The highest of high rollers in the world of poker faced a tough decision this week: Either go to Prague to play the last European Poker Tour (including its high rollers), or go to Las Vegas to play the World Poker Tour Five Diamond and the $100,000 Super High Roller that followed it.
A total of 38 players choose the latter Dec. 11 and ponied up the $100,000 buy-in for event 23, among them, a small battalion of German speaking players. One of them, Jan Schwippert from Austria, came out on top after striking a deal with Tom Marchese.
|2||Tom Marchese||United States||$1,018,566|
|3||Talal Shakerchi||United Kingdom||$521,360|
|4||Erik Seidel||United States||$335,160|
|6||Ankush Mandavia||United States||$186,200|
The tournament started with 24 players but soon more players entered. Justin Bonomo, coming fresh from a fifth place in the Main Event for $345,272, hopped in just after the third level. Jake Schindler, having finished the Main Event in third for $736,579, joined him not much later.
By the time the first day of play concluded, just 15 players remained. German high roller Christian Christner lead with Dan Coleman and David Peters close on his heels. Surviving the day with the shortest stacks were Ankush Mandavia, Bryn Kenney and Ben Tollerene.
Kenney (deuces versus the ace-king of Erik Seidel) and Tollerene (ace-deuce against the ace-seven of Talal Shakerchi) were out early on Day 2. Mandavia did better and collected chips left and right to become a serious contender for the title.
Rick Salomon hit the rail in eighth place after getting it in with pocket eights against the jack-nine suited of Shakerchi. The flop and turn were a save, but the jack on the river did him in. With that, the tournament was on the bubble.
Half an hour later, the bubble would burst and Peters was the last to go home empty-handed. Jan Schwippert raised from the hijack with pocket jacks and called Peters’ small blind. Peters tabled pocket nines and failed to improve enough to stay alive.
Ankush Mandavia was next to go, losing pocket sixes to Seidel’s ace-nine to go out in sixth place for $186,200.
A huge pot between Shakerchi with ace-king and Seidel with jacks followed. The board blanked out and Shakerchi was knocked down to the role of short stack while Seidel soared. Shakerchi, however, wasn’t the next to go as Christian Christner missed with king-four against the ace-jack of Schwippert. Christner collected $223,440 for his fifth-place finish.
Even though Seidel won the big pot with jacks from ace-king, he would be the next to head to the cage. He collected $335,160 after falling victim to Schwippert who had flopped a set of fives. Seidel called the push, but mucked upon finding out his opponent had a full house.
Shakerchi followed Seidel out the door, suffering a bad beat with ace-jack preflop all in against the ace-deuce of Schwippert. The deuce on the turn hit Schwippert and Schakerchi didn’t recover.
That left Marchese and Schwippert heads up. They played for about 10 minutes before they decided to chop the tournament and call it a day. While the original payout had $1,564,080 reserved for first and $893,760 for second, the two agreed to make it $1,439,274 and $1,018,566 and not play any further. And like that, the tournament was on the books, with Schwippert from Austria as the official winner.