Unlike the Main Event, in which there’s a designated feature table, there’s no such thing in the €10,000 High Roller that’s currently taking place on the opposite side of the tournament arena.
But there are certainly a number of contenders for ‘table of death’ though. Like the one with John Juanda, Steve O’Dwyer and Thomas Muehloecker. All three final tabled the €50,000 Super High Roller earlier in the festival. A worthy table for sure, but not one that could topple a table containing not one, not two, not three, but four EPT Main Event champions. This seemed like a table that was well worth watching for an orbit.
Here’s how they lined up at the start of the orbit, all chip counts are approximate:
Seat one: Dietrich Fast, Germany, 167,000
Seat two: Robin Ylitalo, Sweden, 80,000
Seat three: Davidi Kitai, Belgium, 300,000
Seat four: David Vamplew, UK, 33,000
Seat five: Andrei Chernokoz, Russia, 150,000
Seat six: Iaran Lightbourne, UK, 285,000
Seat seven: Vojtech Ruzicka, Czech Republic, 195,000
Seat eight: Kevin MacPhee, USA, 230,000
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Hand 1: Button with David Vamplew
With the blinds having just passed through him, EPT7 London champion David Vamplew was the only man in traditional short stack territory as he started the orbit with around 11 big blinds.
He wasn’t involved in the first hand but two of the other EPT Main Event champions at the table were. The multi-way pot was started by Vojtech Ruzicka. He threw out four chips – one 5k, two 1K’s and a 500 – which equated to a 2.5x raise. It was a bet that MacPhee, Davidi Kitai and Iaran Lightbourne all elected to call.
So four way to a 5♦8♣A♠ flop it was. Lightbourne – who was in the big blind – was first to act and he checked the action to the pre-flop raiser. Despite facing three opponents, Ruzicka didn’t slow down. The Czech player bet 15,500 and after getting a confirmation of the bet, MacPhee reached into his stack and put together a raise and then splashed a bet of what looked like 34,500 over the betting line.
This soon got rid of Kitai, who took a puff or two on his e-cigarette, Lightbourne swiftly followed suit, but Ruzicka was not so quick to release his cards. He took a look at MacPhee’s stack and then thought better of calling (or raising) and mucked his cards.
Pot to MacPhee.
This hand looked like it was going to a non event as one by one the players pitched their cards into the muck. That is until action reached David Vamplew, who was in the cut off. He looked at his cards, looked at his stack and then made the one move he had left at this point – all-in. He got through Andrei Chernokoz but Iaran Lightbourne looked interested and asked Vamplew: “How much is it?”
“Just over thirty,” replied the Scotsman.
The dealer got an exact count for Lightbourne – 31,700 – the Englishman called and Vojtech Ruzicka got out the way so they could get on with it.
The K♠A♣4♠ flop left Lightbourne drawing thin but that didn’t stop him asking the dealer for a favour. “Queen of clubs on the turn please,” he requested. It fell on deaf ears though as the 3♥ turn and 4♥ river kept Vamplew in the tournament. “Nice hand,” said Lightbourne as he passed the required chips to Vamplew.
Despite going into the tank for some time, Vamplew folded and dropped back down to around 20 big blinds as a result.
Hand 4: Button with Vojtech Ruzicka
Andrei Chernokoz fancied going for the double and he opened to 7,000 from the hijack and only met resistance from Dietrich Fast, who put in the calling chips from the big blind.
A 7♣8♠7♦ board hit the felt and Fast check-called a bet of 12,000 from Chernokoz. Meanwhile EPT photographer Tomas Stacha, who’s decked out in a Christmas hat today, was busy taking a photo of Kevin MacPhee and the American was getting into the spirit of things. He’s wearing mirrored sunglasses and starred straight into Stacha’s lense from just a few inches away. “You pulling out the blue steel over there?” joked Vamplew, referencing Zoolander.
“I can’t wait to see the sequel to that,” replied MacPhee.
Anyway back to the hand in question, there had been no further betting action on the 9♠ turn and by now the dealer had produced the Q♠. Action was on Fast, but he was slow, taking his time before checking to his Russian opponent, who also rapped the table. Fast knew he was good in this spot and quickly turned over 8♣7♥ for the flopped full-house.
As the pot was pushed to Fast, Davidi Kitai ordered a coffee.
Hand 6: Button with Dietrich Fast
Raise and takes are pretty rare in high roller events and normal service was resumed on the next hand. Andrei Chernokoz was the protagonist again, he raised to 7,000 from under-the-gun+1, Iaran Lightbourne flicked in the calling chips and everyone else folded.
The J♦2♣8♠ flop looked like it might create some action and it did. Chernokoz c-bet 10,000 and Lightbourne smooth called. Dietrich Fast obviously had a read that this pot might take a while as he stood up. He’s wearing that odd combination of short sleeves with a scarf, meaning the scarf must be to hide tells rather than for warmth. Surely you’d just put a jumper on if you were cold?
Anyway Chernokoz gave up the betting lead on the Q♦ turn and when Lightbourne bet, he gave up on the hand.
Vojtech Ruzicka – who had been active this orbit – raised again, making it his standard 7,500 to go from middle position. After a quick look at Ruzicka’s stack, Dietrich Fast three-bet to 22,500. Next to act was EPT10 London Champion Robin Ylitalo. He had about 80,000 behind so would likely risk it all were he to play. He elected to keep his powder dry though, as did Davidi Kitai.
So action was now on David Vamplew and he went into full stare down mode and locked his eyes on Fast. After about 15 seconds he announced all-in, Ruzicka folded but Fast snap called the shove which was for 61,100.
The 4♠3♣10♦9♣5♣ board stayed clean for Vamplew and he doubled to over 130,000. “I almost made a play at that pot,” said Ruzicka.
“Would you have won?” asked Lightbourne and Ruzicka nodded.
Hand 8: Button with Davidi Kitai
Another hand with an all-in, but would this one have a showdown?
Sorry for sounding like a broken record but Vojtech Ruzicka was again the pre-flop raiser, making it – you guessed it – 7,500 to go. The action passed to Robin Ylitalo and he three-bet to 18,000. Action folded back to Ruzicka and he asked the Swede: “How much did you start the hand with?”
“About 75,000,” replied Ylitalo.
“All-in,” announced Ruzicka. In short order Ylitalo was all-out as he pitched his cards into the muck.
If you want to read more hand for hand action from the high roller can follow hand by hand coverage of that event in the panel at the top of this page.
You can follow all the Main Event action on this page.
If you like moving pictures then you’ll be happy to hear that #EPTLive coverage of the Main Event is in full swing. Watch that here.