EPT11 Grand Final: Don’t weep for Isaac Haxton and Phil Ivey

May 01, 2015

Everybody knows that in order for someone to win a lot at poker, quite a number of people need to lose a smaller amount. The poker economy looks like a pyramid, with the wealth flowing upward from a well-populated wider base to the biggest winners at the top.

Super High Roller events such as this in Monaco this week are, broadly speaking, contested by only the players at or around the sharp apex of this pyramid. Nobody need weep for any of these players if they go on a downswing; they have plenty of other opportunities to swell the coffers.

All of this is prelude to a nugget of startling information: not everyone who plays these Super High Roller events makes money from them. In fact, some of the very biggest winners in world poker have a wretched record in Super High Roller events.

Take Isaac Haxton, for example. Not including this event, the Team Pro Online has played in eight Super High Roller tournaments, firing 11 bullets. But you would spend a very long time looking down his long list of tournament cashes before you saw a payout from an EPT tournament of this nature. Haxton has never cashed.


Isaac Haxton: Bagel 1

A couple of years ago, as Max Altergott was winning the Super High Roller event here, Haxton was involved in a huge cash game from which he emerged about €1 million in profit. That is a sum that comfortably covers all of his Super High Roller buy ins down the years. (Repeat: don’t weep for him.) But noticing Haxton’s name towards the top of the chip counts was a very welcome surprise. He is due.

You would probably need quite a few guesses to identify another Super High Roller with a big fat bagel in his list of cashes. A certain Phil Ivey has also never troubled the cashiers after a big buy in event on the EPT. Ivey, lest we forget, has more than $22 million in live tournament winnings, ten World Series bracelets and the most respected reputation in the game (plus any number of other business interests). Do. Not. Weep. But even a man like Ivey is going to consider himself long overdue for a big win in one of these events.


Phil Ivey: Bagel 2

Fortunately, Ivey is still involved here too. And even more fortunately, the prizes are definitely set to be huge. Earlier in the day, tournament organisers confirmed the important figures for this event: 58 unique players plus 13 re-entries, amassing a prize pool of €6,888,420 (after deductions).

It means the winner is set for a €2,015,000 payday, which is the third largest prize ever handed out in mainland Europe on the EPT. Only the prizes won by Pieter de Korver (€2,300,000) and Glen Chorny (€2,020,000) in the Grand Final main events of 2009 and 2008 were larger.

By comparison, Justin Bonomo won €1.64 million at the 2012 Super High Roller; Altergott took €1,746,400 in 2013 and Daniel Colman €1,539,300 last year. It’s a big one.

EPT11 Grand Final – Super High Roller

Buy-in: €98,000+€2,000
Entries: 58
Re-entry: 13
Total entries: 71
Prize pool: € 6,888,420

1st – €2,015,000
2nd – €1,446,600
3rd – €940,300
4th – €709,500
5th – €551,000
6th – €427,100
7th – €337,500
8th – €261,800
9th – €199,620

Follow all the action from the EPT Grand Final on the main EPT Grand Final page. Follow the Super High Roller or the France Poker Series. To get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts, don’t forget to download the EPT app on either Android or IOS.


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