EPT11 Grand Final: Andrey Andreev leads as €25,000 High Roller final table begins

Twelve players returned for the final day of the €25,000 High Roller and it didn't take long for the final table of eight to be set and it's been a case of the rich getting richer.

The chip leader coming into today, with a massive 2,270,000 (94.5 big blinds), was Andrey Andreev and on the very first hand of play he padded his stack by eliminating Yingui Li in what can only be described as fortuitous circumstances. Li three-bet to 90,000 over the top of Martin Jacobson's open (and Dan Smith's smooth call), Andreev moved all-in with pocket tens and Li snap called all-in for 800,000 with pocket aces. However, a ten on the flop sent a 1,600,000 chip pot the way of the chip leader.

Anything you can do though as Charlie Carrel - who started the day second in chips - would soon eliminate Dominik Nitsche to reduce the field to the final ten. Nitsche three-bet shoved for almost 20 big blinds with pocket sevens but was dominated by Carrel's pocket queens. There was no suckout this time and Nitsche was gone.

Next to go was Martin Jacobson and it was a one-two suckout/knockout punch by EPT9 Grand Final champion Steve O'Dwyer that did for the Swede. First O'Dwyer's A♣2♠ spiked a two to outflop Jacobson's A♠7♥ and just a few hands later Jacobson shoved from under-the-gun for around nine big blinds with pocket kings and O'Dwyer isolated from the button with pocket tens. The Irishman flopped a set and although Jacobson turned a gutshot straight draw he missed on the river. Still, we'll climb off the fence on this one and predict that Jacobson's a talented player who we reckon has a future in this game!

When the unofficial final table of nine was set it was Imad Derwiche who was the short stack, although with 19 big blinds he wasn't exactly in the danger zone. However it would be Pablo Melogno who would bubble the official final table. Left short after a hero call went wrong he found himself all-in on the turn of a J♠A♠K♦2♦ board and picked up calls from both Jeremey Ausmus and Dan Smith. On the T♠ river Ausmus bet, Smith folded and Ausmus showed A♦Q♦ to eliminate Melongo, who held K♠2♥.

With that the final table of eight was set and this is how they stack up:

Final table player profiles: (our thanks to our colleagues at PokerNews for help in compiling these)


The elite eight

Seat one: Steve O'Dwyer, USA, 575,000


Along with Martin Finger, Steve O'Dwyer is the only player to have completed the EPT Main Event/Super High Roller double. Today he's looking to complete the hat-trick and win a EPT High Roller trophy to put alongside them in the cabinet. It's been a rollercoster tournament for O'Dwyer as he entered Day 2 of the €25,500 High Roller with the chip lead after bagging 330,200. At the end of Day 2, O'Dwyer's stack was just about the same, finishing with a slightly larger 356,000. But instead of being on the top of the counts this time, he was stuck at the bottom of the remaining 12 heading into Day 3.

At the start of the final table he's the second shortest stack, but with almost 20 big blinds he's got some wiggle room.

Seat two: Dan Smith, USA, 751,000


Dan Smith is one of the most successful poker players in the game. He has several titles, handfuls of results, and over $9 million in live tournament earnings. But, he'll have to battle with more than just tough competitors on the felt in this one.

In the latter half on Day 2, Smith was overcome with illness. It was suggested by some of the players that he came down with food poisoning, and Smith was often seen hovering over a garbage bin that was placed close by for his convenience. As the night wore on, things didn't seem to get better for Smith, but he battled through it. At one point, a medical staff member was called in to sit by his side and tend to him. She assisted by repeatedly wiping him down with cool cloths, monitoring his vitals, and making sure he was getting enough fluids.

When the day was done, Smith left the tournament area alongside some of his friends with plans to go to the hospital to get checked out. The good news for Smith is that he's feeling much better today, that's bad news for his opponents of course.

Smith's largest live tournament score came last year during the summer when he won the $102,000 Super High Roller held at Bellagio for over $2 million.

In Monaco, Smith has had plenty of prior success. Of note, he won not one, not two, but three €5,000 side events in 2012. He also won another €5,000 side event this year just a few days ago for nearly €110,000.

