The 2015 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand €25,000 High Roller, a single-reentry tournament that attracted 215 entries — 162 unique (159 on Day 1 + three on Day 2) and 53 reentries (42 on Day 1 + 11 on Day 2) – and created a prize pool of €5,267,500, came to an end Friday night as 21-year-old Charlie Carrel topped a tough final table to capture the €1.114 million first-place prize.
The event marked Carrel's first €25K, and while it's his biggest success, it's not his only one. Back in November, Carrel made himself known by topping a field of 212 entries to win the 2014 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour Grand Final for £108,625, and less than two months ago he finished fifth in the EPT Malta €10,000 High Roller for €183,800.
"I've been living out of a suitcase for five months now," Carrel admitted after the win. As to what's next, "I think it's going to be what town to go to for a celebration with my friends."
Carrel, who plans to attend the 2015 World Series of Poker in order to play the $111,111 One Drop event, was upfront that the win wasn't just his own as he'd sold pieces.
"I'm extremely excited to give a chunk of this away to my friends," he said with a big smile on his face.
A dozen players returned for the third and final day of action, but after just one hand it was down to 11. That's because Andrey Andreev, an amateur businessman from Russia, got lucky to crack the aces of Yingui Li. It was a big hand and set the tone for the day.
From there, Dominik Nitsche, Martin Jacobson and Pablo Melogno all hit the rail to set up the official final table. A few more hours would pass before the next elimination, but it happened when a short-stacked Dan Smith, who was so ill the night before he went to the hospital to get some fluids and antibiotics, shoved all in from middle position for 505,000 and Carrel looked him up from the button.
It was a flip, and while the flop didn't hit Carrel directly, it gave him a lot of outs to win the pot. The turn was one of them, and suddenly Smith needed one of the two remaining deuces to stay alive. The dealer burned one last time and put out the . Smith missed and became the first player eliminated from the final table after 53 hands of play.
After Jeremy Ausmus lost a race to Steve O'Dwyer to fall on Hand #90, Italy's Dario Sammartino, who finished fourth in the €100,000 Super High Roller for €709,500 and 17th in the Main Event for €51,350, followed him out the door five hands later after losing a flip of his own. The €257,400 Sammartino earned for sixth place pushed him past €1,000,000 in cashes at the EPT11 Grand Final. Not too shabby.
From there, Max Altergott took his leave in fifth place, and then Andreev, the start-of-the-day chip leader, busted in fourth. O'Dwyer, who finished as the Day 1 chip leader but came into the final 12 as the short stack, had an up-and-down day. One second he'd be flush with chips, while the next he'd find himself in the danger zone. Still, he managed to ladder up all the way to third place, which is when he got it in with kings only to get cracked by Carrel's sevens.
Carrel began heads-up play with a significant lead against France's Imad Derwiche, and it'd take him just 30 hands to seal the deal. On Hand #160 of the final table, which took place in Level 27 (40,000/80,000/10,000), Derwiche shoved from the button, and Carrel called.
Carrel called out the situation to his friends on the rail.
"He's suited though, so it's like a flip," he joked.
There wasn't much sweat as the board rolled out , and Carrel took the pot and the tournament.
Congratulations to Charlie Carrel, the EPT11 Grand Final €25,000 High Roller champ! Here's Carrel's reaction after taking down the biggest poker tournament of his life.