Rupert Elder Wins the 2011 PokerStars.it EPT San Remo! (€930,000)
This has been an extraordinary year for British poker - Toby Lewis, David Vamplew and Roberto Romanello have all taken their turn lifting the EPT hardware this season. This stop was won by another Brit last season, Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree, and the San Remo title will now remain in British hands for another year with the crowning of Rupert Elder as Season 7 champion.
Elder came into the day as chip leader but it wasn't an easy ride to first place. He lost the chip lead to Xuan Liu at one point, and then again to Max Heinzelmann heads up. Just half an hour ago he was one card away from becoming the runner up when he got his whole stack in with a set against Heinzelmann's straight on the turn, before the board fatefully paired on the river to make Elder a full house and double him back up to the chip lead.
It was a high-class final all round, with Team PokerStars Pro and EPT Kyiv winner Max Lykov finishing in fourth place, a sterling effort made for Canada from third place finisher Xuan Liu and 2010 EPT Copenhagen runner up Francesco De Vivo picking up fifth place money. But the most notable achievement was that of runner up Max Heinzelmann - he's now finished twice in EPT finals, matching the achievement of Martin Jacobson and perhaps surpassing it owing to the huge fields in both of the tournaments in which he's now finished second.
Still, the glory for now is with Elder. He, like Heinzelmann, cashed at EPT Berlin a few weeks ago, but only took 80th place there. Whichever spot he'd finished in, this final table appearance would have constituted his biggest ever live cash, but €930,000 and a ticket to the Grand Final must be very nice indeed. All of us at PokerNews and the EPT congratulate him, and we look forward to seeing him in just a few days' time in Madrid.
Until then, it's over and out.