If you had gone home when the Main Event made its final table last night, and returned to work this afternoon in preparation for its run to the champion, you could be forgiven for thinking the High Roller tournament, going on upstairs in the Grand Connaught Rooms, never stopped at all.
At about 10pm last night, when the Main Event reached its final, there were about 27 High Rollers still playing, and yet now, approaching 1pm the next day, they are still there, and have just reached a final table of their own.
They did, however, take a break. High Rollers need sleep too. When the Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck was eliminated in 13th place in the early hours of Saturday morning, they called it off and bagged up. It meant that the remaining 12 went back to their hotels or their homes, wound down, had a couple of hours sleep, then flew straight back here to start again at noon.
“Sleep” might actually be overstating it for Carla Sabini, as might “hotel”. She likely just levitated up to Cloud Nine and danced a jig all night. The Canadian player on the EPT’s all-time spin up was chip leader in the High Roller at the end of Day 1. And then she occupied that perch again at the end of Day 2, even after things had got a whole lot more serious and they had played into the money.
Luca Pagano had also ground his way into the tournament’s final day, despite his long-held reservations about even playing High Roller events. But he stumped up the £10,000 and is now guaranteed a multiple return on his investment.
The defending champion of this event is the London-based financier-turned-poker shark Talal Shakerchi, who secured the biggest win of his card career — £436,330 — when he won the last renewal in March. Shakerchi is also still involved here with £357,700 now in his sights.
Of all the poker players in Britain, Dave “Devilfish” Ulliot is still probably the most recognisable/notorious/infamous/whatever. And this week in London has proved to be a renaissance for the Fish. He cashed the main event, his first EPT in-the-money finish since 2009. And then he hopped in the High Roller and now leads the final nine. If he goes all the way, it would be the biggest victory since 2007 for the man from Hull.
The full chip counts, payouts and hand-by-hand coverage is available on the main High Roller page. We have two of our finest dedicated only on the High Roller event, so hop from there to the Main Event page to stay abreast of everything happening here.