Final table – blow-by-blow

February 11, 2006

1.45am — This one is all over. The winner of the EPT French Open, Deauville, is Mats Iremark, from Sweden. Mark moves his final 800,000 or so in with jack-ten and Mats sees enough when he looks down on an ace. The three beside it is immaterial and although he needs to survive a flush draw on the river, he does and is the new champion. A short stack for much of the way, he is now th champion. Mark Boudewijn takes €259,000 for second.

1.30am — We’ve possibly just seen the pot that will decide this one. Post flop, Mark bets, Mats raises, Mark moves in, Mats calls. There’s a queen and a jack on the board and while Mark has the knave, Mats has the lady. Big swing and Mats is looking good for this.

1.15am — Mark Boudewijn has changed gears now and has assumed the chip lead with a series of power plays. He’s calling a lot pre-flop, then check raising and the like to steal consecutive 200,000 pots.

1.00am — This heads up battle is swinging one way and then the next and we’re still at the same chip count that they started at. That means Mats has about 2.8 million, nearly double Mark’s 1.5 million.

The blinds have been raised to 40,000 and 80,000 for the heads up contest. Mats Iremark is ahead – he has approximately 2,900,000 to Mark Boudewijn’s 1,500,000. It’s Holland against Sweden.

12.40am — That’s the end of Kirill Gerasimov. He has played the short stack for three days but now moves in with king-ten and is called by the ace-jack of Mats Iremark. They both get help on the flop – a ten for Kirill, but the ace for Mats is dominant. That’s that. The Russian takes €155,300 for third.

12.30am — Theo Jorgensen is out. Mats Iremark raises under the gun and Mark Boudewijn re-raises all-in. Theo then sniffs a bit of value with his short stack and undercalls all-in. Mats gets out of the way and Mark shows ace-queen of diamonds. Theo has nine-six and is in all kinds of trouble when two diamonds come on the flop. He needs an off-suit nine or six (four outs) and they all miss. Theo Jorgensen, from Denmark, finishes fourth for €118,500.

12.20am — Now it’s Kirill’s turn to double up and this time it’s Theo on the receiving end. The Russian moves in with ace-four, Theo calls with ace-ten, but the four on the flop gives Kirrill a count of about 1,300,000, while the Dane is down to 500,000.

12.15am — Theo doubles up after slow-playing aces. He’s made to sweat because Mark is allowed in cheaply with his six-two of hearts and moves in when a fourth heart comes on the turn. The flush draw misses, however, and the aces are good.

12.05am — There’s a brief tournament break – and Mats Iremark obviously uses it to have a quick word with the dealer. He returns and not only picks up kings, but also finds a caller in Theo Jorgensen, who has ace-eight. Mats flops a set, but Theo has a straight draw by the time the river is due. It misses and Mats now assumes the chip lead.

11.40pm — Down to four and chip counts are fairly even, with only Mark showing some distance from the pack. The blinds are high, so they’ll have to play a bit, but we haven’t seen many swings here and this could go on for a fair while yet. Here’s the latest:

Mark Boudewijn (Hol) 1,569,000
Theo Jorgensen (Den) 1,193,000
Mats Iremark (Swe) 869,000
Kirill Gerasimov (Rus) 738,000

Blinds are going up to 30,000-60,000 with a 6,000 ante.

11.30pm — Just listened in on Vaswani’s television interview. The Crazy Horse is proud to be the first player to make three EPT final tables, but desperately wanted to be the first to win two. Ultimately he paid the price for the super-tight table, all of whom are content to move incrementally up the leaderboard. “I wanted to win it,” Ram said. The 1.4 million pot against Theo Jorgensen was crucial, but Ram has vowed to be back for Monte Carlo next month.

11.15pm — Ram has gone. He runs a king-eight into Kirill’s ace-jack and although he picks up an open-ended straight draw on the flop, he misses all his outs and is, well, out. Ram takes €97,700 for fifth.

11.05pm — The biggest pot of the tournament so far goes to Theo Jorgensen at the expense of Ram Vaswani. Ram raises from the button, Theo moves in for about 600,000 from the small blind. Ram dwells but calls, showing ace-jack. Theo has jacks and they survive a gutshot straight draw to double the Dane up and cripple the Hendon Mobster. Ram down to about 300,000 now; Theo about 1,200,00.

11.00pm — Mats Iremark’s charmed life continues, when he gets all his chips in the pot with eight-nine and Theo Jorgensen calls with ace-five. There are two eights and a nine on the board by the turn; a full house is good in anyone’s money. He doubles up to 350,000 approx.

10.55pm — see last post, only replace Theo with Kirill. The Russian raises pre-flop and Ram moves in from the big blind. He takes another pot of 200,000 plus change.

10.45pm — Vaswani might be getting impatient here, having called several pre-flop bets, only to pass when it all goes in after the flop. The tactic has seen his drop down to third place. He just took a turn in the opposite direction when he re-raised all in pre-flop after Theo had made it 150,000 to play. Theo showed queen-ten and folded.

10.30pm — Down to five players and the blinds are now up to 25,000-50,000 with a 5,000 ante. Chip counts are as follows:

Mark Boudewijn (Hol) 1,276,000
Theo Jorgensen (Den) 1,206,000
Ram Vaswani (Eng) 1,061,000
Kirill Gerasimov (Rus) 414,000
Mats Iremark (Swe) 412,000

10.20pm — There is it for Patric. He goes. He’s in the small blind and Ram Vaswani flat calls pre-flop. Patric pushes in, but Theo Jorgensen calls from the big blind, as does Ram. It seems likely they’ll check it down, but no. A couple of checks follow the jack-high flop, with an eight and six also showing, but Theo bets when another six comes on the turn. Ram thinks and calls. The river is another six, meaning three are showing, and now Ram comes out betting. Theo folds, and Ram shows the case six for quads. That’s it for Patric Martenson. He’s our sixth placed finisher and takes €76,800.

10.15pm — It’s short-stacked Swede against short-stacked Swede as Mats moves in and Patric calls. Patric has king-ten, but slightly more chips than Mats, who shows sevens. Another seven on the flop leaves Patric drawing dead by the time the blank turn is dealt. Patric on the ropes.

10.10pm — A double up for Kirill, who is now up to 249,000 – the biggest number of chips he has so far had in the tournament. He’s been playing the short stack like a demon. This time, he calls Mark’s all in and is ahead all the way. Kirill has ace-ten, Mark jack-seven. An ace on the flop and river are nice, but are unnecessary in the grand scheme of things.

10.00pm — Peculiar play by Mats Iremark resulting in more to the stack of Mark Boudewijn. The Swede makes it 249,000 to go from the cut off – leaving him about 120,000. Mark calls from the small blind (a drop in the ocean), then moves in in the dark. The flop, for the record, is queen high, but Mats dwells and folds. He looked for all the world pot committed, but shows ace-nine and is still in the game, just. Mark leads this one by plenty now.

9.30pm — Bad news for supporters of Isabelle Mercier. She is no more. The blinds are now huge and she raised from the small blind. Mark Boudewijn re-raised from the big blind and Isabelle pushed. The Dutchman calls and flips ace-king. Isabelle has pocket nines. This time the race was won by the big slick when the ace turns. Isabelle is out. She cashes for €60,800.

9.20pm — There’s no option for the players now. They need to start moving. The blinds have just been put up to 20,000-40,000 with a 4,000 ante. I predict fireworks.

8.20pm — That’s the dinner break, with the stacks having levelled right out. Mark and Theo have joined the pack, while Ram has pulled away slightly. Here we have it:

Ram Vaswani (Eng) 1,373,00
Mark Boudewijn (Hol) 842,000
Theo Jorgensen (Den) 644,000
Patric Martenson (Swe) 438,000
Isabelle Mercier (Can) 412,000
Mats Iremark (Swe) 347,000
Kirill Gerasimov (Rus) 313,000

8.10pm — It’s a real grind at the moment, with no one prepared to make any moves. Raises are taking it down pre-flop and the stacks are levelling out. The only big pot of note is a 300,000 win for Vaswani, when his pocket fours make a full house when three kings are on the board. Mats attempts to represent better than his queen high. Ram buys none of that. Dinner break.

7.40pm — Player all in, player doubles up. It’s the story of the day so far. This time it’s Kirill Gerasimov, whose pocket tens stay good enough against Mark Boudewijn’s king-eight.

7.35pm — Isabelle re-raises Ram Vaswani, moving in after Ram makes it 90,000 to go. She has about 150,000 more, which is too much for Ram and she picks it up.

7.28pm — Patric now doubles up. He finds ace-queen and a caller in Theo Jorgensen. The battle of Scandinavia goes to the Swede; Jorgensen’s king-eight can’t outdraw the better pre-flop hand.

7.25pm — Isabelle doubles up. She pushes from the small blind and is called in the big by Mark Boudewijn. Miss Mercier shows seven-six suited, Mark has king-queen. Lucky seven.

7.15pm — The blinds are now raised to 30,000 and 15,000 with a 3,000 ante. Still seven players with chip counts as follows:

Mark Boudewijn (Hol) 1,273,000
Ram Vaswani (Eng) 1,118,00
Theo Jorgensen (Den) 789,000
Mats Iremark (Swe) 461,000
Patric Martenson (Swe) 282,000
Kirill Gerasimov (Rus) 161,000
Isabelle Mercier (Can) 159,000

7.05pm — Five minutes left in this level as Ram puts Mats to the test. The young Swede raises 60,000 from the cut off, Ram makes in 200,000 with the button and everyone gets out of the way.

6.50pm — Ram Vaswani has been the player making the moves here, but most have backfired so far. However, he just picked up a 280,000 pot when he moved in on a flop of 6-4-4 with two diamonds among them. Theo Jorgensen had raised pre-flop, and called Ram’s re-raise, but laid it down for all his chips with that board.

6.40pm — Isabelle Mercier is the short stack now and needs to double up. She gives it a try on consecutive hands, moving in both times pre-flop, and picks up blinds and antes. That will do, but she’s only just around 100,000.

6.25pm — Kirill involved again, this time moving in with ace-deuce. Ram is all but obliged to call, despite his meagre seven-four. But the Hendon man couldn’t hit a flop if he dealt it himself and Kirill doubles up. He has about 150,000.

6.15pm — Easy come, easy go for Kirill. He moves in from the small blind and is called by Patric Martenson in the big. Martenson is the all-in player, but has pocket sevens, which is all over Kirill’s ten-deuce. No Brunson-esque help for that hand this time and Patric doubles up to about 400,000.

6.10pm — Kirill Gerasimov is facing elimination when he’s all in pre-flop with king-ten against Ram Vaswani’s ace-queen. Flop and turn are no help, but the miracle ten on the river keeps the Muscovite alive. Another thump for Vaswani.

5.50pm — Official chip counts at another brief break. You’ll notice Mark Boudewijn has assumed the chip lead after a couple of beats for the always aggressive Vaswani.

Mark Boudewijn (Hol) 1,310,000
Theo Jorgensen (Den) 1,047,000
Ram Vaswani (Eng) 1,045,500
Mats Iremark (Swe) 399,000
Patric Martenson (Swe) 240,500
Isabelle Mercier (Can) 205,500
Kirill Gerasimov (Rus) 71,500

Blinds and antes are going up to 20,000 (big), 10,000 (small) and 2,000 (ante).

5.35pm — Isabelle wins just more than 100,000 when her king-queen connects with a flop of Ad-Qc-4s. The ace precludes much betting, but Mark Boudewijn had raised pre-flop and mucks when Isabelle shows her pair of queens.

5.30pm — Big double up for Mats Iremark. He calls Ram’s big blind from the button, Ram raises. Mats moves in for about 200,000 and Ram calls. The Crazy Horse has pocket nines, Mats has ace-six. He rivers the ace to stay alive.

5.25pm — Ram loses a 220,000 pot to Mark Boudewijn. Ram raises with his ace-three, Mark calls with pocket eights and even though Ram pairs his low card, it’s not good enough.

5.15pm — Isabelle Mercier takes a hit of about 150,000 when her king-jack can’t beat Mark’s ace-jack. The Dutchman takes it with ace high.

5.10pm — Ram is quietly running this table now. Mats pops it up to 40,000 pre-flop, Ram calls from big blind. Flop shows 2h-Jh-6d and Mats bets 55,000. Ram calls. Turn and river bring 3h and 5s but there’s no more betting and Ram’s ace-six wins. Mats mucks his king-queen.

5pm — Theo and Ram renew their acquaintance with Theo raising pre-flop and Ram calling the 45,000. The flop of 2h-8c-Jc “looks perfect for Ram” says one reporter with a good knowledge of Crazy Horse’s play. Theo bets 80,000, Ram makes it 180,000 and that’s that. Theo folds.

4.40pm — Official chip counts:
Ram Vaswani (Eng) – 1,100,000
Theo Jorgensen (Den) – 1,008,000
Mark Boudewijn (Hol) – 960,000
Mats Iremark (Swe) – 502,000
Isabelle Mercier (Can) – 365,000
Patric Martenson (Swe) – 196,000
Kirill Gerasimov (Rus) – 173,000

4.30pm — Top quality hands. Mats raises pre-flop, Isabelle calls and checks in the dark. Flop shows 4c-2d-Ac and Mats bets 30,000. Isabelle calls. The turn is a 9d, check, check. River is another ace and now Mats calls Isabelle’s bet. She shows 4-7 for two pairs, aces and fours; Mats shows 9-3 for two pairs, aces and nines.

4.30pm — Ram gets some chips back when he bets at a low flop and everyone folds. Kirill moves in on the next hand and picks up the value of Theo’s bet, Isabelle’s call and the blinds and antes. He shows ace-king.

4.20pm — Chip leaders tussle for the first time. Theo Jorgensen raises 20,000 from button, called by Ram Vaswani in big blind. Flop shows 3s-5d-9s and Ram checks. Theo bets 40,000, Ram calls. Turn is 8s – the third spade on board – and, after Ram checks, Theo bets 65,000. Ram calls. The river is the innocuous looking Jh and Theo bets 150,000. Ram folds. Theo assumes chip lead.

4pm — Anyone who has only ever watched poker on television will probably think the reporters have deserted their posts. Where are all the fireworks and coin flips? Anyone who has seen one of these final tables live, however, will tell you that the vast majority of poker at this stage takes place pre-flop. It goes fold, fold, fold, fold, fold, etc., with any raise usually picking it up. That’s been the story so far.

3.30pm — We have already lost one, on the second hand of the final table. Having picked up the blinds with a pre-flop raise on the frst hand, Stuart Nash moves in from the cut off on the second. This time he’s called by Theo Jorgensen’s queens and Stuart’s ace-king does not improve. He takes €43,500 for seventh.


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