Vojtech Ruzicka Leads Final Four in partypokerLIVE MILLIONS High Roller


The first highlight of the 2017 partypoker MILLIONS Nottingham festival at the Dusk Till Dawnsaw 56 players out of a 93-entry strong field return to the tables for Day 2 of the £10,300 High Roller. Registration remained open for another two levels and during that period, four new players entered the competition and an additional 13 re-entries boosted the total attendance to 110 entriestotal.

The prize pool of £1,067,000 was to be shared among the top 11 spots, and at 4.15 a.m. local time the remaining four hopefuls called it quits to bag up for the night and add an extra day to the schedule in order to determine the champion.

2016 World Series of Poker Main Event November Niner Vojtěch Růžička will be the man to beat when play resumes, as the Czech claimed 4,198,000 in chips and the overnight lead. Bartlomiej Machon follows in second place with 3,059,000 while Tom Hall (1,943,000) and Chris Backhouse(1,798,000) are the other two contenders after a marathon day of more than 15 hours.

Seat Player Country Chip Count Big Blinds
3 Chris Backhouse United Kingdom 1,798,000 22
6 Bartlomiej Machon Poland 3,059,000 38
7 Tom Hall United Kingdom 1,943,000 24
8 Vojtěch Růžička Czech Republic 4,198,000 52

Among the early casualties during the re-entry period was Ema Zajmovic who failed to get there with ace-king against the pocket kings of partypoker pro Joao Simao. Like Zajmovic, partypoker pro Anatoly Filatov and High Roller regulars Charlie Carrel, Orpen Kisacikoglu, Adrian Mateos, Paul Newey and David Yan never managed to run up their stacks. Kisacikoglu turned a full house with ace-queen only to see Chris Backhouse turn over pocket aces for the superior full house and the rest was history.


2016 November Niner Kenny Hallaert, as well as the partypoker ambassadors Roberto Romanello and Sam Trickett then followed suit once the registration was closed. Romanello rivered a flush with five-three suited in three-way action and Max Silver snap-called with ace-ten suited for the nut flush. Trickett put his hopes on ace-jack, and was drawing dead on the turn of a queen-high board against the set of queens of Dominik Nitsche.

Rainer Kempe bowed out before the dinner break and once all players had returned, seven further hopefuls were gone within just 20 minutes. Max Silver and Dominik Nitsche then got short and ran out of chips before the final two tables were set and Ben Heath followed suit while not even all players had taken their new seats yet.

Keith Johnson, start-of-the-day chip leader Niall Farrell and Paul Byrne also missed out on the money and it was Jan-Eric Schwippert who ended up as the bubble boy. Schwippert was one of three short stacks at the outer table and defended his big blind with king-deuce suited, then shoved a seven-high flop with his flush draw. Bartlomiej Machon called with pocket sixes for an open-ended straight draw and the bubble burst after blanks on turn and river.

Govert Metaal was the first player in the money and Oliver Waters also had to settle for the min cash worth £20,000. At 1 a.m. local time, the unofficial nine-handed final table was set with the following seat assignments:

Seat Player Country Chip Count Big Blinds
1 Daniel Merrilees United Kingdom 210,000 5
2 Joao Simao Brazil 1,076,000 27
3 Chris Backhouse United Kingdom 727,000 18
4 Laszlo Bujtas Hungary 1,634,500 40
5 Stefan Schillhabel Germany 1,624,500 40
6 Jason Wheeler United States 1,424,500 35
7 Bartlomiej Machon Poland 1,500,500 37
8 Tom Hall United Kingdom 1,081,000 27
9 Vojtěch Růžička Czech Republic 1,721,500 43

All players agreed to play down to the last six and then bag up for the night, however that plan would later see a slight amendment. Daniel Merrilees, who was one of the four new entrants of Day 2, was by far the shortest stack but managed to first chop and then triple up in fortunate fashion. However, Merrilees eventually saw his pocket queens cracked by the pocket tens of Vojtěch Růžička and the Brit was gone in 9th place.

Stefan Schillhabel lost most of his stack when shoving a ten-high flush draw river with pocket eights, and Chris Backhouse called with ace-three for a straight. Schillhabel then shoved king-queen suited and Bartlomiej Machon looked him up with ace-nine off suit to claim the pot after a five-high board.


High-stakes Pot-Limit Omaha cash game expert Laszlo Bujtas then got it in with less than eight big blinds and king-jack, only fore Machon to find ace-jack and send the second player to the rail in a row.

Jason Wheeler suggested to play the last 40 minutes of the new level and then finish for the night, and the American pro bowed out just a few minutes later. Wheeler shoved for 15 big blinds with jack-ten off suit and Machon called with ace-seven offsuit in the big blind, again a nine-high board changed nothing.

Partypoker pro Joao Simao became the last casualty of the night. Vojtech Ruzicka shoved from the small blind with ace-jack and the short-stacked Brazilian called with ace-deuce. A jack on the flop all but sealed it, and an ace on the turn left Simao drawing dead.

Place Player Country Payout (in £) Payout (in $)
1 £320,000 $406,984
2 £185,000 $235,288
3 £142,000 $180,600
4 £110,000 $139,900
5 Joao Simao Brazil £85,000 $108,105
6 Jason Wheeler United States £65,000 $82,670
7 Laszlo Bujtas Hungary £50,000 $63,590
8 Stefan Schillhabel Germany £40,000 $50,870
9 Daniel Merrilees United Kingdom £30,000 $38,155
10 Oliver Waters United Kingdom £20,000 $25,437
11 Govert Metaal Netherlands £20,000 $25,437

After the elimination of partypoker pro in 5th place, the remaining four players agreed to stop the clock with 14 minutes left in level 23 at blinds of 40,000/80,000 with a running ante of 8,000. They will return tomorrow at 3 p.m. local time to determine the champion.

The PokerNews live reporting team will be there to provide the action until a champion is crowned, and a live stream with hole cards will be available on a security delay of 30 minutes.