EPT12 Prague: Steve O'Dwyer creates history, wins second EPT Super High Roller title
This was the fifteenth time the EPT had held an event with the Super High Roller moniker attached. Up until now they'd all attracted the world's best players, but they'd all ended with different champions. But tonight in Prague Steve O'Dwyer defeated Sam Greenwood heads-up to make history, becoming the first player to win two EPT Super High Roller titles. "I like to be the first to do anything," smiled O'Dwyer in the aftermath.
With such concentrated fields a double champion was always likely but it came as a major surprise tonight. Only three former winners entered this event (O'Dwyer, Sylvain Loosli and Leonid Markin) but mostly it was because O'Dwyer didn't look like winning this event until a crazy eight hand spell with four players left.
In that period he went from short stack to chip leader, eliminating Dzmitry Urbanovich and Igor Kurganov to take a greater than two to one chip lead into heads-up play. For the vast majority of the previous 129 hands O'Dwyer had been towards the bottom of the counts. "That was a fun one," said O'Dwyer. "I went from 1,600,000 to 9,800,000 in eight hands."
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Prior to the heads-up battle O'Dwyer - who yesterday we called the 'poster boy for the Super High Rollers' - and Greenwood took a dinner break and struck a deal that guaranteed them €724,228 and €643,607 respectively with €22,315 left to one side for the winner of the final hand. "Sam's one of the best players in these tournaments and we're really good friends," said O'Dwyer.
Over the first 18 hands of heads-up play there was little chip movement, although while Greenwood clawed back a handful of big blinds O'Dwyer still had the most chips. One hand later he had them all.
With blinds at 60,000/120,000 ante 10,000, O'Dwyer three-bet pre-flop to 900,000 and Greenwood smooth called. Both players checked the Q♦J♣4♠ flop and the 6♠ peeled off on the turn. The Irishman checked, Greenwood bet 830,000 and O'Dwyer smooth called. The 5♦ completed the board and after O'Dwyer checked again. Greenwood moved all-in for 3,165,000 and after taking some time to think over the decision O'Dwyer made the call. Greenwood showed T♣9♠ for a bluff which O'Dwyer had picked off with J♠T♦.
For Greenwood, this was his third six figure score on the EPT in the last seven weeks. He followed up final tables in the EPT12 Malta €25,000 High Roller and Main Event with another strong showing here. In fact it was the biggest score of the Canadian's career. Like O'Dwyer, he'd been towards the bottom of the counts until just four remained. But his final table excitement was spread over more than eight hands. He was involved in five all-ins prior to heads-up, winning four and losing one. The crucial hand came against Dzmitry Urbanovich with four left. The Canadian was racing for his tournament life with pocket sixes against the Pole's ace-king. A king flopped, an ace turned but crucially a six hit the river and Greenwood survived, whilst that hand was the beginning of the end for Urbanovich
Whilst O'Dwyer and Greenwood were scrapping their way to the bigger payouts, Igor Kurganov and Urbanovich were doing the bludgeoning and looking the most likely winners. The former won a huge pot with the nut flush against the second nut flush to all but elimiante Luuk Gieles in seventh place, whilst Urbanovich picked off a bluff from Greenwood to ascend to the top of the chip counts.
Greenwood got some back by knocking out Daniel Dvoress in sixth place with aces against A♥T♥. When Kurganov and Urbanovich combined to eliminate Thomas Muehloecker in fifth they had 70% of the chips in play between them.
Then came that eight hand spell and the rest, as they say, is history.
EPT12 Prague - Super High Roller
Total entries: 56
Prize pool: €2,688,840
1st. Steve O'Dwyer, Ireland, €746,543*
2nd. Sam Greenwood, Canada, €643,607*
3rd. Igor Kurganov, Russia, €376,400
4th. Dzmitry Urbanovich, Poland, €285,000
5th. Thomas Muehloecker, Austria, €220,500
6th. Daniel Dvoress, Canada, €172,100
7th. Luuk Gieles, Netherlands, €137,140
8th. John Juanda, Indonesia, €107,550
*reflects a heads-up deal