It must be the money! Prizes for €25K HR announced at PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino®
On the most recent 15-minute break just outside of the Salle des Etoiles poker room here in Monaco, we saw the usual clusters.
Steffen Sontheimer, Stefan Schillhabel, Reiner Kempe and Dominik Nitsche - aka 'The Germans' - were huddled together by the fountain. Mike Watson, Sam Greenwood and Justin Bonomo were chatting away. Daniel Dvoress and Martin Jacobson were dashing back from the Monte Carlo Bay hotel. And Philipp Gruissem was showing Anton Morgenstern some karate kicks.
But when they and the rest of the 71 players remaining in the €25,000 High Roller made their way back into the tournament area, all of the conversation (and karate kicks) stopped. It was time to announce the prizes.
A €1,000,000 payout had been guaranteed for the player who wins, but when tournament director Kate Badurek announced something different for the first place finisher, the room went silent. First place money wasn't a million euros at all.
It was €1,015,000. That extra €15K will make all the different to these guys, I'm sure.
Here's how the official final table payouts look:
Just 27 players will make the money, with a min-cash worth €45,820. We're not actually that far away from the bubble; this is a 30-second shot clock event after all. Play moves a lot quicker when there are no ten-minute tanks to worry about.
We had a total of 187 entries into this thing, including 48 re-entries. Players could only re-enter once, and many of them who fired two bullets are already done and dusted.
Stories of the day so far
Oleksii Khoroshenin has had a pretty unfavourable day. He returned today as the overnight chip leader, but a few huge pots against Brazil's Joao Simao saw him bust relatively early.
First, Simao doubled up through him. Khoroshenin opened to 2,300 from the cutoff and Simao three-bet to 7,000 from the small blind. That raise was called, and the two saw a Q♣6♦4♦ flop. Simao then didn't c-bet, but check-called a 22,000 flop bet, before check-calling 17,000 on the A♦ turn.
The 6♥ hit the river, on which Khoroshenin jammed to put Simao all in. He made the call for 72,800 with the Q♥J♦, and that was good as Khoroshenin mucked.
Then, on a K♥K♦J♠5♠T♦ board, the two had already got a massive amount of chips into the middle. Khoroshenin led out for 45,000 on the river, only for Simao to jam over the top. Khoroshenin had 80,000 to call, which was about what he had left behind. After he used a time bank chip, he made the call with the A♥K♣, but trips wasn't good enough to beat Simao's 5♠5♦.
Khoroshenin decided to re-enter though, buying in to give himself a new 50,000 starting stack of just 25 big blinds. At the time of writing, he still has around 50K, while Simao still sits atop the leaderboard with 515,000.
The next biggest stacks belong to the karate kid himself, Philipp Gruissem (420,000), Oliver Weis (380,000), Dario Sammartino (316,000), and Josip Simunic (300,000).
Spare a thought for France's Paul Tedeschi. Having enjoyed a very deep run in the Main Event, he got coolered pretty badly here in the High Roller. He flopped a full house with the K♥6♥ on a K-6-6 board, but managed to lose against Maxi Lehmanski's pocket tens when a ten hit the turn. Ouch.
Of the PokerStars Team Pros, Daniel Negreanu currently sits with 250,000 (with good intentions), Jason Mercier has 200,000, Liv Boeree has 130,000, Felipe Ramos has 121,000, and Igor Kurganov has 55,000.
Remind yourself of the full prize pool and payouts here.
The road to Monte Carlo starts on PokerStars. Sign up and begin your journey. Click here to get an account.
For live updates from the €25K High Roller, visit PokerNews.
Take a look at the official website of PokerStars LIVE, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino® and all other Festival and Championship events.
Also all the information is on the PokerStars LIVE App, which is available on both Android or IOS.
Jack Stanton is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.