This EPT Barcelona €10,000 High Roller event can be summarised in two fragments of Jason Mercier’s tweets. Yesterday the Team PokerStars Pro was describing how he was forced to reload after busting first hand, then this afternoon he was at it again. “Table is absurd tough,” Mercier said.
That is the way things work during High Roller tournaments. “Absurd tough” is always the size of it. But when someone of Mercier’s calibre is drawing attention to it (and following up a few hours later with “Never mind I’m out”), we know for absolutely certain that this one was a beast.
It is fitting, then, that the field is headed going into its final day by two of the established monsters of the High Roller world. Leonid “Alex” Bilokur and Tobias Reinkemeier have both previously won High Roller tournaments on the EPT: Bilokur at the PCA in January this year and Reinkemeier in Monte Carlo a couple of years ago. Both those tournament yielded more than a million dollars, and Reinkemeier even has another seven figure score to his name, only four months ago in a Super High Roller event.
It’s Reinkemeier who is leading at this stage of this one, with 714,000 to Bilokur’s 673,000.
“I started out pretty well and I was winning lots of pot,” Reinkemeier said. “I had 340k right at the start and was second in chips. Everything was going really well. I was playing really well too in my opinion.
“Towards the end I had a good run and made a good call against Kristijonas (Andrulis). Now I’m coming back with 700,000.”
Another three of the best known faces in poker are in the final 12. One is a World Champion, one is a wookie and the other is ElkY. All of Jonathan Duhamel, Andrew “luckychewy” Lichtenberg, and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier flirted with the chip lead today, before bagging up 335,000, 352,000 and 335,000 respectively.
After the bubble burst in the early hours, the remaining 12 players opted to call it a night, drained from a long day’s play:
“I went to the Barcelona game yesterday and we went out for some drinks and stuff, so I didn’t have much sleep,” Reinkemeier said. “It’s almost 3am and I’m tired. Pretty easy explanation I think.”
The weary stuffed the following chips into their bags:
Tobias Reinkemeier, 714,000
Alex Bilokur, 673,000
Laurent Polito, 647,000
Jean Noel Thorel, 615,000
Kristijonas Andrulis, 495,000
Stanislav Labutkin, 494,000
Bertrand Grospellier, 468,000
Andrew Lichtenberger, 352,000
Jonathan Duhamel, 335,000
Carlos Mora, 300,000
Joao Vieira, 245,000
Gurgen Melkonyan, 218,000
The first prize in this one is €359,000, but the winner is far from a foregone conclusion. All are guaranteed €24,470, and tomorrow will decide how much more they get. The plan is to begin cutting down the last 12 at 1pm, alongside the main event, which is being streamed live on EPTLive. Another high roller exiled in the main event, Ilari Sahamies, is leading that one.
Please do return tomorrow for double final table day.