EPT London High Roller: Level 18-21 (12,000-24,000)
7.15pm: Philipp Gruissem is the EPT London High Roller Champion (£450,200)
Gruissem continued to crush Kurganov and had him down to less than 200,000 by the time the final hand played out.
Kurganov open shoved from the button and Gruissem made an instant call from the big blind to set up the final showdown.
The board ran 5♥6♥J♦K♣A♥.
The two friends embraced and congratulated each other on their fine achievements. Kurganov takes home £318,330 for a fine performance over the three days. They'll be some steins of beer drunk tonight.
A full wrap of the day will be up for your viewing pleasure shortly. -- MC
7pm: Back to square one
Kurganov drops back down to around 500,000 after two hands go Gruissem's way.
Gruissem opened for 50,000 on the button which Kurganov called for a flop of 7♠5♣K♣. Kurganov then made it 70,000 which Gruissem raised to 160,000, which was called. On the A♠ turn Kurganov checked to Gruissem who bet 280,000 to win the hand.
In the next hand Kurganov made it 50,000 from the button before Gruissom raised to 140,000. When Kurganov made it 250,000 Gruissem shoved, taking the pot. - SB
6.50pm: After a five minute break...
A bet of 52,000 by Kurganov and Gruissem moved all-in. Kurganov called for his last 480,000 showing A♦9♣ to Gruissem's K♦J♣.
The board came T♥3♦3♣2♣2♦ to double Kurganov. - SB
Phillip Gruissem raised to 40,000 from the button and called when Igor Kurganov three-bet to 110,000 from the big blind.
The flop came down K♥2♠4♥ and led for 110,000 and called when his opponent raised to 265,000. The turn came T♥ and Kurganov slowed to a check and quickly folded when faced with an all-in push. He's down to 470,000 as the players headed on a five minute break at the level ended. -- MC
6.30pm: Snap call
On a flop of J♣6♠5♥ Igor Kurganov bet 20,000 which Philipp Gruissem raised to 50,000, which was called. On the 6♦ turn Gruissem bet another 110,000 which was called for a 6♣ river. At this point Gruissem moved all-in, which Kurganov snap called, and with good reason, showing 9♥6♥ for quads. Gruissem showed K♣3♠. Kurganov doubles to more than 700,000. - SB
No showdowns to talk of but Igor Kurganov has clawed a little back, up to 370,000.
6.10pm: Kurganov on the ropes
Philipp Gruissem opened for 40,000 which Igor Kurganov three-bet to 100,000. Gruissem then tank-shoved all-in, forcing Kurganoc to fold. He's left with 300,000. -- SB
6pm: Gruissem grabs control
Igor Kurganov is down to 540,000 chips after having to let a hand go on the river in a huge pot. Philipp Gruissem raised to 40,000 from the button and called when Kurganov three-bet to 130,000.
The flop fell Q♦9♦6♦ and Kurganov led for 160,00. Call. The turn came 6♥ and there was no slowing down Kurganov who continued for 300,000. Call again. The final card came as K♣ and Gruissem faced one more bet, for 340,000. He wasted little time in moving all-in and as his opponent only had 540,000 back, the bet looked very strong. Kurganov tanked for five minutes before folding. He asked Gruissem to show one card, and he obliged by showing the 9♣. -- MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 10,000-20,000
5.40pm: Pre-flop stand off
A-first-to-blink hand, started by Igor Kurganov who opened for 38,000. Philipp Gruissem then raised to 115,000 before Kurganov raised 200,000 more. Gruissem began moving towers around, then pulled back his initial 115,000 and replaced it with 520,000. Kurganov then flicked his cards away. -- SB
5.30pm: Even it up
The first hand of heads-up play saw Philipp Gruissem win a pot to effectively even up the stacks.
Igor Kurganov raised to 38,000 and called when his friend three-bet to 106,000 from the big blind. Gruissem went on to "empty the clip" with bets of 110,000, 210,000 and 300,000 on each street. The final board read 5♣9♦8♥4♣6♠ and Kurganov was a non believer all the way to the river where he had a sort of poker epiphany and folded. Both have around 1,850,000 chips now. -- MC
5.15pm: Play restarts
No agreement has been reached, for which the players were apologetic, and we play on.
5.05pm: Welcome to the second hour of talks...
The players are still talking. As a reminder the approximate chip counts are:
Igor Kurganov: 2,400,000
Philipp Gruissem: 1,350,000
The discussion continues...
And we're back to a discussion about a deal...
4.35pm: Rob Akery eliminated in 3rd place (₤120,500)
Rob Akery has been eliminated in 3rd spot after two big hands matched up in the blinds. Igor Kurganov raised to 39,000 from the small blind and snapped Akery's hands off when he shoved for 370,000 from the big blind.
The board ran 7♥3♣3♦T♥4♥ to see Kurganov's queens safely home.
It's turning out to a very good day for Germany and Benny Spinlder. Not only is he leading the main event but he has 15% of the two remaining here in the heads-up.
