After several days of poker both online and live at the magnificent Wembley Stadium, Jakub Michalak has emerged as the winner of the International Stadiums Poker Tour inaugural event, officially banking himself a cool €1million.
Michalak is the number one ranked online player in Poland and in the top fifty in the world. He would be the first to admit he got lucky in two crucial pots against the aggressive Nottingham-based player Pete Linton but backed this up with intelligent and aggressive short-handed play to seal his victory.
Of course, with nearly €600,000 in overlay, there had been talk a deal being done both last night and this morning. The players spent the time before the final table hammering out the final details which were as follows:
|Xavier El Fassy||€204,000|
(Includes the €200,000 set aside for first place)
This also left €200,000 for first place, making it a winner takes all proposition and reducing the stress on all involved. Meanwhile, the chip counts and seating plan looked like this:
|Seat 1||Pete Linton||11,070,000|
|Seat 2||Nick Hicks||6,230,000|
|Seat 3||Jakub Michalak||4,825,000|
|Seat 4||Alban Juen||7,615,000|
|Seat 5||Gwendoline Janot||5,880,000|
|Seat 6||Xavier El Fassy||4,555,000|
Gwendoline Janot was the first player to be eliminated, she was crippled losing with pocket sevens to Xavier El Fassy's kings and was knocked out in the very next hand by Michalak.
Frenchman Alban Juen was next out, he'd started the day second in chips but after getting in a raising war against Linton, he was eliminated after losing the flip.
After the earlier battles, it was inevitable that Michalak and Linton would get into another big pot and this one would be the biggest of the tournament, as over half the chips in play went in the middle as Linton's ace-queen battled Michalak's king-jack.
The players took a dinner break but after only 30 minutes, Nick Hicks, who'd been mostly card dead for the final table and playing snugly was caught when Michalak flopped trips against Hicks' top pair.
Michalak went into the heads-up with nearly an 8:1 chip lead over recreational player Xavier El Fassy and it didn't take long for the chips to end up in the middle. El Fassy picked up kings against Michalak's A-7 but an ace on the flop was followed by another on the river and echoing the most famous commentary at Wembley Stadium, “They think it's all over, it is now.”