EPT Sanremo: Heads up High Rollers, cutlery on the line
The final stages of the €10,000 High Roller event are taking place in the middle of some civilised chaos. Benny Spindler and Keven Stammen are heads up, playing for a bunch of cash and a bundle of additional prizes, but there are a lot of other people busy doing what they are doing all around them, either oblivious of or unconcerned about the €500,000 match.
Those people are either registering for the €120 hyper turbo, officially the final event of the festival, or playing through the deeper stages of the €5,000 six-max turbo, the "Win The Button" event, or the final of the €1,000 Heads Up.
Roger Hairabedian was playing Max Martinez in the latter, and at one stage there were three heads up matches occurring, in three different tournaments, all at the same time.
The High Roller event reconvened today with seven players, but they skittled through them in short order. Igor Kurganov went first, followed by Philipp Gruissem, then Kent Roed, Joseph Cheong and Joel Nordqvist.
That left Spindler and Stammen, who decided to chop it up. Spindler took €223,000 and Stammen €200,000, leaving €30,000 still to play for. That, of course, ensured that the winner will get the most money too. (It is not always the case.)
The additional prizes on offer to the champion are also now stacked on the table. There's the heavy trophy - like a miniature metal version of London's Shard skyscraper - plus a small jeweler's type bag containing the Shamballa bracelet.
There's a green bag, which contains a Casino Sanremo hoodie and key-ring and all sorts of other goodies, and there is also a red bag, in which the winner will find a silver cutlery set(!), again provided by the Casino. There are six settings, apparently, so it'll Pot Noodles all round at Benny's or Keven's later on.
Spindler started the heads up as a big chip leader, but Stammen has managed to pull off a couple of double ups to survive. Not long ago, they got it in with pocket sevens (Stammen) and ace king (Spindler), and the tournament director took to the microphone to announce all the action to the entire room.
The flop came 5♣2♦3♥, but the announcer seemed to have seen something different. "That's a set for our all in player," he said.
"It's a five not a seven," said Stammen, forcing the announcer to get back on the mic.
"It is not a set for Keven," he said.
"Slowroll!" heckled someone from the other side of the room.
The 3♦2♠ came on turn and river and Stammen still doubled up, even without the set.
The destination of tonight's elegantly cutleried dinner party remains in the balance.
Follow all the hand-for-hand action on our live tournament reporting page.