As Akery was walking to the payout desk he told us that he folded jacks in the big hand just before and said that Kurganov had told him he had ace-seven. Was there anyway the Brit could have won from three-hand onwards. -- MC
4.25pm: Kurganov throwing weight around
With a min-raise from the button by Rob Akery Igor Kurganov called from the big blind for a flop of J♠K♥A♥. When the 7♣ turn card came Igor checked to Akery who bet 75,000, which Akery called for a A♦ river card.
Kurganov checked again and Akery pushed 220,000 into the middle, arranged in two towers. Kurganov then announced all-in, forcing Akery to inhale deeply, as if coming out of a deep sleep. Eventually Akery opted to pass, showing the A♠. Akery down to 400,000. - SB
4.15pm: Show one card rule in play
When played was six and seven handed it all was all very serious and there was not much chat to be had. Post deal time and down to three handed, the players are relaxing a lot and talking more. They've also introduced the "show one card" game if a hand gets to a flop or there is a four-bet pre-flop.
Paul Neaves is dealing and he seems to be the happiest with the new rule as he gets to randomly choose the card. Anything to break-up the mundane task of dealing I suppose. -- MC
4pm: No deal
The news is that we play on as before with no amendment to the original deal. -- SB
3.45pm: New deal
Players are currently taking an impromptu break to discuss a further deal that could bring play to an end. -- SB
3.30pm: Olivier Busquet eliminated in fourth place
The high Roller event goes three-handed with the elimination of Olivier Busquet. The American opened for 32,000 which Igor Kurganov raised to 81,000. Busquet shoved with A♥Q♠ for his remaining stack - 400,000 in total - which Kurganov called showing A♣K♦.
The board ran A♠T♠5♦9♠T♣.
Busquet receives £171,200 as part of the earlier deal.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 8,000-16,000, 2,000 ante
3.10pm: Busquet winced on showdown
Olivier Busquet was the short stack of the four and he's by far the short stack now after losing a pot to Igor Kurganov in the blinds.
He raised to 25,000 from the small blind and Kurganov peeled to see a 6♦7♦T♥ flop. Busquet led for 30,000 and was called to the T♦ turn where he led again, for 55,000. His German opponent called once more and was faced with a 95,000 bet on the 6♠ river. Kurganov thought longer about this one but still called.
Busquet tabled Q♥7♠ and looked in real pain as he was called by Kurganov with A♠7♠. The ace kicker played sending Busquet down to 350,000 chips. The German heads off for a 15 minute break the happier of the two as he's back up to 1,120,000. --MC
3.05pm: Pot to Gruissem
Philipp Gruissem opened for 30,000 from the button which Igor Kurganov called on the big blind for a flop of T♣T♠6♠. Both checked for a Q♣ turn card. Kurganov bet another 38,000 which Gruissem called for a 4♣ river card. Kurganov bet 84,000. Gruissem paused, then pulled three towers of yellow chips out front, raising to 260,000. Kurganov passed. - SB
2.55pn: The deal details
After a lot of number crunching and negotiations, the four remaining players came up with a deal they were all happy with.
Each player is guaranteed the following:
Philipp Gruissem - £202,200
Igor Kurganov - £196,700
Rob Akery - £186,500
Olivier Busquet - £171,200
They will also play out for the following, which will be added to the above:
2.40pm: "Igor, let's go..."
Not a line from a Mel Brooks film, but the instruction from Philipp Gruissem to Igor Kurganov, that it's time to restart.
In the first hand, and with a flop of K♦7♦Q♥ Rob Akery checked to Olivier Busquet who bet 30,000 from the button. Akery called for a turn card 3♣ which Akery also checked. Busquet pushed 55,000 forward and Akery called for a 6♣ river card. Again Akery checked, then called Busquet's bet of 125,000.
Busquet showed K♠3♦. Akery mucked. He's down to 600,000 while Busquet moves up to 700,000. - SB
2.25pm: Still dealing
The four remaining players are still discussing a deal. We expect play to resume shortly. -- SB
2.10pm: Break in play as a deal is discussed
There's a lot of money at stake for the final four and they want to minimise the variance by sorting out an equity deal. We'll bring you full details of the deal when they are made public, but for now here are their official chips counts:
Philipp Gruissem - 1,285,000
Igor Kurganov - 1,120,000
Rob Akery - 868,000
Olivier Busquet - 552,
The deal being discussed...
1.40pm: Adrian Bussman eliminated in fifth place (£102,250)
Adrian Bussman is the fifth place finisher and it's Philip Gruissem again doing the eliminating.
On a flop of 5♣K♥9♣ both Bussman and Gruissem checked for a turn card 5♠. Bussman then bet 26,000, which Gruissem called for a T♥ river card. 96,000 this time from Bussmann before Gruissem announced all-in.
