Two players from Germany, Benny Spindler and Philipp Gruissem, captured titles as the European Poker Tour finished up its marquee events at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in London.
The £5000 Main Event featured outstanding young talent for its final table. Leading the way was the United Kingdom’s Martins Adeniya, but he was unable to continue his drive to the championship. After the knockout of Miroslav Benes in eighth place, Adeniya – who relinquished the chip lead to Spindler at this point – went to battle against the German. It was a classic flip, Adeniya’s A-K against Spindler’s pocket tens, and the pocket pair held over the run of the board. At one time at the top of the mountain, Martins Adeniya would be out in seventh place.
Spindler would ride that elimination all the way to heads up play. After the departure of Kevin Iacofano in sixth by Spindler, the German held ten million of the chips in play. What was up for discussion, however, was which of the four other men remaining – Andre Klebanov (3.775 million), Mattias Bergstrom (3.09 million), Team PokerStars Pro Juan Manuel Pastor (2.13 million) and Steve O’Dwyer (2.08 million) – would face Spindler for the title.
It was at this point that Steve O’Dwyer began to assert himself. He eliminated Bergstrom from the tournament before Spindler stepped back in by knocking out Pastor. O’Dwyer would be the man who would step up against the monster stack of Spindler after O’Dwyer took out Klebanov.
Following Klebanov’s departure, Spindler and O’Dwyer discussed the possibility of a deal and, after the discussions ended, decided on breaking for dinner. Two hands after the dinner break, Spindler would end the tournament when his A-K held up over O’Dwyer’s K-J, giving the EPT London championship to Benny Spindler.
1. Benny Spindler (Germany) £750,000
2. Steve O’Dwyer (United States) £465,000
3. Andre Lebanon (Germany) £265,000
4. Juan Manuel Pastor (Spain) £200,000
5. Mattias Bergstrom (Sweden) £155,000
6. Kevin Iacofano (United States) £120,000
7. Martins Adeniya (United Kingdom) £86,350
8. Miroslav Benes (Czech Republic) £64,000
While the Main Event final table was playing out, the £20,000 High Roller championship was being determined. Igor Kurganov came to the final table this afternoon in London with 854K in chips, good enough for the lead, but a host of talented competition was waiting for him. Pros Sam Trickett, Olivier Busquet and Michael Tureniec were just some of the opposition, but Rob Akery was perhaps his biggest threat, sitting in second place with his 622K stack.
On the very first hand of play, Tureniec would be the first casualty at the hands of Busquet. Trickett would drop about an hour later when his suited K-J couldn’t catch up against Kurganov’s suited A-9. Once Joel Nordkvist (sixth) and Adrian Bussman (fifth) were eliminated, the remaining four men stopped play to discuss a deal.
The discussions proved to be fruitful as Gruissem (£202K), Kurganov (£197K), Akery (£186.5K) and Busquet (£171K) divvied up part of the remaining prize pool, saving back some money for the top three positions. Busquet would be eliminated soon after the deal was struck, which sent the remaining three players back to the bargaining table. Although the deal wasn’t amended, heads up play was reached when Akery was bounced in third place.
Gruissem and Kurganov would open up further discussion on making a deal before heads up, but decided to go for dinner instead. They came back for only two hands after dinner when, on the final hand, Kurganov pushed with a Q-6, only to find himself behind Gruissem’s pocket nines. After the board ran dry for Kurganov, Philipp Gruissem captured a historic High Rollers championship.
1. Philipp Gruissem (Germany) £450,200*
2. Igor Kurganov (Russia) £318,300*
3. Rob Akery (United Kingdom) £205,500*
4. Olivier Busquet (United States) £171,200*
5. Adrian Bussman (Sweden) £102,250
6. Joel Nordkvist (Sweden) £72,950
7. Sam Trickett (United Kingdom) £68,800
8. Michael Tureniec (Sweden) £58,400
* – reflects final table deal
With the championship, Philipp becomes the first ever repeat champion in EPT history and arguably in its most difficult event, the High Roller tournament. Philipp was the champion of the High Roller tournament in August at the last EPT stop in Barcelona for €234,500. Between the two tournament wins, Gruissem has won over $1 million (U. S.) in the last two months and also had a strong finish (28th place) in the 2011 WSOP Championship Event for another $242K payout.
Up next for many of the players is a trip across the Channel for the World Series of Poker Europe in Cannes, France. The EPT will get back to action on October 21, when the tour makes its next stop at the Casino San Remo in San Remo, Italy.