Oh, brother! Luc Greenwood earns first major, captures PokerStars Championship Bahamas $25K High Roller title
For years on the tournament circuit we've been doing double-takes with Luc and Sam Greenwood, the poker-playing twins from Toronto.
Besides resembling one another, they both play pretty good games, too. Even so, over time Sam's been the one to accumulate more six-figure scores (nearly a dozen) and even a seven-figure one, including winning a $25K Single-Day High Roller just last month in at the European Poker Tour Prague festival.
In fact their other brother Max has a few six-figure wins himself and nearly $2 million in tournament earnings.
Luc's career has been successful, too, although entering this week his best ever cash had been $75,000 for a deep PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event run six years ago. You can 10x that for a career-high now, though, as Luc Greenwood has topped a tough PokerStars Championship Bahamas $25,000 High Roller field -- including brother Sam -- and challenging final table to win the trophy and a $779,268 first prize.
Nick Petrangelo appeared as though he might be the one posing in the winner's photo for this one. He'd led at the end of Days 1 and 2, and through most of the final day as well before being overtaken by Luc just before heads-up play began.
Heads-up began with Greenwood slightly ahead (4.115 million to 3.835 million), after some discussion the pair decided on an ICM-based chop leaving $30K to the side. Blinds were then doubled, level durations halved, and unsurprisingly an all-in ensued relatively quickly thereafter.
On a board showing K♣3♥8♠K♠, Petrangelo pushed with his J♥J♦, banking on Greenwood not having a king. But he did, showing K♦Q♣, and after a seven on the river Luc was the king of the High Roller.
"It's nice to finally win, especially a tournament as big as this," said Luc afterwards, clearly satisfied that years of hard work had finally produced such a result.
Just before the final table, Luc knocked out brother Sam in 10th. As is usually the case in tournaments in which they both participate, neither of the Greenwoods appeared to have given the other any breaks in the pots they played against one another.
"Neither of us are giving very much away," said Luc of Sam, diminishing the significance of any tells between the twins -- telepathic or otherwise. Both had the support of their parents on the rail, too, making Luc's victory that much more enjoyable.
Going back to the start of the final day of play -- sometimes the early stage of a tournament final table is all about "getting comfortable" as players get a sense of opponents' tendencies. Of course with our final nine today -- survivors of a 159-entry field -- such preliminaries weren't so needed, given the familiarity many already had with each other.
With his big stack Petrangelo swiftly snuffed out one potential storyline, eliminating Bryn Kenney in ninth after the latter's king-queen couldn't beat Petrangelo's ace-jack. With the $50K Single-Day High Roller victory and another in the added $25K NL "Shot-Clockament," Kenney couldn't earn a third silver spade but emerged as a series star nonetheless.
Just a couple of moments later Petrangelo reduced the field to seven in an another preflop all-in when his pocket kings bested Mark Radoja's ace-queen. It was a sixth career six-figure score for Radoja.
Stephen Chidwick nursed a short stack from the time of the bubble bursting all of the way to today before finally being felted in seventh after losing a race with ace-king against Michael Rocco's queens.
The three empty seats being removed -- better to accommodate the remaining six -- you could aregue players did start "getting comfortable." Just as well, as the average stack at that point was just over 66 bigs, and when short stacks Nacho Barbero and Daniel Negreanu both found doubles, no one was in the not-so-comfortable-zone, chip-wise.
For the moment, anyway.
Both Negreanu and Barbero would be all in again, and while initially things went well in that regard for Negreanu, such was not the case for Barbero. After committing on the flop with second pair the Argentinian was looked up by Petrangelo with top pair, and with no lucky runout Barbero had run out.
Negreanu couldn't hang on much longer, though, doubling once through Rocco but unable to beat Petrangelo with ace-jack versus the chip leader's ace-queen.
That left Byron Kaverman the short stack, and when he picked up pocket nines the chips went in the middle. Greenwood challenged him with pocket eights, and four cards into the board all was fine for Kaverman. But an eight on fifth street took him out, too.
Add the fourth-place finish here to a fifth in the $100K, a third in the $50K, and a 28th-place in the Main and Kaverman's had quite a start to his 2017.
It was only mid-afternoon and they were down to three, and a brief pause and discussion ended with no deal being made. Before long Rocco became the one being squeezed between Petrangelo and Greenwood, with the latter rising up to grab the chip lead after taking chips from Rocco.
Eventually Rocco was put all in by Petrangelo on the turn of a board in which Rocco had top pair of aces and a flush draw but Petrangelo had already made a small flush. Rocco was drawing live but couldn't hit, and they were down to two.
While Petrangelo couldn't make it three nights in a row as the top man in the counts, the $740,032 he took away for runner-up was a nice consolation prize, pushing his career earnings up over $6.7 million.
We'll keep doing double-takes with Luc and Sam. But from now on we'll never be wrong when referring to either of them as a high roller champion.
PokerStars Championship Bahamas $25K High Roller
Dates: January 12-14, 2017
Buy-in: $25,000 + $750
Total prize pool: $3,975,000
|2||Nick Petrangelo||United Kingdom||$740,032*|
|3||Michael Rocco||United States||$409,020|
|4||Byron Kaverman||United States||$335,020|
|5||Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu||Canada||$268,780|
|7||Stephen Chidwick||United Kingdom||$154,260|
|9||Bryn Kenney||United States||$90,380|
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.