The second edition of the €25,500 Single-Day High Roller at the 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague festival once again attracted some of the biggest names of the high stakes tournaments at the luxurious Hilton Hotel Prague.
Once the first eight levels were done and dusted and the registration had closed, the screens showed 40 unique players, who made an additional 12 reentries. The field of 52 entries surpassed the first event from two days ago and the top seven spots were guaranteed a portion of the €1,274,000 prize pool.
Close to 1 a.m. local time it was Team PokerStars Pro Igor Kurganov who lifted the trophy after defeating JC Alvarado heads-up. Both players cut a deal once the stacks were even in heads-up play and left the trophy and €50,000 up for grabs. It took one hour to determine the champion and Kurganov was all smiles, claiming the second High Roller title in half a year in a PokerStars live event after signing his sponsorship deal in February 2017.
The first place finish came with a payday of €371,250, boosting Kurganov's live cashes to more than $14.5 million, while Alvarado took home €319,750 for second. Christopher Kruk, who finished 6th in the PokerStars Championship Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller in August, recorded his second-best result on the live poker circuit and finished in 3rd place for €185,000. The other players in the money include Stephen Chidwick (4th place - €140,000), Thomas Muehloecker (5th place - €108,000), Vladimir Troyanovskiy (6th place - €83,000) and Erik Seidel (7th place - €67,000).
Final Result €25,500 Single-Day High Roller II
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (EUR)||Deal Prize (EUR)|
|4||Stephen Chidwick||United Kingdom||€140,000|
|7||Erik Seidel||United States||€67,000|
*denotes deal of the last two players
The action kicked off with a dozen players and that number soon grew to more than 20 by the time level two was underway. Bryn Kenney, who initially came up with the idea for this tournament format, was the first player to fall when his king-jack suited ended up second-best to the king-queen of Oleksii Khoroshenin on a king-high flop. Kenney bought himself back in and busted a second time soon after.
Others who took two shots at the juicy prize pool and fell before the end of the registration period included Benjamin Pollak, Stefan Schillhabel and Koray Aldemir. Sam Greenwood and Sergi Reixach were among those to win a €25,500 Single-Day High Roller here in Prague in 2016, but this time their attempts proved unsuccessful. Albert Daher was also unable to repeat his victory from two days ago and exited before the last three tables were set.
PokerStars Team Pro Igor Kurganov joined in the last possible level of registration and quickly doubled up before getting involved in a three-way all in. Kurganov's jacks faced the pocket queens of Orpen Kisacikoglu and the pocket sevens of David Peters. A crucial jack appeared on the flop and Kurganov jumped into a big stack.
At the dinner break, only 14 players remained and among those to bust prior were Ivan Luca, Daniel Dvoress, Ole Schemion, Jean-Noel Thorel, Timothy Adams and Mustapha Kanit. Ryan Riess and Dietrich Fast were the two short stacks on the last two tables and both also busted shortly before heading out for dinner.
The dinner break was followed up by a flurry of all-in showdowns and eight players were eliminated in 47 minutes to burst the money bubble burst and reduce the field to the last six hopefuls. JC Alvarado and Christopher Kruk dominated their tables and dispatched several opponents on their way. Xioyang Luo lost a flip with king-jack versus nines, Rocco Palumbo failed to get there with ace-five versus ace-jack and Kruk claimed the stacks of Conor Beresford and Kitson Kho in a matter of minutes.
The final table was set with the elimination of Oleksii Khoroshenin, who lost a flip with ace-queen suited against the pocket nines of Stephen Chidwick. However, only eight players sat at the actual final table as John Juanda ended up second-best with ace-nine suited against the king-jack suited of JC Alvarado at almost the same time as Khoroshenin's bustout. Vladimir Troyanovskiy survived the money bubble, despite getting it in with nines versus queens, while Christoph Vogelsang attempted the same with pocket tens minutes later only to see Alvarado remain on top with black queens and burst the bubble.
Erik Seidel, who sits in second place of the all-time money list for live poker events, racked up another score but had to settle for €67,000 when his pocket sevens were no match to the pocket jacks of Stephen Chidwick.
Next to bust was Vladimir Troyanovskiy, who got it in ahead with ace-seven suited against the king-queen of JC Alvarado, and the latter spiked a king on the turn to reduce the field to the last five.
After the elimination of Thomas Muehloecker in fifth place, Christopher Kruk held half of the chips in play. The Canadian looked up Muehloecker with pocket jacks versus ace-six and his top set on the flop improved to a flush on the river to send the Austrian crashing in fifth place.
Igor Kurganov doubled twice through Christopher Kruk to jump into a comfortable lead and it was Stephen Chidwick that had to settle for fourth place. Down to fewer than ten big blinds, he three-bet all in with king-nine out of the small blind and Kurganov snap-called with pocket aces to leave Chidwick drawing dead on the turn.
Christopher Kruk lost a flip with pocket fives to the king-queen of JC Alvarado to bow out in third, and in the first hand of heads-up play Alvarado and Kurganov evened out the stacks. The payers subsequently agreed to a deal and left the trophy and €50,000 up for grabs. It took one hour before Kurganov emerged victorious after he rivered a wheel against the top two pair of Alvarado. Both players were separated by a mere ante when the stacks were counted.
The High Roller action here in Prague continues right away on Saturday, December 16th, with Day 1 of the €10,300 High Roller. This three-day event starts at 12:30 p.m. local time and the PokerNews live reporting team will be right back on the floor to provide live updates from all the action here in Prague!