German Leonard Maue denied Francisco Benitez his third EPT title win of the series in the late night show at the PokerStars and Barcelona© Casino European Poker Tour in the €25,000 Single-Day High Roller.
Maue claimed second place back at EPT Prague this year when he was runner-up to Stephen Chidwick in the €5,000 6-Handed event back in March for €57,380. This time, he was able to close out the win after over 16 hours to win his first EPT trophy and €653,160.
The field attracted 102 entries to create a prize pool of €2,449,020. Francisco Benitez had won two events this series and looked set to make it a third as he headed into heads-up play with a two-to-one chip lead but Maue battled back to take the victory.
PokerNews caught up with Maue after his win and he said he didn't plan on playing the tournament and decided to register the €25,000 when he was eliminated from the €3,000 Mystery Bounty. Maue was well supported by his friends as they cheered him on from the rail. Benitez had suggested that he was open for a deal as he wanted to capture his third trophy; however, Maue decided he wanted to battle it out and a deal was out of the question.
Maue lamented how it was nice to deny Benitez another trophy and spoke positively about the great turnout for this event, with 102 entries for a high roller.
€25,000 Single Day High Roller II Final Table Results
|7||Mitchell Halverson||United States||€118,530|
Action of the Day
The day attracted a big field of a total of 102 entries as many were enticed by the tournament. The day started with many notable names firing multiple bullets in attempts to build a stack. Many flooded in to max late register at the start of Level 11 and the field quickly started thinning out when registration ended.
A total of 13 players made the money and the bubble lasted over an hour as players tried to secure the minimum cash of €48,980. Ultimately it was Jans Arends who was the bubble boy as he effectively blinded out.
After the bubble burst, there was a flurry of eliminations with Fateh Jowhary (€48,980), Sirzat Hissou (€48,980), Nick Petrangelo (€60,660) and Dimitar Danchev (€60,660) all swiftly being eliminated near after.
The final table kicked off with Patrik Antonius being first to be eliminated as he flopped middle pair against Aleksejs Ponakovs to be eliminated once all the money went in on the flop. Dzhavad Abdolvand soon followed as he shoved his ace-eight from late position and ran into Benitez's aces to be eliminated.
Next to go was Mitchell Halverson who lost a flip to the eventually champion Maue. Benitez took another victim as he out-flipped Ponakovs to send him home in sixth. Yasuhiro Waki was eliminated quickly after as his two pair was defeated by Benitez's flush.
Dario Sammartino came into the final table short-stacked but managed to secure a couple of double-ups in order to survive. However, he was to secure no more double-ups as Sammartino was to find out like others that it's hard to win flip against Benitez as his ace-queen couldn't defeat the Uruguayans pocket fives blind vs blind.
In three-handed play the colorful Frenchman Imad Derwiche was by far the shortest stack and didn't survive long as Benitez eliminated him with queen-jack against Derwiche's queen-four.
After being on a tear, many would have thought that Benitez looked destined for a legendary third title of the series when he came into the heads-up battle with a two-to-one chip lead. However, Benitez's luck would run out as Maue battled back and won a big flip pocket nines against ace-king to take control.
There was still fight in Benitez however when he called Derwiche's all in his ace-nine couldn't defeat Maue's pocket deuces as the German secured his first EPT title and his biggest cash to date.
That concludes PokerNews's coverage of the €25,000 Single Day High Roller II at EPT Barcelona. Stay tuned for more updates throughout the festival live from Casino Barcelona. Follow more EPT Barcelona updates here as our coverage of the €5,300 Main Event continues.