EPT12: Kurganov crushing, leads final three in Super High Roller
The Super High Rollers are an intelligent bunch and you sensed that with five players left they all knew their respective roles in proceedings. The final table had turned into a giant game of he knows, that I know, that he knows etc.
These guys don't guess, they know. They know ICM, they know correct raising and shoving ranges and they know that their opponents know it too. So Igor Kurganov certainly knew that as he had the chip lead and Thomas Muehloecker was short stacked that he could put lots of pressure on Sam Greenwood, Steve O'Dwyer and Dzmitry Urbanovich, who were fourth, third and second in chips respectively. Greenwood was big blind to Kurganov's small and he brought the pain by first shoving from the button and then the small blind to starve Greenwood and Muehloecker or much needed chips.
The next time it folded to Kurganov in the small blind he yet again set Greenwood all-in for an effective 11 big blinds. The Canadian tanked before electing to call all-in with K♦8♦. It turned out to be a great decision as he was dominating Kurganov's 8♥4♠ and his hand held up to double.
This now left Muehloecker stranded at the bottom of the counts with less than six big blinds. They soon went in, the Austrian three-bet shoving over a raise from Kurganov. He picked up calls from Urbanovich and Kurganov who then proceeded to check down the J♦8♥Q♦7♥Q♣ board where Kurganov's J♠T♥ took the honours over Urbanovich's pocket nines and the sixes of Muehloecker.
That elimination gave Kurganov even more ammunition with which to wreak havoc. He was playing 5,800,000, Urbanovich about 4,000,000, O'Dywer just under two million and Greenwood around 1,700,000. The rules had changed now for Greenwood as he was the short stack.
Of the next six pots Kurganov took four, but Greenwood was busy making sure he didn't stay the shortest stack for long. He raised one pot and took it uncontested and then shoved on O'Dwyer, blind on blind, shoved from the button and then shoved on O'Dwyer again. The next time he shoved he got called.
He'd increased his stack to 2,360,000 (23.6 big blinds) and put them at risk, shoving with pocket sixes from the button. He got though O'Dwyer, but not Urbanovich, the Pole calling with A♠K♦. The latter hit the flop and turn on a K♠J♦2♦A♥ board, but Greenwood hit the 6♦ river to severely dent Urbanovich and score a huge double.
It was setback that Urbanovich never recovered from and he was eliminated by O'Dwyer three hands later when his K♥Q♥ failed to spike against O'Dwyer's A♠7♠.
And then there were three, Kurganov with around six million leads, Greenwood has 4,750,000 and O'Dwyer 3,225,000. The rules keep changing...