PokerStars Festival Hamburg: 90 in the High Roller; Christian Freimuller leads the way

When you come to a PokerStars Festival, you want to win the Main Event. That's the prestigious one. But coming in a close second has to be the High Roller. Deep down, we all dream of being high rollers, if we aren't already.

The €2,200 buy-in PokerStars Festival High Roller kicked off today. One re-entry was allowed up until the beginning of level 7 and the tournament had an 80-player capacity at any one time. As registration closed, 90 entries made up the field, 10 of them being re-entries. The top five stacks at the time of writing were:

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Christian Freimuller: leading the way

Christian Freimuller - 101,000
Andre Haneberg - 90,000
Frederik Jensen - 75,000
Rishi Bhasin - 75,000
Toni Vardjavand - 75,000
(67 remain)

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Things are looking up for Frederik Jensen

Freimuller was the first player to amass a six-figure stack and some of those came in a pot versus Sven Leu. Freimuller was the only caller after Leu raised from under the gun. A 7♠6♣T♠ flop appeared and Leu's c-bet was called. The K♠ turn was a scare card and both players checked to the A♥ river. Freimuller took over the initiative with a bet after Leu had checked to him, and opened A♦Q♣ when he was called. Leu mucked and Freimuller raked inn the pot.

You'll notice a certain Frederick Jensen third in the chips. He, Thang Duc Nguyen and Michael Schulze are the most decorated players in the field when to comes to PokerStars events, as all three are European Poker Tour champions.

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Thang Duc Nguyen

Nguyen, who was a Hamburg based baker when he won his EPT, was the first to claim his title (and $619,082) at the Baden stop all the way back in Season 3. The small Austrian town is still remembered as having the best player buffet at an EPT ever! Uruguayan fillet steaks cooked to order 24 hours a day anyone?! Nguyen beat a stacked field that included a breakout performance from Italian poker legend Dario Minieri (ultimately came third). Fast forward to Season 4 and Schulze picked up his crown in Warsaw. He beat a 359-player field and picked up a cool $926,220. Not bad for your first recorded cash. Jensen was ever so close to becoming only the second ever (and first male) two-time EPT champion (after Vicky Coren) at the last ever EPT in Prague last December, but fell short in second. At least he already had a title to his name after he won in Madrid in Season 8. He took away $649,368 after he defeated Fraser MacIntyre heads up.

Jensen played one of the most interesting hands of the day so far and it didn't even get to a full showdown. One hand was shown but it belonged to Steven Rohr who open-folded a top set of aces on the river. The board read 7♣9♣A♥5♣K♠ and 39,000 lay in the middle at a 300 big blind. Jensen moved in for his last 33,000 and Rohr folded, showing A♦A♠ as Jensen scooped to take the chip lead at the time.

Six more levels 40-minute levels will be played out today and then the players return at 5pm (CET) on Wednesday where they'll play down until a winner. For live updates, continue to follow the PokerNews blog, and check back here later for a round up of the day's action and main talking points.

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Marc Convey
@The_Conv in Live Poker