PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Or Patreanu crowned High Roller champ

After two solid days of play, Or Patreanu walks away €55,500 richer after taking down the €2,200 High Roller Single Re-entry here in Bucharest. The 29-year old Israeli businessman outlasted a field of 101 players to claim the prize and the infamous spadie.

But how did he get there? Let's take a little meander back and see.

-STA_8998PSF Bucharest 2017 high rolle winner Or PatreanuPCMON2017Tomas Stacha.jpg

Or Patreanu, High Roller Champ

Back at the start of play on Thursday, an assortment of names and faces had signed up to take a stab at claiming a chunk of the €215,340 prizepool. The included a former WSOP Main Event champ (Chris Moneymaker), a pro who's running hotter than the sun of late (Andreas Klatt), the Romanian all-time money leader (Alex Papazian) and a Czech ice-hockey legend (Miroslav Forman).

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No cash for Moneymaker

But as the days drew on, it turned out to be bad luck for the lot of them. Chris Moneymaker even took to twitter to express his frustration at not being able to get anything going. After being "soul-read" when his bluff river-shove was called by just a pair of deuces on a K♠J♠8♦5♠3♣, he was eliminated on Day 1. It didn't get any better for the 2003 WSOP Main Event champ, who re-entered into at the start of Day 2 only to be KO'd by the very same opponent who bust him the day before. The painnnn!

As the field whittled down throughout the day, just 15 would make the money - and with a min-cash worth €3,655, it was worth fighting to get there. All the battling led to an eventful bubble, which saw Roi Koko and Daniel Portiansky bust at the same time on seperate tables in hand-for-hand play, to chop the 15th place prize money.

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Dear lord, please don't make me the bubble boy

As play continued and the classic post-bubble bust-out bonanza ensued, it took just a couple of hours before reaching the final table last night. Here's how the seat draw and chip-counts looked when it landed:

1Mihai StincaRomania252,000
2Or Aire PatranuIsrael305,000
3Cosmin VoineaRomania120,000
4Alin PandiliciaRomania365,000
5Georges YazbeckLebanon390,000
6Dawid BorkowskiPoland700,000
7Alexandru CincaRomania210,000
8Elie GhazalLebanon150,000
9Eduard NorelRomaia265,000

As expected with a few short-stacks in play, it only took a few minutes into the final table before we saw our first eliminations. The first to depart was the short-stacked Elie Ghazal (9th), who was followed shortly by Mihai Stinca (8th). The first saw Ghazal flop top pair on a ten-high board with his K♠T♣ holding, which was out-kicked by Alin Pandilica's A♠T♥. And Stinca's run ended in a classic pre-flop race when his A♣K♣ just couldn't get there against Or Patreanu's J♠J♥.

It would be another three levels before we'd see our next round of bust-outs. Next to go was Alexandru Cinca (7th) who got his remaining chips in with Ace-Seven and was called off by Yazbeck's King-Seven, only for a King to hit the board and send him packing. He was followed by Dawid Borkowski (6th) who limp-shoved with pocket deuces, but was sent flying when Eudard Norel hit a Queen on the flop holding Ace-Queen.

As five handed play continued, players became shorter and the bust-outs came in quick succession. Cosmin Voinea (5th) was next to go, followed immediately by Georges Yazbeck (4th). And then, on the biggest pot of the final table, Eduard Norel (3rd) was eliminated when he called off Patreanu's shove holding T♦9♥ on a 9♠8♠7♥ board. It was about as close a flip as they come when Patreanu turned over 6♠2♠ for the flush draw, only to hit the T♠ on the turn to get there.

-STA_8958PSF Bucharest 2017 high rolle heads up Or PatreanuPCMON2017Tomas Stacha.jpg

It's all over baby

Head's up and it only lasted a single hand before it was all over. With a 4:1 chip-lead, Patreanu open-shoved holding 5♠5♦ and was quickly called by Alin Pandilica's A♠Q♥. The board ran out clean for Patreanu, as he jumped off his chair, pumped the air and let out a jubulant "YES!"

Yes indeed. Congratulations to him!

1Or Aire PatreanuIsrael€55,500
2Alin Petrisor PandilicaRomania€38,100
3Eduard Gabriel NorelRomania€24,980
4Georges YazbeckLebanon€20,200
5Cosmin VoineaRomania€16,250
6Dawid BorkowskiPoland€12,700
7Alexandru CincaRomania€10,050
8Mihai StincaRomania€7,650
9Elie GhazalLebanon€5,600
10Paul EsauGermany€4,520

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Dan Jones
@PokerStars in Live Poker