EPT11 Grand Final: Charlie Carrel wins €25,000 High Roller and €1,114,000
It seems like only six weeks ago that we first met Charlie Carrel and that's because it was. We labelled the 21 year old the 'best British player you'd never heard of' back then, and he went on to finish fifth in the €10,000 EPT11 Malta High Roller for a career high €183,800. His days of flying under the radar or being even the slightest bit 'unknown' have come shuddering to a halt here tonight as he beat out a world class field to capture a first prize of €1,114,000 and an exclusive watch from luxury Swiss brand SLYDE, the Official Watch Sponsor for EPT11 Main Events and High Roller events.
The Brit has a wise head on young shoulders - he once moved away from London to live with his Grandma in Jersey so he could focus on poker - and that shone through when speaking about his win. "This is the first event that I've properly sold action in and I am extremely excited to give a chunk of this away to my friends and that's what makes me feel happiest from this," he explained, "I get to prove to them that I was a good investment and give them back what they invested in me and more," he added.
In case you thinking that there's no way this is coming from someone as young as Carrel let's redress the balance a little. "I mean I am going to have a bit of a splashy party," he said laughing but then he goes and spoils it by adding. " But I'm actually going to be sensible about it as me and my friends are going to buy a property. It's old of me."
Plans to buy a flat in Brighton are in the works, which will make a change from living out of a suitcase for Carrel, which is what he's been doing for the past five months. His toughest decision when he gets back to the UK is going to be which city to pick for that celebratory party, but he had plenty of tough decisions at today's final table. This is how the final eight lined up earlier today:
Seat 1: Steve O'Dwyer, 575,000
Seat 2: Dan Smith, 751,000
Seat 3: Imad Derwiche, 465,000
Seat 4: Jeremy Ausmus, 1,390,000
Seat 5: Charlie Carrel, 1,750,000
Seat 6: Dario Sammartino, 1,485,000
Seat 7: Max Altergott, 1,178,000
Seat 8: Andrey Andreev, 3,158,000
Second in chips at the start of a final table full of sharks, but the player that made the final table most interesting was the chip leader Andrey Andreev. "Generally when you come into a final table your thinking 'oh my god what if I won,' but generally you're going to come about fifth on average even if you come in second in chips," said Carrel. "I wasn't really watching the pay jumps or anything but I was paying attention to ICM. It was kind of different because of the Russian player. I'm not singling him out because he's the best person I've ever met, but he just didn't care. He owns half or Russia or something and it changed the entire dynamic of the final table."
And adjusting to that dynamic successfully is perhaps why Carrel has a trophy to pack into that suitcase of his tonight. "I think I stayed quite passive and tight because I think some of the professionals were adjusting badly to him which means there was a lot of volatility in his play and their play and there was a good chance of them busting out, which did happen."
First to go was Smith, then Ausmus. The two Americans were followed out the door by two of Europe's top guns as Sammartino (6th) and Altergott (5th) couldn't get it done at their second High Roller final table of the week. That left two pros and two amateurs in the final four, and Carrel had over half the chips in play. When Andreev fell in fourth and O'Dwyer succumbed in third, Carrel was heads-up for a seven-figure pay day with a three to one chip lead.
Although Imad Derwiche closed the gap at the start of heads-up play, on the thirtieth hands of heads-up play it was all over. Derwiche moved all-in for around ten big blinds with 6♥2♥ and Carrel called with K♦6♣. A T♠Q♦T♣J♥Q♣ board later and Carrel was the champion.
It's been a meteoric rise for the young Brit who said of today: "It was so fun, I just love playing so much. Poker's the one sport where you can quite quickly play against the best in the world. I just love that."
Tonight he's beat some of the best in Europe and next stop (after that party of course) is Las Vegas for the WSOP. "I've already planned which events I'm going to play and I'm definitely playing the $100K One Drop."
America, he's coming for you, best not pack that suitcase away any time soon then Charlie.
EPT11 Grand Final - High Roller
Prize pool: €5,267,500
1 - Charlie Carrel (United Kingdom) €1,114,000
2 - Imad Derwiche (Senegal) €750,000
3 - Steve O'Dwyer (Ireland) €528,700
4 - Andrey Andreev (Russia) €428,700
5 - Max Altergott (Germany) €339,100
6 - Dario Sammartino (Italy) €257,400
7 - Jeremy Ausmus (United States) €188,000
8 - Dan Smith (United States) €137,400
Read a full re-cap of the Main Event and relive all the action from it on the Main Event page.