EPT12 Barcelona: A chip and a chair, but no comeback

Who doesn't love a good underdog story? Here at the PokerStars Blog we think they're great and the poker landscape is littered with remarkable feats that have made their way into poker folklore. Long before Chris Moneymaker wrote his name into poker history Jack Strauss penned his own chapter when he won the 1982 WSOP Main Event and famously came back from a single chip to win the lot.

Whilst there's some dispute over whether Strauss knew he had a chip under his napkin, and was shooting an angle, there's no debate that this incident is the root of the popular saying - some would say too popular -'a chip and chair'. Jack Strauss is not the only player to have won a big tournament from a single chip as Bill Edler won a $10,000 tournament in September 2007 from a single ante chip and a short time ago it looked as if we might be on for our own EPT piece of folklore.


Leon 'one chip' Tsoukernik

Leon Tsoukernik had just lost a big pot to Byron Kaverman and could be heard asking anyone at this table who'd listen. "Can I win this tournament with one chip?" He then turned to the table behind him and asked the same question to Paul Newey. "It's a good one," said the Czech casino owner and indeed it was as its green colour indicated it was worth 100,000. At this stage of the tournament if you're going to be stuck with one chip that's the one to have.

At this juncture Philipp Gruissem wandered over from a nearby table and Tsoukernik repeated his line of questioning to the German high roller. "Yes," was the succinct response from Gruissem. All the while the poker tournament was continuing and on closer inspection Tsoukernik had actually been left with four chips, but why let facts get in the way of a story.

The blinds at this point were 4,000/8,000 with a 1,000 ante so after three hands of folding Tsoukernik really was down to one chip but to pay the ante he had to break it and as he was the table chip leader, Christoph Vogelsang did the needful. Turns out he could've just saved everyone some time - and Kaverman some chips - as Tsoukernik's tournament came to an end on the next hand and it was Vogelsang who did for him.


Vogelsang - collecting chips and crushing dreams

The three aforementioned players saw a 5♠4♠7♠ flop, after a bet from Kaverman and a call from Vogelsang the Rozadov resident moved the rest of his chips in and both players called. A bet from Vogelsang on the 8♣ turn forced Kaverman to fold and the German said: "nut flush," and showed A♠J♠. "You got it," replied Tsoukernik as he showed 8♥7♥. The turn had meant that Tsoukernik wasn't drawing completely dead and his chip and a chair comeback was still alive, if only barely. The T♥ river though was not the card he was looking for.
So no chip and a chair comeback narrative on the EPT just yet, but wouldn't it be boring if it happened all the time?

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Start your journey to EPT glory by downloading the PokerStars client and having a crack. Follow this EPT event via the EPT app. There you will get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts. You can download it on Android or IOS. All the EPT Barcelona bumf is on the main EPT Barcelona page, while blow-by-blow Super High Roller coverage is on the Super High Roller page.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour