The 2018 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany €50,000 Super High Roller event has determined a champion and it was Chi Zhang who defeated Italian superstar Mustapha Kanit in heads-up to win his second title in 12 months, taking home €800,000 for his efforts. Kanit, who was the last player to enter the tournament and started the final day as the chip leader, added further €500,000 to his poker bankroll.
The most-expensive tournament of the festival at the King's Casino in Rozvadov came with an initial guarantee of €1,000,000, but that amount was not only surpassed but more than doubled thanks to 36 unique entries and 11 re-entries, creating a prize pool of €2,232,500. Only eight players out of the 47 entries returned to Europe's biggest poker arena and it was Patrik Antonius that ended up as the bubble boy within the first half an hour of play. Dietrich Fast (6th place for €130,000), Felipe Ramos (5th place for €180,000), Tobias Ziegler (4th place for €260,000) and Timothy Adams (3rd place for €362,500) were among those to take home a portion of the prize pool.
Before heads up between Zhang and Kanit got underway, the former was available for a quick interview for the live stream: “I haven't played many of this, I am playing for the thrill of it and feel very comfortable in heads-up. It is probably one of my favorite games.” And the 22-year old online high stakes cash player most certainly showcased his skills in the battle one-versus-one against Kanit with plenty of aggression and creativity.
It is the far biggest result for Zhang, who more than doubled his earnings on the live circuit. The young Brit already had a deep run in a partypoker LIVE sponsored event in November 2017 when he finished 23rd in the Caribbean Poker Party Main Event, and his previous best result was a victory in the 2017 GUKPT London Main Event for £113,000.
Zhang has only recently started playing in some High Roller events. “The two €25,000 and the €50,000 after here are perfect,” he added. When asked if the playing style was different and he had to adjust to that, Zhang replied as follows: “People start manipulating their ranges in a different way. I was a bit nervous at the start, but soon felt very comfortable after I saw what the others were doing.”
Final Result €50,000 Super High Roller
|Place||Player||Country||Prize (in Euro)||Prize (in USD)|
|1||Chi Zhang||United Kingdom||800,000||982,840|
Action of the final day
The day started with eight players remaining and the money bubble was looming with six spots providing a return on the investment. Short stack Big Tony raised with pocket eights and picked up two callers in Mustapha Kanit and Timothy Adams. The latter flopped top pair with king-nine and called the shove of the Italian to reduce the field by one.
Patrik Antonius, who won the first €25,500 Super High Roller during the festival in Europe's biggest poker arena, ended up as the bubble boy. The Finn three-bet all in with pocket sixes and Timothy Adams called with pocket eights to stay clear on an ace-high board, bursting the money bubble as a result.
Only a few minutes later and less than half an hour into the final day, Dietrich Fast was sent to the rail in 6th place. The German, who now calls Austria his home, moved all in with ace-seven on the button and Timothy Adams called with the ace-eight suited out of the big blind. The board ran out jack-high and the kicker played to eliminate Fast.
Felipe “Mojave” Ramos, world traveler and poker enthusiast, was among the shorter stacks at the start of Day 2 and patiently waited for a spot. Down to just under 20 big blinds, the Brazilian three-bet all in with ace-jack and Mustapha Kanit looked him up with ace-queen. Ramos had some chop outs on a ten-high turn, but the queen on the river sealed his fate. Ramos left the table with a smile on the face, shaking hands with Kanit. In his interview after the elimination, he shared his spirit for the game and the fans that support him.
“I am very happy about the support of everyone. Actually it is carnival in Brazil and it is very early. It is really hard to compete, put people to watch it while they are partying and having fun. But that's really a blessing, so many pictures I got, so many replies, people actually watching the stream and cheering. It is minus three here, very cold and far away from home. But I am very blessed to have this life, the people with me, it is my true blessing.”
Tobias Ziegler entered the final day with the third-biggest stack and narrowly missed out on the podium. Down to 16 big blinds the German moved all in from the button with pocket sixes and Chi Zhang in the small blind and moved all in over the top with ace-nine suited to spike two two pair on the flop. It was the first major final table for Ziegler, sweetened by the fact he got to play against his idol Patrik Antonius, and the German picked up a payday of €260,000.
While Timothy Adams dominated the early stages, three-handed play saw the stacks almost evened out. Adams then ran a big bluff with queen-high only and jammed the ace-high river with air. Chi Zhang called with ace-nine off suit for two pair and took a two-to-one lead into heads-up with Mustapha Kanit.
Zhang quickly pulled away and reduced Kanit's stack to only six million out of the 47 million in play, but the Italian pulled back to even after winning a flip. Zhang established a small lead again and, once Kanit limped in with ace-nine suited, he simply moved all in with pocket fours. Kanit called it off to see the queen-high board run out dry and a champion was crowned.
The PokerNews live reporting team will continue to provide all the action from the King's Casino for the remainder of the week, as the highlight of the festival with guaranteed prize pools of €12.5 million will kick off on Wednesday February 14th 2018. Day 1a of the €5,300 Main Event gets underway at 12 p.m. noon local time and the event comes with a guarantee of stunning €5,000,000.