EPT10 London £50k SHR: Martin Finger pushes the button, eight remain

The EPT Super High Roller is a thing of wonder, like a Victorian world fair or menagerie of outlandish creatures. These guys really are a breed apart. They're fantastical beings of amazing poker prowess playing for the kinds of money that would make a strong man wince, and anyone else break down and cry. If you win one of these things you enter a pantheon of poker gods, joining the likes of Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov, Viktor Blom, Dan Smith and Scott Seiver. That and win a massive amount of money and a Shamballa Jewels bracelet. You get £821,000 for this one (that's about $1,315,160).

The player best positioned to join them at the end of Day 2 of this first EPT London Super High Roller is EPT Prague champ Martin Finger, who made a huge call against his countryman Christoph Vogelsang to win a huge 3.5m chip pot. Vogelsang mucked his bluff leaving Finger to rake in without showing.

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Martin Finger: massive chip lead

"I like the bubble," said Finger, bittersweet after folding his big blind to a short stack shove from Mike McDonald at the final table.

Indeed he did. Finger started raising and three-betting liberally to finish the day on 4.7m, more than twice as much as his closest rival, fellow German Johannes Strassmann. It's a dominating lead. McDonald's stay of execution lasted until about 12.15am when his A♣J♣ failed to connect against Strassmann's pocket tens. Eight places paid and that failed flip cost McDonald almost £110k. Super High Rollers are not for the faint-hearted.

Final table chip counts
Martin Finger, 4,770,000
Johannes Strassmann, 2,215,000
Bill Perkins, 2,060,000
David Benefield, 1,320,000
Christoph Vogelsang, 1,220,000
Timothy Adams, 1,140,000
Tobias Reinkemeier, 850,000
Patrik Antonius, 750,000

How did we get here?
McDonald went in 9th almost an hour and a half after Ole Schemion bust in 10th to bring the action onto one table. EPT Grand Final champ Steve O'Dwyer tanked out in 11th after a long, tough decision with a rivered two-pair. His opponent, Benefield, had flopped a set. Paul Newey bust in 12th after his short-stacked shove with A♣A♦ was called by Schemion with K♦3♥. Schemion flopped two pair, which must be nice.

Final table short stack Patrik Antonius led a charmed life. He won one flip with eights to Schemion's ace-king and then hit a three-outer all-in on the turn against Benefield to stay in - that had been shortly before Newey's departure.

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Patrik Antonius

Both Schemion and Benefield had been continuing a rich vein of form that saw both them cash in the High Roller, Super High Roller and Main Event in Barcelona. Four from four? It seemed incredibly likely for some time but it wasn't the case for Schemion whose J♦J♥ couldn't hold against Christoph Vogelsang's ace-ten. Vogelsang had good day with spiked aces. He won a big pot with big slick against Mike McDonald's pocket kings earlier in the day.

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David Benefield

Fallen soldiers
Jeff Gross' queens lost out to Daniel Negreanu's K♦9♦, Andrew Chen was knocked out by Ole Schemion in a cooler, Martin Finger chopped down John Juanda, Tobias Reinkemeier bumped out Sorel Mizzi, Viktor Blom fell to Patrik Antonius, and Negreanu fell to Schemion. Put simply, there was all kinds of carnage, as you'd expect when you play from some 35-odd of the best players around down to eight in one day.

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Daniel Negreanu (left) and Paul Newey

These Super High Rollers pay big bucks and the action tomorrow, which you can follow here and at PokerStars.tv, is set to be amazing. Join us from 1pm for the cards-up action.

Payouts
1. £821,000
2. £593,900
3. £383,200
4. £290,100
5. £224,400
6. £175,200
7. £139,600
8. £109,455

Check out some other Super High Roller articles from today:
Who is Super High Roller Bill Perkins?
Jason Mercier: good at pot control, not mike control
Mike "Timex" McDonald on the rise of the Super High Roller

Click through to the Super High Roller live reporting or the UKIPT Main Event. Follow the @PokerStarsBlog Twitter account to keep up-to-date with all the EPT action and check out the EPTLive webcast.

is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour