The 2015 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final €25,000 High Roller may have featured one of the toughest fields ever assembled on the EPT, but that didn’t stop one of our own from walking away with the trophy and the €1,114,000 first place prize. Take a bow, Charlie Carrel.
Carrel’s poker story is nothing short of fascinating. When Carrel was a tender 18-years old – the phenom is still on 21-years young – he deposited $15 onto PokerStars and won a $1 180-man sit-and-go tournament for $49. From there, Carrel began playing nine-handed sit-and-go games, climbing from $1.50 buy-ins up to $7 before making the switch to cash games, a decision that turned out to be a great one.
Over the next year or so, Carrel went from playing $0.10/$0.25 Zoom at PokerStars to playing $5/$10 at partypoker. Suddenly, from that $15 deposit, Carrel had a $500,000 bankroll, an impressive sum helped by the fact he chopped the PokerStars Sunday Million for $201,000.
Now, only three years since that $49 victory, Carrel is the latest star to become a poker millionaire having taken down the €25,000 High Roller at the Season 11 EPT Grand Final, his first €25,000 buy-in event.
The final day’s play saw 12 players return to their seats, including superstars Dominik Nitsche and the reigning World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion Martin Jacobson. Nitsche fell in 11th place when he ran his into Carrel’s and Jacobson bust when his couldn’t hold against Steve O’Dwyer’s a few hands after O’Dwyer had sucked out on the world champion with versus .
Carrel went into the final table second from nine in chips, but by the time Dan Smith, Jeremy Ausmus, Dario Sammartino, and Max Altergott had fallen (Smith and Sammartino crashed out at the hands of Carrel), the talented youngster held an overwhelming chip lead.
Our hero then sent Russia’s Andrey Andreev to the rail in fourth place before crushing Steve O’Dwyer’s dreams when O’Dwyer raise to 180,000 on the button, Carrel three-bet all-in for 2.69 million effective and O’Dwyer called.
O’Dwyer flipped over and was crushing Carrel’s , was being the operative word. The flop kept O’Dwyer’s kings in front, but the turn catapulted Carrel into the lead. When the fell on the river, O’Dwyer bust and Carrel marched into heads-up with an 8,085,000 to 2,665,000 chip lead over France’s Imad Derwiche.
Derwiche did claw his way back into contention until Carrel’s class started shining through. Then on the 30th hand of one-on-one play, Derwiche pushed his chips into the middle with what turned out to be and Carrel looked him up with the dominating . Neither player improved on the board, Carrel’s kicker played and was enough to see him crowned the €25,000 High Roller champion.
€25K High Roller Final Table Results
The EPT now goes on a break until August 19 when it heads to Barcelona for the opening leg of the 12th season. As for Carrel, once he’s finished celebrating, he’s planning on making his debut at the WSOP in Las Vegas where he’ll play the $111,111 buy-in event plus a whole host of other bracelet events and we wouldn’t bet against him returning home with some shiny poker bling to show for his effort.