Paul Phua Wins the €100,000 Re-entry at the Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza (€752,700)
A big cash game and a €100,000 freezeout were on the schedule for the last day of the 2016 Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza, but just the tournament ran. After three days of crazy side game action with games as high as €1,000/€2,000 and multiple seven-figure winners, no one seemed ready for another day of cash game play.
The tournament did run, though a bit later, and as a re-entry instead of a freeze-out. A dozen players entered the €100,000-event, the final event of the schedule.
It was Paul Phua who outlasted the 13-entry strong field to claim the first prize of €752,700. The victory is the second largest of his career and came after he defeated Mikita Badziakouski in a short heads-up battle.
The event was supposed to start at 11 a.m. but the high rollers didn't seem to want to wake up that early for the second biggest event of the week. Instead, the event got underway at 1 p.m. with seven players.
Not only had the format been changed, but also the objection against professional players entering had been lifted. So Tom Marchese sat down, followed by the likes of Mustapha Kanit, Andrew Robl and Mikita Badziakouski.
Gradually, more players entered until a total of 12 players were playing on two separate tables. Late registration was open for eight of the 20-minute levels and just Cary Katz did so after busting minutes before registration closed.
Phua was the one grabbing Katz's chips, giving him a small edge on the rest of the field at that time. With short levels and not a lot of tanking, action was incredibly fast paced.
It didn't take long before the final table was reached. Yaqi Sun lost all of his chips in a three-way all in, Patrick Madden hit the rail after getting it in with queen-jack to king-queen and Andrew Robl and Tom Marchese went out to Phua in a three-way all in.
One Drop champion Elton Tsang, who showed no signs of a hangover despite promising to go partying after his €11,111,111 win the night before, was the first to make his exit playing on the last table. Katz looked him up twice with an inferior hand but came from behind both times to send the 35-year-old millionaire packing.
Mustapha Kanit hit the rail at the hands of Phua who declared it "the day of the businessmen!" right after. The Italian high roller had walked into a classic cooler with top and bottom pair up against top two.
Dan Shak was next to go, and again Katz was the one stacking chips after someone made his exit. Katz had the best hand with ace-king suited this time; Shak couldn't come from behind with his ace-seven suited.
Katz himself would be next, handing his chips to Talal Shakerchi. Katz, with the king-queen, couldn't catch up against Shakerchi's pocket treys and Katz made his exit.
At this point, the blinds got real big and with the level almost moving up again, players were having to make some action. A three-way all-in resulted in Zuo Wang hitting the rail while Shakerchi was left with a single big blind. Phua had aces against Wang's jack-ten and Shakerchi's ace-king. A board full of blanks resulted in a situation where no real bubble was to be had.
Three players were still in and the difference between getting third and second was over half a million, but with Shakerchi just having a single big blind, everyone knew what was about to happen. Shakerchi shoved from the button and remarkably enough, Phua folded his small blind. That left Badziakouski with the dirty work who did just that, hitting a pair on the river to eliminate Shakerchi and bursting the bubble.
Despite eliminating Shakerchi, Badziakouski was still the short stack up against the giant stack of Phua. Badziakouski, who was very chatty this tournament, doubled once but busted minutes later anyway. In the final hand, Badziakouski was up against pocket treys with his king-six suited.
"Flip! Flip! Flip!" Phua exclaimed excitedly. He would win it. The board came just blanks and Phua could lift the trophy and a check worth €752,700.
That concludes our coverage of the Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza 2016 from Monaco. Right now, we still have updates from the 888Live Poker Festival in London and later this week we'll report from Malta on the penultimate European Poker Tour of the year.