The European Poker Tour has a new €10,000 High Roller champion, and in keeping with all the tournaments this week in Prague, he had to outlast a mighty field to wrap it up.
Ivan Soshnikov is a new name to us on the EPT with only a smattering a small cashes in low buy-in events across Europe. But three of those came this week in Eureka side events and he has now pulled off one of the most remarkable spin-ups in EPT history.
Soshnikov, who is from Russia and says he is an online Omaha player, came fifth in the €220 PLO, 13th in the €330 NLHE and 22nd in the €500 PLO for a combined €4,540 in Prague this week. However he can now add another €382,050 to that total, as well as an enormous trophy and spectacular Slyde watch.
There were 137 unique entries to this one, plus 39 re-entries, meaning a prize pool of €1,724,800. And although plenty of the biggest names in the game departed during two very long opening days, there was still a magnificent ten remaining when play resumed for its final day today.
Vanessa Selbst was among them and the Team PokerStars Pro built up a chip-leading stack as they got down to about seven. But in the space of 140 characters, Selbst was able to describe the sorry manner of her demise.
Busted 7th in the high roller. Lost JJ < QQ and AQ for most of it then KJ<AA for the rest
— Vanessa Selbst (@VanessaSelbst) December 18, 2013
If there’s one thing we know for sure about Selbst it’s that she will be back.
Until this week, Andy Seth was another player without an EPT cash on his resume, but unlike Soshnikov he was a pretty established player on the circuit with more than $1.5m in live earnings locked up. His cruise to the High Roller final table came on the back of a second place in a €2,150 eight-handed turbo this week, and his reinvestment was also money well spent.
Seth got his last chips in today with A♣9♣ and was racing Olivier Busquet’s pocket sevens. But there was nothing for Seth on the board and Busquet set himself up for a push into the deep stages. Seth left in sixth for €88,650.
Busquet was among the best-known players in the final five, but Mike McDonald, a former EPT Main Event champion, also has one hell of a reputation. Less than a month ago, he was in St Kitts for the Alpha8 event there, coming home $435,000 richer. In short, he was at home in the final five in Prague.
McDonald again hit Twitter to reveal his demise, after running sixes into ace-queen. But it’s a good time to be in McDonald’s camp if he’s taking bust outs like this.
Ended up coming 5th in the HR for 115€. Ran super well all tourney and I don't think I've ever been this pleased with a non-win in my career
— Mike McDonald (@MikeMcDonald89) December 18, 2013
Next man out was Thomas Muhlocker, who had done more than most to get this tournament over quickly when he had two attempts at bursting the bubble yesterday. He got unlucky with pocket jacks and doubled up ElkY, allowing the Team PokerStars Pro to sneak into the money. But Muhlocker fared better with the same hand against Eugene Katchalov and sent ElkY’s mate out instead.
Muhlocker denied Daniel Negreanu a High Roller title in Barcelona in September, beating Kid Poker heads up, but the Austrian couldn’t get that far again here in Prague and perished in fourth when he was out-kicked on a queen high board with K♥Q♠. Dmitry Yurasov had A♠Q♥.
That left Busquet to do battle with the the two Eastern Europeans, Yurasov and Soshnikov. Busquet doubled through the latter, then watched as the two of them went to war.
Soshnikov won all of their skirmishes, first with jacks against nines and then with third pair against a bluff. He finished off Yurasov with A♣7♠ against Q♦J♠ and they were heads up — but off to dinner first.
Busquet would have pondered a four-to-one chip deficit as he polished off his food. But whatever strategy he may have concocted didn’t account for jamming pocket fours into pocket tens on the second hand of heads up play.
Over to those 140 characters again for Busquet’s thoughts on elimination.
I got 2nd in the EPT Prague 10k Euro highroller for around 350k USD….ran really good, thrilled with the result…winner played v well
— Olivier Busquet (@olivierbusquet) December 18, 2013
That left us with a new winner and one suspects a new regular face in these events. Here he talks to Laura Cornelius, of PokerStars.tv, and so get used to him.
EPT10 Prague High Roller
Date: October 16-18, 2013
Players: 137 (plus 39 re-entries)
Prize pool: €1,724,800
1 – Ivan Soshnikov, Russia, €382,050
2 – Olivier Busquet, USA, €257,850
3 – Dmitry Yurasov, Ukraine, €177,500
4 – Thomas Muhlocker, Germany, €144,700
5 – Mike McDonald, Canada, €115,400
6 – Andy Seth, USA, €88,650
7 – Vanessa Selbst, Team PokerStars Pro, €64,500
8 – Max Heinzelmann, Germany, €46,750