPT Prague €50,000 Super High Roller, but we've got plenty more on there docket in the coming days, so stay tuned.
*Image courtesy of Neil Stoddart/PokerStars.