After one of the hardest fought heads-up matches you could wish for on the European Poker Tour, Michael Tureniec, from Sweden, has won the EPT Copenhagen, earning a first prize of DKK 3,700,000 after defeating countryman Per Linde.
For Tureniec it puts to right his previous best on the EPT, when he finished second to Michael Martin back in London in season five. With events going on around the world the poker world crowns a new king almost every week. Whether it's on the European Poker Tour or its Latin American or Asian equivalent, the aristocracy gets a new dose of fresh blood, players released into the world, their results forever examined for authenticity. In Tureniec's case that's a record now unlikely to be challenged.
EPT Copenhagen champion, Michael Tureniec
It came after a heads-up duel lasting more than three and a half hours that was in stark contrast to the early stages of the day, a period that featured the elimination of three players in less than an hour.
Tureniec gets his hands on the trophy
Play started at 12 noon with perhaps one of the most unusual of starts. At the beginning of the week we'd forecast that today's final wouldn't be an ordinary affair. EPT Copenhagen has a knack for producing the unexpected and as promised today proved no different.
The final table
On the first hand of the final, Englishman John Eames doubled-up through Nikolas Liakas with pocket kings. Two hands later he sent Finnish hope Juha Helppi to the rail, again with pocket kings. Soon after, and with a sheepish look of embarrassment on this face, Eames dispatched Andrea Dalle Molle in seventh place. His winning hand? Pocket kings, natch.
Andrea Dalla Molle
By now Eames looked on his way to the title, having cancelled out Per Linde's chip lead. But that seemed as far as Eames, supported both on the rail and from the bar by several British pros, could depend on his trusted cowboys, which with one later exception, would no longer be used in anger.
After Tureniec saw to it that Mudassar Khan would go no further than sixth place, he then turned to Eames, crushing his stack by doubling-up through the Brit, using the same pocket kings that had propelled Eames into the lead.
Nikolas Liakos went next. Having doubled through American Kevin Iacofano (Ice-o-fanno), Tureniec busted Liakos in fifth place, his pocket sevens winning the race against Liakos's shove with ace-eight.
Nikolas Liakos shakes the hand with Michael Tureniec
Iacofano was left struggling but scored a fortuitous double-up, his pocket fours making a set against Tureniec's pocket sixes. Then, while Eames was doubling-up again with kings once more through Per Linde, the American crashed out in fourth place, calling Michael Tureniec's all-in on the river, oblivious to Tureniec's flopped trip tens. Iacofano was devastated, testimony if any were needed, that it's not always the money that finalists have their eye on.
Three-handed the chips flew one way and another. Linde doubled through Eames, then Tureniec did the same, to cripple Eames what would be a pivotal hand; queens for Eames, ace-king for Tureniec. The king on the flop slashed Eames's stack from several million to just several hundred thousand. Eames clawed his way back but he was out little more than half an hour later.
John Eames (right), three-handed
By now the final table had demonstrated what exciting live (and televised) poker is all about. Eames's performance had demonstrated how a talented player can take advantage of the feckless nature of the poker Gods. Iacofano; how much an event like this and the prestige attached can mean so much to a player. Tureniec and Linde meanwhile, former chips leaders in the early stages of the event, were text book practitioners of a game played by many but mastered by few.
Per Linde (left) and Michael Tureniec, heads-up
After three hours and 39 minutes of heads-up play, Tureniec finally put an end to an arduous week. Linde had fought admirably, twice doubling up to keep his chances alive. But this final duo was evenly matched. That Linde gave way did nothing to diminish his own remarkable performance. Tureniec finished second in an EPT before winning one. Look no further than Linde for a future candidate to do the same.
Tureniec shows off the winners bracelet, provided by Shambala Jewels
"I'm feeling very happy," said an emotional Tureniec after collecting the trophy and the winner's bracelet. "It's been a good day. I'm glad I managed to win against these tough opponents. I'm very proud.
"It feels good to win in Copenhagen. It's such a tough field here with a lot of Scandinavian players. My plan now is to first get a driver's license, then get a nice car."
It started fast, promised a daylight finish, but in the end settled down for a good old scrap to the finish. To read the details of the final table in full click through the links below, while the prize winners are all detailed on the official prize winners page.
What do we do now? Institutionalised, we now climb back into our box until the next time, reappearing half-way up a mountain at EPT Snowfest, next month. Until then we'll sate our EPT appetites by reading the foreign blogs. Who knows, it may have been a completely different story in German, Dutch and Swedish.
Gloria Balding talks to the winner of EPT Copenhagen, Michael Tureniec...
That's it then from EPT Copenhagen for another year. Thanks to Neil Stoddart for the photography this week. Thanks to you for following our live coverage.
See you in the Alps.