After the stress and strains of an event 506 entries long, which some worried could never fit into a three day shaped whole, the High Roller came to an end at around 9.45pm tonight, but not in a way anybody expected.
Instead, it was declared “done by deal”. After the elimination of Niklas Astedt in fourth place, chip leader Mustapha Kanit, second placed Kuljinder Sidhu and third placed Nick Petrangelo went into conference to talk numbers. At first it seemed unlikely. Kanit didn’t like ICM and snubbed chip-chop. But the will to agree persisted and a deal done.
The Italian, who in contrast to Petrangelo’s appearance is something of a scruff bag, at times looked unstoppable, able to pick himself up from beats to rally and prevail. The size of his talent (this was only his third biggest win of this year alone and his second EPT High Roller win of the year) is matched by the size of his popularity. For Kanit the pain of defeat is soon forgotten and, as in this case tonight, the joy of victory easily shared.
It had been a typically familiar final table. Kevin MacPhee, an EPT winner, departed in eighth placed while Austria’s Gerald Karlic followed in seventh. Barer came close to matching his performance in this event exactly a year ago. In Season 11 he finished fourth. This time it would be sixth, after the hand that most thought would see Petrangelo taking home silverware.
It was a hand worth recounting. Finding aces, Petrangelo made an easy call with Barer and Boika all-in. When he flopped a set it ended Barer’s campaign but also that of Boika, who nearly made it back to back Barcelona High Roller wins for Belarus.
That left four, but Astedt was in danger. With his stack perilously short the sharks began to circle. He put his faith in king-five, but Sidhu had found Ace-king. With the Swede gone it opened the way for the deal that would bring this one to a finish.
Kanit deserved his win, but had either of the others come through to take it all would have proved deserving of their achievement.
That it finished so soon also surprised some who worried this event might test the casino rule that enforced a hard stop at 2am. With 30 left today it was certainly a possibility. But it didn’t, and you can recall every step of this tournament, with all the action and features from the day, check out our High Roller coverage page.
An anti-climactic ending? Some might say so. But to see three players genuinely happy with the outcome was itself something new. Especially Kanit, now Italy’s highest earning player, who with a rail at least 30 strong, and with local bars still open, just led them out to celebrate.
The full result is below:
€10,000+€300 High Roller (single re-entry)
Entrants: 401 (105 re-entries)
Prize pool: €4,908,200
Places paid: 71
1. Mustapha Kanit (Italy) €738,759*
2. Kuljinder Sidhu (United Kingdom) €640,000*
3. Nick Petrangelo (United States) €592,840*
4. Niklas Astedt (Sweden) €336,700
5. Aliaksei Boika (Belarus) €265,600
6. Ami Barer (Canada) €206,500
7. Gerald Karlic (Austria) €155,600
8. Kevin MacPhee (United States) €108,500
* denotes a three way deal
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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.