Bussman seemed to recoil at this, leaning back as if trying to get as far from the table as he could without leaving his seat. When he returned he called. Gruissem wasted no time showing T♣T♠. Bussman could only show A♣5♥ and was soon out of his seat for good.
Gruissem up to around 1,200,000. - SB
1.30pm: Akery playing well out of position
When you're playing short handed poker you have to get used to playing out of position. Rob Akery has been beating online high-stakes short handed games for years now, so will be well versed in playing out of position.
He called a 25,000 under-the-gun raise from Oliver Busquet whilst sat in the small blind. The flop came down 7♦9♦A♥ and he check-raised the American's 30,000 c-bet up to 75,000. Call. Both players checked the 3♦ before Akery led out for 115,000 on the 7♠ river. Busquet didn't like it and folded. -- MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 6,000-12,000, 2,000 ante
1.10pm: Joel Nordkvist eliminated in sixth place (£72,950)
We're down to five after the elimination of Joel Nordkvist.
The Swede opened for 20,000 which Philip Gruissem raised to 48,000. Nordkvist then announced all-in in a voice only loud enough for Gruissem to hear, who called, turning over A♠Q♣ to Nordkvist's K♠Q♥.
The board ran 4♠8♦3♠9♥3♥ to send Nordkvist to the rail. The pair shook hands. Gruissem up to around 800,000. - SB
1.05pm: Sam Trickett eliminated in 7th place (£68,800)
It was a very standard hand that saw the elimination of Sam Trickett. The Brit three-bet all-in from the big blind for 273,000 over the top of a Igor Kurganov button-raise of 21,000. The German tanked hard, possibly trying to figure out whether it was worth taking the chance to knock out the threat of Trickett at the risk of doubling-up the high stakes pro. Kurganov finally elected to call.
The board ran Q♦4♣5♦T♠T♣. Trickett had picked upa huge amount of outs by the turn but failed to catch the river. As Trickett walked away from the table he mentioned that it was unlikely that any of the remaining players were going to make a mistake and he would have had to win a flip if he was to win. -- MC
12.55pm: Gruissem re-raising
Rob Akery opened for 20,000 in the cut off and Philipp Gruissem called in the big blind for a flop of 5♠K♦T♥. Gruissem then checked, allowing Akery to bet 25,000. Gruissem called for a turn card J♦ which both checked. On the T♦ river Gruissem checked. Akery bet 45,000 which Gruissem raised to 140,000 after a long pause. Akery re-arranged his chips, then folded. Gruissem showed 8♥. - SB
12.45pm: Big blind defending
Both the remaining Brits at the final table just defended their big blinds with mixed success.
Rob Akery peeled when Adrian Bussman min-raised from the button. The flop came T♥2♦6♣ and Akery check-called a 25,000 c-bet. Both players checked the A♥ turn to head to the Q♥ river. Bussman bet 51,000 with J♠2♠ but lost out to Akery who check-called with K♥Q♠.
The very next hand Igor Kurganov raised to 21,000 and Sam Trickett defended to see a 7♣7♠J♦ flop. The action followed a similar line to the last hand in that the button continued for 23,000 and the big blind check-called. Both players checked the 2♠ turn before Kuranov bet 72,000 on the river when checked to him again. This is where the action differed from the last hand as Trickett tank-folded. -- MC
12.30pm: And relax
The departure of Michael Tureniec goes pretty much unnoticed by the crowds, gathered only a few feet away, watching the main event. Since then though the waters have calmed, with a few raise and takes. One hand reaches a flop and is promptly ended when Rob Akery bets. Slow start. - SB
12.20pm:Tureniec busts first hand
There was a delayed start to play but when they started there was no delay in getting this show on the road.
Michael Tureniec busted the first hand to Oliver Busquet. Busquet raised with ace-jack and Tureniec shoved all-in with king-jack. The American called and fell behind to a king on the flop but order was restored with an ace on the turn. The Swede walks away with £58,400. -- MC
11.45am: Welcome back for the EPT London High Roller final table
A ten-hour day yesterday culminated in the elimination of Jame Bord in 9th place. That was originally supposed to be the the bubble place but (understandably) the players decided a near-₤60,000 bubble was steep and might slow play down to much, so a ₤25,000 saver was agreed on and Bord made ₤5,000 profit on his two days work.
The winner will make substantially more money and will take home £511,300. For a full look at the payouts click here.
Here's a reminder of how the players will line up today:
Seat 1 - Adrian Bussman, 518,000
Seat 2 - Igor Kurganov, 854,000
Seat 3 - Rob Akery, 622,000
Seat 4 - Sam Trickett, 354,000
Seat 5 - Joel Nordkvist, 365,000
Seat 6 - Philipp Gruissem, 311,000
Seat 7 - Olivier Busquet, 471,000
Seat 8 - Michael Tureneic, 268,000
Play is due to start at noon.
PokerStars Blog High Roller reporting team in London: Marc Convey and Stephen Bartley. Photos by Mickey May.