PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Down to single digits in the €10K HR, Kaiser still leads

We're down to an unofficial final table in the €10K High Roller. That's right, we've had a speedy day filled with lots of eliminations and big hands.

Our start-of-day chip leader, Ronny Kaiser, remains in the lead with 6.1 million. It wasn't all smooth sailing for Kaiser though. Benjamin Pollak, who's starting the unofficial final table 7th in chips, briefly had the title of chip leader after taking down one of the largest pots of the tournament with quads.

The unofficial final table

SeatPlayerCountryChip CountBig Blinds
1Benjamin PollakFrance2,125,00043
2Georgios SotiropoulosGreece3,860,00077
3Franz DitzGermany2,250,00045
4Jakub MichalakPoland4,200,00084
5Emil PatelFinland3,100,00062
6Ronny KaiserSwitzerland6,100,000122
7Luis Rodriguez CruzSpain1,180,00024
8Quan ZhouChina1,060,00021
9Markus DurneggerAustria4,240,00085

The hand played out when there were still 20 players left. Sergio Cabrera started that hand out with a raise and Pollak threw in a three-bet. Boris Kolev had the shortest stack with 750,000 and moved all in.

Unbeknownst to Kolev, he also had the smallest pair in the hand with Q♥Q♦. Cabrera reshoved for 1.27 million with A♥A♣ and Pollak, who had them both covered, called with K♦K♣.

Pollak's pocket kings jumped to the lead when the flop came K♠J♣3♦ to give him a set and then a Q♠ came on the turn to give Kolev one too. It also gave Cabrera a straight draw, adding tens to his list of outs. Only a fourth queen could save Kolev though and the river did bring quads, but not for Kolev.

A K♥ completed the board and Pollak scored a double knockout with four kings. Two kings a piece. Boris Kolev was eliminated in 20th place while Kolev exited in 19th. Both players won €43,750 after their quads elimination and Benjamin Pollak took the chip lead with 4.63 million.

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Benjamin Pollak

Fabrice Maletz and Alexandre Reard then fell a few a minutes later and the tournament got down to two tables. After that, players seemed to run out of the tournament with frightening speed. Perhaps they'd heard rumors of Pollak's powers of elimination and fled before they had to face them.

That's probably (definitely) not true, especially since Pollak didn't deal another elimination on the way to the unofficial final table. Everyone in the High Roller is a threat. Not only are they able to pony up the €10,300 buy-in to play against the world's best players, they've made it to final two tables from hundreds of players.

A few of them have been on a heater too. Christopher Kruk made the final table of the €50,000 Super High Roller and won €251,000 for his 6th place finish. Kruk then won the €5,200 Hyper-Turbo for €79,400 and he was making another deep run in the High Roller.

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It's been a good trip to Barcelona for Christopher Kruk.

Kruk was then doing well in the final two tables of the High roller, but a bad call left him short stacked. Kruk raised to 70,000 with 14 players left and Ronny Kaiser threw in a three-bet to 260,000 from the button. Kruk called and then check-called a bet of 180,000 on the K♠7♠2♥ flop. A 9♠ came on the turn and Kaiser bet 325,000. Kruk called and a T♠ completed the board.

There was another bet, a bigger one, a 750,000 bet. Kruk time-bank-thought and then called. Kaiser showed an A♠ for the nut flush and Kruk dropped to just 300,000. Kruk managed to survive a few more eliminations, but eventually fell in 12th. Kruk moved all in for 230,000 with K♥Q♠ that hand and Markus Durnegger called with A♦9♥.

Kruk hit a queen on the J♦Q♦2♠ flop, and improved to two-pair when the K♣ came on the turn, but a T♠ came on the river to give Durnegger a straight. Kruk finished 12th for €63,750.

Kruk's knockout came right after a short-stacked Parker "tonkaaaap" Talbot ran his K♥J♣ into slightly-less-short-stacked Oliver Weis's A♠J♦.

Both players hit a jack on the flop and then Weis got an A♥ on the river.

Talbot's 13th place finish was his fifth cash in Barcelona, but he's still hunting for the big one. Despite winning the hand, Weis was still short and he became our unofficial final table bubble. Weis three-bet all-in from the big blind after Ronny Kaiser opened from the cutoff and Kaiser called.

Kaiser turned over J♥J♣ while Weis was left showing 7♥6♥. The 3♥T♥J♠ gave a little to both players. Kaiser hit his set while Weis got hopes of a flush draw. The T♣ on the turn killed them though.

Weis won €75,100 for finishing 10th while Kaiser to the lead with 6.1 million.

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10th place finisher Oliver Weis

And then there were nine.

Alex Villegas
@PokerStars in Barcelona