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French poker maestro Benjamin Pollak (cover image) emerged victorious in the €25,000 High Roller at the recently concluded 2019 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT following a heads-up deal with German pro Koray Aldemir. Pollak’s run in the event was a true underdog story as he was the short stack both at the start of the final table and the heads-up play, but both times he turned the tables in his favor for a well-deserved victory.
In total, the event registered healthy participation from 132 entrants that made for a €3,374,630 prize pool kitty.
Undeniably, the field was full of poker superstars and those who couldn’t board the money bus included Andre Akkari, Davidi Kitai, Ole Schemion, Partik Antonius, Mustapha Kanit, Charlie Carrel, Steve O’Dwyer, Isaac Haxton, Rainer Kempe, Adrian Mateos, and Maria Ho.
Notables who collected a payday but fell short of the final table were David Dayan (11th for €67,490), Luc Greenwood (14th for €53,990), Mohsin Charania (15th for €53,990), Erik Seidel (18th for €43,870), and Kristen Bicknell (20th for €43,870).
Final Table Chip Counts
Final Table Recap
Joao Vieira came into the final table as the shortest stack, and before long he was all-in for his tournament life holding . Sergio Aido isolated him with an all-in shove over the top with that served its purpose as the rest of the table folded. The board ran and just like that Vieira was eliminated in ninth place.
Michael Addamo then doubled-up through Daniel Dvoress who incidentally was the next one out. Short-stacked Dvoress announced all-in with , and Laszlo Bujtas who woke up with pocket jacks made a relatively easy call. The flop [7d] gave Dvoress a straight, and the turn was a safe card for him as well, but the on the river sent Dvoress packing in eighth place.
After over two hours of small ball poker, action picked up with the elimination of Laurynas Levinskas in seventh place. His failed to get past Koray Aldemir’s pocket jacks.
Meanwhile, the eventual champion Pollak, who had started his final table campaign as the second shortest stack, won a crucial flip against Czuczor to double-up.
Next up, Sergio Aido’s aces got cracked by Laszlo Bujtas’ . All the chips went in preflop, and Aido was looking in good shape to double up, but the board brought two pairs for Bujtas, and with that Aido was forced out in sixth place.
Michael Addamo then lost a healthy chunk of chips to Koray Aldemir and came down sharply to just seven big blinds. He found the perfect spot to jam with and Pollak isolated him with an over-the-top shove holding.The board blanked out, and Addamo was relegated to the rail in fifth place.
Koray Aldemir then made an impressive call on the river to catch Laszlo Bujtas’ bluff. Bujtas, left with under 10 big blinds, made an instant shove with . Czuczor looked him up with and got there on the rundown ending Bujtas’ dream run in fourth place.
Down to three-handed play, it was Czuczor who looked to be standing on shaky ground with his stack fluctuating wildly. His luck finally ran out with all his chips going to Aldemir. His last hand of the tournament saw Aldemir limp in, and Czuczor checked his big blind to see the flop open . Czuczor check-called to the turn . Aldemir fired another bet, and Czuczor check-called once again to see the river card . Aldemir moved all-in with for a rivered full house while Czuczor tank-called tabling .
With Czuczor’s dismissal, the lengthy heads-up finale between Koray Aldemir (5.23 Million chips) and Pollak (1.87 Million chips)got underway. Pollak changed gears and managed to double up twice to get even in chips before locking in a heads-up deal. With the deal done, the final hand took little time coming. Aldemir limped in with , and Pollak made it 525,000 to call with pocket nines. Aldemir made the call to see the flop . Pollak led out again, and Aldemir moved all in. Pollak made the call and said,“Gamble!” The turn brought no change, but the on the river was a gamble that worked for Pollak who with his set of nines won the title!
Final Table Results (EURO)
*denotes heads-up deal
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