Seat three: Imad Derwiche, Senegal, 465,000


Imad Derwiche will start the final table as the shortest stack and the man listed as from Senegal boasts live tournament earnings of over $330,000. He only has one result that breaks the six-figure mark, and that came from 2011 at the World Poker Tour Regional Series in Paris. It was in that event that he bested a field of 27 entries to win the €10,000 High Roller for €125,000. After that score, Derwiche's largest cash is for €20,000.

He's clearly at home in High Roller events and by virtue of making the final table he's guaranteed at least €137,400, which is the largest score of his career.

Seat four: Jeremy Ausmus, USA, 1,390,00


Las Vegas resident Jeremy Ausmus is best known for reaching the final table of the WSOP in 2012 where he eventually finished fifth for $2,155,000. He's total earnings now stand at over $4,250,000 and he's proved that result was no fluke and indeed he almost snagged a second bracelet in 2014 when he finished runner-up in a $10,000 Six-Handed no-limit Hold'em event. By making the final table here in Monte Carlo he's already locked up his biggest cash outside of America.

Seat five: Charlie Carrel, UK, 1,750,000


At EPT11 Malta we described Charlie Carrel as the 'best player from the UK that you've never heard of'. He soon went about putting that one right as in his first ever €10,000 High Roller he made the final table and finished fifth for €183,800. He plays under the screen name 'Epiphany77' on PokerStars and although he chopped the Sunday Million for $201,000 in January 2014 his real epiphany came when he swtiched to cash games and went from playing 50NL to 1000NL in about two months.

Should he finish seventh or above here in Moncao he'll record his largest live score to date.

Seat six: Dario Sammartino, Italy, 1,485,000


This is the third deep run at this festival for Italian wunderkid Dario Sammartino. He held the chip lead going to the final table of the €100,000 Super High Roller, eventually finishing fourth for €709,500, which to date is the largest cash of his career. He had little time to savour that triumph though as he was straight into the Main Event where he finished 17th before hopping into the High Roller after busting out late on Wednesday.

It was a wise move and the Italian, who was part of the team who won the Global Poker Masters, will start the final table 1,485,000 in chips. Should he win today he'll jump to fourth in the all-time Italian money list but wherever he finishes today this result will cap a remarkable festival for Sammartino.

Seat seven: Max Altergott, Germany, 1,178,000


Life changing money is a term that's as ubiquitous as 'bad beat' or 'one time' when it comes to poker but it's absolutely true when it comes to Max Altergott. The German won the EPT Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller here in 2013 for €1,746,400 and as this video shows it's changed his life.

Given that he's now a fixture in the biggest tournaments on the planet it's hard to believe that his victory was his first ever recorded live cash. He's already had one huge score this week in Monaco, finishing third in the €100,000 Super High Roller, and you wouldn't bet against him making it two today.

Also of note, he scored a victory in the 2013 World Poker Tour Paris €15,000 High Roller for €181,440 and won the 2014 Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge for AU$241,785. Furthermore, Altergott took second in a WPT Alpha8 event for £350,000 in London and has cashed in a couple of ARIA high roller events.

You can regularly find Altergott hanging around with several other members of "Team Germany," such as Tobias Reinkemeier, Philipp Gruissem, Igor Kurganov, and Fabian Quoss.

Seat eight: Andrey Andreev, Russia, 3,158,000


Little is known about Andrey Andreev (apart from that he likes to play a lot of pots!) as he is one of the relatively unknown players left in the field. The 60-year-old businessman hails from Russia and until this tournament had just $42,311 in live tournament earnings. Andreev's largest live tournament result is worth €13,900, and it comes as a result of an 84th-place finish in EPT Barcelona Main Event in 2014. In October 2014, Andreev cashed twice in EPT London side events, and then he finished 22nd in the EPT Malta €2,150 Turbo Bounty event for €2,470. There's no doubt then that this is Andreev's break out live result.

Follow all the action from the final table of the €10,000 Main Event on the Main Event page. Also watch on EPT Live. The €25,000 High Roller is at its final too, over on the High Roller page. It's also about time you downloaded the EPT app. There you will get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts. You can download it on Android or IOS.