There were moments when it seemed like there was more talk than play in the high roller event. With four left, Igor Kurganov, Rob Akery, Philipp Gruissem and Olivier Busquet went into a drawn out discussion, using pens and paper, iPads and a laptop computer, which finally hammered out a revised payment plan.
Then, when Busquet departed in fourth place, another deal was discussed, play stopping as the discussion, led by administrator Kurganov – who joked about taking an extra £200 for accountancy fees – who returned with the numbers, only for the players to decide not to alter the original agreement.
Igor Kurganov hammers out the numbers
Then, when Akery was eliminated in third, Kurganov and Gruissem discussed the situation again, apologising when they return to say they’d play on as normal.
The four remaining players discuss a deal
While that might have ruined some events, it didn’t have that effect on this. Talk of deals can sometimes affect the willingness of a player to make decisions, greasing the all in finger. But at the core of every professional is the desire to win, the number “1” inked into their tournament record.
EPT London High Roller winner Philipp Gruissem
For EPT London High Roller winner Philipp Gruissem it’s the third in a career that is beginning to look like it belongs to one of the most impressive young players in the game, each cash – including a 28th place finish in the World Series of Poker main event this year, worth $242,636 – bigger than the previous, in this case being the number “1” he earned in the EPT Barcelona High Roller, worth €234,500. This makes it back-to-back high roller wins for the German, this one worth £450,200.
Gruissem in action
His heads-up opponent Igor Kurganov was no slouch, and not only with the pocket calculator, scoring the biggest live tournament cash of his career. Not the number “2” he may have coveted, but the “2” is not so shabby.
Runner-up Igor Kurganov
But against Gruissem heads-up he was out-gunned and, despite clawing back a little with gritty spirit, he ultimately couldn’t conquer the mountain that was Gruissem’s stack. For Kurganov, the runner-up, £318,300.
The final result:
1st. Philipp Gruissem, £450,200
2nd. Igor Kurganov, Russia, £318,300
3rd. Rob Akery, United Kingdom, £205,500
4th. Olivier Busquet, United States, £171,200
5th. Adrian Bussman, Sweden, £102,250
6th. Joel Nordkvist, Sweden, £72,950
7th. Sam Trickett, United Kingdom, £68,800
8th. Michael Tureniec, Sweden, £58,400
Before the deals were made Michael Tureniec departed within minutes of the start, re-appearing later in another side event. Next to go was Sam Trickett in seventh, ahead of the two remaining Swedes Joel Nordkvist in sixth and Adrian Bussman in fifth.
To read details of those departures, and more on what has been the latest step on a blossoming 2011 for Gruissem, who left the tournament room seconds after winning in order to join a German crowd heading out for a celebratory dinner, click on the link below:
Thanks for following our coverage from London of the High Roller event. Don’t forget the EPT London main event was played today, which featured none of the debates we had in the high roller. Details of the day can be found in the main event coverage. Our thanks to Mickey May for all the photos used today.
For now, goodnight from London.