Monte Carlo is the home of many things; the world famous Monte Carlo Casino, the Monaco Grand Prix and the €28 cheeseburger being among them. But if there’s one thing that can truly call this majestic old principality its home then it is the high roller. Even the taxi drivers sit behind the wheel of Bentleys here. Put simply there is nowhere else on Earth more appropriate than Monte Carlo for a record breaking EPT High Roller field to take to the felt. An incredible 113 players unfurled €25,000 from their money clips and online accounts to put together a huge €2,825,000 prize pool. We lost many of the good and the great yesterday with the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Viktor Blom, Erik Seidel, John Juanda, Dennis Phillips, Steve Sung, Justin Smith and Carlos Mortensen (just to mention a few) falling during the eleven hours of play yesterday.
Today we came back with forty-one wannabes and they had to be whittled down to eight potential playboys, all of whom are guaranteed an €81,300 payday tomorrow. Our High Roller champion stands to win €956,000 – not bad for three days work. The player leading that charge is Dori Yacoub (1,199,900) and he is closely followed by Tom Marchese (909,000) and Tobias Reinkemeier (826,000). Sorel Mizzi and Olivier Busquet aren’t far behind either.
On the fringes of tomorrow’s epic final table we had Javier Garcia and Luke Schwartz who will both be thankful they agreed to the suggestion that a €49,500 saver be extended to the ninth and tenth place finishers. Frenchman Antoine Saout bagged himself the return of his €25,000 buy-in with a deal that was made late in the last break of the day – just too late for Matt Marafioti who had been knocked out by Dori Yacoub in 12th place. To be fair, the savers are the least that Garcia, Saout and Schwartz deserve.
Although those three will be disappointed not to cross that final table hurdle they should be proud that they beat one of the toughest fields ever assembled. Schwartz was particulalry annoyed to be knocked out. How could we tell? The bad boy smashed his chips across the table after his 10♠10♦ was called by Dori Yacoub’s K♣Q♣ and a king-high flop dropped. Players that valiantly tried and died earlier in the day include Team PokerStars Pros Elky, Leo Fernandez, Rino Mathis, William Thorson, Alex Kravchenko and Chad Brown. Greg Dyer, Matt Woodward and Yevgeniy Timoshenko were other notable tournament crushers that came oh-so-close to the money spots.
Although players came in focussed this morning on negotiating their way through to the final table the question that was on everyone’s lips was, ‘Where is Gus Hansen?’ The big name poker player had made his way through to day 2 with a relatively short stack of 62,200 but failed to show up. Phone calls were made, promises were made and helicopters were sent (okay, no helicopters were sent but given this is Monte Carlo it would be quite straightforward to arrange). Hansen never arrived and it took his stack exactly 2 hours 26 minutes and 20 seconds to blind itself away. No great tournament is complete without a little mystery. Join us tomorrow to find out what else happens when Sorel Mizzi, Olivier Busquet, Michael Friedrich, Tobias Renkemeier, Paul Berende, Allen Bari, Dori Yacoub and Tom Marchese come back to play out for the EPT Grand Final High Roller title and that €956,000 first prize. Play starts at noon tomorrow.
9. Luke Schwartz, UK, €49,550
10. Javier Garcia, Switzerland, €49,550
11. Antoine Saout, France, €25,000
The seat draw and chips
1. Dori Yacoub – 1,199,000
2. Tom Marchese – 909,000
3. Tobias Reinkenmeier – 826,000
4. Sorel Mizzi – 770,000
5. Allen Bari – 835,000
6. Olivier Busquet – 666,000
7. Paul Berende – 327,000
8. Michael Friedrich – 112,000
To review all the action from the last two days click below: