It was an event at which money could not buy a seat for just anybody. Invitation-only was the phrase of the day. No doubt, anybody here would’ve taken a seat in a shot. The prize pool for the single table tournament was a whopping $100,000. First place would get half the cash.
The line-up was among the toughest you’ll see. Daniel Negreanu, Katja Thater, Dario Minieri, Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier, John Duthie, Vicky Coren, Noah Boeken, Barry Greenstein, and PokerStars Supernova Elite Joe “bigjoe2003” Michael, who won a Supernova Elite satellite to the event.
Over the course of seven hours, the players battled tooth and nail under TV lights and in front of the cameras. While the PokerStars EPT Grand Final players fought in the ballroom, these players sat on stage. The prize money was significant. The pride of beating each other and taking the first Stars of Poker title was just as great.
The first bust-out was a tough one. Daniel Negreanu went out set-under-set to EPT creator John Duthie. Boeken went out next shortly after getting crippled by ElkY in a battle of top-pair top kicker versus overpair. Minieri busted out after failing to win a race with AK. Vicky Coren suffered among the worst defeats, getting AK in against AK but losing to a four-flush on board. Michael went out in fifth place after losing with JJ versus AA. ElkY went out in fourth place after having his AK ourtun by AJ.
The three remaining players were all in the money. Again, though, it was clear they would savor the victory more. Katja Thater fought long and hard, but eventually went out on a blind steal gone wrong. For third place, she earned $20,000.
The heads up battle was intense, but didn’t last for an eternity. After jousting for a bit, Greenstein managed a key double-up versus Duthie. After that, it was just a matter of time before the chips went in. Greenstein, holding AsKs managed to get Duthie all-in with 8h9h. Duthie flopped a pair, but Greenstein made his flush on the river. Duthie earned $30,000 for his runner-up finish. Greenstein pocketed $50,000 and the first Stars of Poker title.