EPT12 Prague: Gieles and Dvoress depart as familiar foes rise to the top in Super High Roller
Who'd be a chip leader? We often talk of a 'curse of the chip leader' although there's no such thing of course. A more apt word would, perhaps, be expectation. The 2015 poker world knows enough about variance and ICM to understand that the chip leader at the start of the final table isn't nailed on to win, or even reach the the top three. This is poker, stuff happens.
It's worth bearing that in mind right now as the overnight chip leader has just been eliminated in seventh place. If might not soften the blow for Luuk Gieles but the Dutchman likely won't be having nightmares about a big mistake or a misplayed hand or a bad performance as there was simply no getting away from the two big hands he lost. See if you agree.
In the first he raised to 2.5 big blinds with 9♠9♣ and then called Sam Greenwood's 14 big blind shove. The Canadian held A♥K♦ and hit the A♣2♣7♥Q♠A♦ board to survive.
That dropped Gieles to 1,450,000 (29 big blinds at the time) and he would lose the vast majority of them 12 hands later against Igor Kurganov. Quite frankly he did well to survive the skirmish with any chips. The Dutchman raised from the cutoff and Kurganov smooth called from the big blind. Both players checked the 3♦5♦7♦ flop and on the 8♥ turn Kurganov check called a bet of 240,000 from Gieles.
The Q♦ completed the board and Kurganov fired out a chunky bet of 650,000, Gieles called immediately with K♦K♥ but had run into one of the only hands that could beat him - A♦Q♣. That dropped him down to just over four big blinds and he was eliminated soon after by Thomas Muehloecker.
With the exit of Gieles it left Steve O'Dwyer and Daniel Dvoress as the two sub one million stacks. Both had around 15 big blinds and in quick succession the pair of them would each take a shot at doubling up. Only one would survive. It was O'Dwyer who chanced his arm first, three-bet shoving from the big blind with A♠K♣ after Muehloecker had raised from the small with A♣Q♦. The Austrian called the extra but didn't connect with the 2♦4♥7♠5♥8♦ board.
Around 10 hands later the action folded to Sam Greenwood in the small blind, he set Dvoress in for about 12.5 big blinds and the latter called right away and showed A♥T♥. He could reasonably have expected to be ahead of Greenwood's range but his fellow Canadian had him crushed with pocket aces and although Dvoress turned a ten, there was no miracle two outer on the river.
The five remaining players are now guaranteed €220,500 and couple of familiar names have force their way to the top. Back in May, at the EPT Grand Final, Dzmitry Urbanovich and Igor Kurganov both final tabled the €100,000 Super High Roller (as did Muehloecker). On that occasion Urbanovich eliminated both Kurganov and Muehloecker on his way to finishing second to Erik Seidel.
He's currently bossing proceedings again and indeed Urbanovich and Kurganov own almost 68% of the chips in play and have separated themselves from O'Dwyer, Greenwood and Muehloecker. Blinds have just ticked up to 40,000/80,000 ante 10,000.
You'll find hand by hand coverage of the Super High Roller final table in the panel at the top here. It's also the final table of the Eureka Main Event today, follow that here and learn more about the final table participants by clicking right here.