If poker was dance, the European Poker Tour (EPT), partypoker MILLIONS and Triton Poker would be crazy street dance style, body popping and head spinning.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP)?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s the most iconic poker festival in the world. Christmas Day, your birthday, your first visit from the tooth fairy, your first Easter egg and orgasm all rolled into one.
But they are a little behind the times.
More reactionary than visionary.
But like a hemorrhoid slowly making it’s way down to the anus after too hard a squeeze, they are getting there.
This year, the High Rollers will have five reasons to leave the cash tables to descend onto the tournament tables, and the first of the famous five is already in the bag.
The $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller (Single Re-Entry) has passed been and gone, handing out over $10m in prize money, including three seven-figure scores.
Day 1 saw a total of 97 entrants each pony up $100,000 (Daniel Negreanu coughed up $200,000), and the most recent bracelet winner Elio Fox led the way with 180 big blinds. Fox won the first bracelet of the series, his second all time, when he beat 243 entrants to capture the $393,693 first prize in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo Bounty event, beating Adam Adler, heads-up.
Players could still enter until the end of registration on Day 2. For the longest time it seemed the number would be 104, when at the last minute a certain Phil Ivey threw his hoodie into the ring to make it 105. All told that was $10,185,000 to dish out to 16 players with the top prize of $2,910,227 looking as appetising as lamb chops to a starving beaten down dog.
It would be a long day, with Nick Petrangelo emerging with the most significant stack of the final ten players. The Day 1 chip leader, Fox, was a bushy tail width away from Petrangelo; the Global Poker Index (GPI) #1 Stephen Chidwick was third, and the super-duper in-form Jason Koon was in fourth.
The officials took a chainsaw to Day 3 to carve another four players away from the field. Chris Moore fell in tenth spot when his 98hh button jam ran into the pocket aces of Andreas Eiler. Fedor Holz joined Moore in ninth spot when his pocket fives lost the battle of the middling pairs when Fox turned up with sixes. Adrian Mateos exited stage left in eighth place when his QJo lost out to the KT of Fox, and the final table came into existence when Koon’s K5o failed to beat the QJo of Bryn Kenney.
This is what the final table looked like:
Seat 1: Andreas Eiler – 8,490,000 (42 bb)
Seat 2: Bryn Kenney – 10,200,000 (51 bb)
Seat 3: Nick Petrangelo – 12,200,000 (61 bb)
Seat 4: Elio Fox – 8,620,000 (43 bb)
Seat 5: Stephen Chidwick – 5,740,000 (29 bb)
Seat 6: Aymon Hata – 7,280,000 (36 bb)
Petrangelo began the day as the chip leader, and he quickly extended that lead when turning a flush in a pot against Fox who was determined to try his utmost to push Petrangelo off the pot after missing an open-ended straight draw. It didn’t work. Petrangelp didn’t budge and he moved over the 17m mark. Fox dropped down to 6.4m and Andreas Eiler became Petrangelo’s main threat with 11m.
The first player to lose his marbles was Chidwick. The World #1 opened to 2m on the button, Aymon Hata put him all-in from the small blind and Chidwick called. The UK-pro showed Q6ss, and Hata turned over the dominating AQo. Chidwick did turn a pair of sixes to give him hope, but Hate spiked an ace on the river to send the boy wonder home with $484,551 in his pocket.
Bryn Kenney was the next player to see his stack dwindle to a stick or shove size. The GGPoker pro put it in after Fox had raised from the cutoff, and two-time bracelet winner made the call. Kenney turned over pocket fours, and had the lead against Fox’s KJo until the king turned up on the river, crown and all, to send Kenney to the cash desk to pick up $646,927.
After Kenney’s departure the chip stacks looked a little like this:
Nick Petrangelo – 19.4m
Elio Fox 13m
Andreas Einer 11.7m
Aymon Hata 8.4m
Six hands after Fox killed Kenney, Andreas Eiler and Petrangelo tangled in a substantial pot that saw one of them take a chokehold on the competition, and the other left with thoughts of what might have been.
Petrangelo opened to 500,000 in position and Eiler defended the large. The dealer put out a JsJc6s flop, Eiler checked, Petrangelo made a 400,000 c-bet, and Eiler check-raised to 1.3m; Petrangelo called. The turn was the 4c and Eiler continued his aggression with a 2.2m bet and Petrangelo called once more. The river was the 7h, and this time Eiler applied the handbrake. Petrangelo had no such thought and moved all-in, Eiler took his hand off the brake and went tumbling over the cliff.
Petrangelo: 6d6c for a boat.
Eiler: KsJh for trip jacks.
Petrangelo moved up to 31.9m chips, three-times more than Fox and Hata.
It took one more hand to get to heads-up.
Hata opened to 550,000 from the button, and Petrangelo called from the big blind. The flop was Kc8c5d and both players checked. The turn was the 6s, Petrangelo bet 1.9m, and Hata called. The 9s appeared in fifth street and Petrangelo put Hata all-in. The call was made, and Petrangelo showed K7dd for the straight. Hata had top pair K3, and departed with $1,247,230 easily the best score of the German’s career.
Petrangelo – 39,660,000
Fox – 12,845,000
Fox started the faster of the two, picking up cards when he needed them, and it wasn’t long before the pair were neck and neck. Then Fox took the lead, and seemed to have Petrangelo rattled when he five-bet jammed holding J3dd, and Fox called with pocket fives, but a Jack on the flop and a they on the turn gave Petrangelo a vital double up because it was all over in the very next hand.
Petrangelp raised to 600,000, Fox three-bet to 900,000, Petrangelo four-bet to 1.8m, and Fox called. The flop rained down AsAh2c, and Fox check-raised to 3m after Petrangelo had made it 1.2m to play, and the call was made.
The turn was the 8d, Fox checked to Petrangelo who bet 4m, and Fox called. The river was the 3c, Fox checked for the second time, Petrangelo moved all-in and Fox called before turning over 5c2d for aces and deuces, and Petrangelo showed Q8o for aces and eights.
It was Petrangelo’s title, his second bracelet, and his most significant score to date, coming a week after finishing sixth in the Super High Roller Bowl (SHRB), a week that Petrangelo told PokerNews was ‘super intense’.
The win moves Petrangelo over the $14.6m mark in live tournament earnings. Fox had the consolation prize of $1.8m, and a place at the top of the WSOP Player of the Year (POY) leaderboard after his bracelet victory in Event #2.
Here are the final table results:
Final Table Results
- Nick Petrangelo – $2,910,227
- Elio Fox – $1,798,658
- Aymon Hata – $1,247,230
- Andreas Eiler – $886,793
- Bryn Kenney – $646,927
- Stephen Chidwick – $484,551
The Remaining High Roller Events
$50,000 Poker Player’s Championship.
$25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed High Roller.
$50,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller.
$1,000,000 No-Limit Hold’em The Big One for One Drop.