Morten Klein Leads Final Nine
Play started today with seven tables, hosting 53 players in total. Mike McDonald and Oleksii Khoroshenin entered after having been busted on Day 1, and Alec Torelli and Pratyush Buddiga entered for the first time. Those four additions to the tournament brought the total amount of entries to 77. The tournament organization announced 11 places would be paid and the winner was to receive €1,016,700, substantially more than Vitaly Lunkin won last year (€771,300), and a bit more than Dan Smith won two years ago in the inaugural event (€962,925).
Morten Klein started out as the shortest stack with a mere 85,000 in chips — just under 15 big blinds. His start was great, though, and he doubled twice in the first orbit. The second time, he got lucky to hit an ace with his against Daniel Colman's kings to stay alive.
Defending champ Vitaly Lunkin lost the most of his chips when his pair and flush draw failed to imrove against Dong Kim's top pair. Then he lost the remainder of his stack on the next hand with to Igor Kurganov's in a battle of the blinds.
Dan Smith, who won the first-ever European Poker Tour Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller event two years ago, hit the rail minutes later. Smith's sixes were crushed by Martin Jacobson's sevens, and no card on the flop, turn, or river helped "King Dan."
Jacobson didn't do much better, though. The 2014 World Series of Poker November Niner had called a raise out of the big blind and led into Daniel Colman on all three streets of a board. The Swede's final bet was an all-in shove for 488,000 on the river, and Colman quickly made the call. Jacobson tabled the for just ace high, and Colman's proved to be the winning hand.
Jacobson's WSOP Main Event final table companion Jorryt van Hoof's day started out not too good, either. First, a two-street bluff failed, and then not much later he busted after failing to improve his flush draw to an overpair. The November Niner told us he was going to play as many tournaments as he could this week in practice for his big final table in November.
Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu didn't make it to the money, either. In fact, he didn't even make it to the dinner break. Negreanu flopped an open-ended straight draw and flush draw, but ultimately lost to Saar Wilf's higher flush draw after both players didn't hit anything. Then, he again flopped a flush draw, and this time it was Morten Klein with the higher flush draw.
"What? Again?" asked Negreanu rhetorically with a smile.
Indeed again, but Negreanu didn't hit and left the tournament room.
Players busted left and right, and before we knew it, the tournament neared the point where money was to be made. Ole Schemion lost a race to Paul Newey. Ryan Fee hit a ten with against Mike McDonald's . Doug Polk four-bet shoved into Olivier Busquet's . And Fabian Quoss was flushed by Dan Shak.
With just 14 players remaining, something remarkable happened. Sam Trickett didn't see a raise in front of him, and shoved from the small blind for not too many chips. The big blind folded, but initial raiser, Busquet, made the call. That made for a blush of shame on Trickett's face, as he tabled the . Busquet had the better hand with the , but the board favored Trickett and delivered him the double up.
All the while, Klein was the life of the party. He was clearly enjoying his time, and talked to everyone who wanted to hear it. The camaraderie and banter with his opponents should make for some good television — particularly with Scott Seiver, as the two engaged in lively interaction, constantly high-fiving and laughing exuberantly. Klein enjoyed his beers and wines, and Seiver enjoyed the company. Klein wasn't messing around, though, as he won the most of all the pots he played and constantly chipped up during the day. By the time 12 players remained, Klein was involved in almost every hand, and winning most uncontested.
Tony Gregg eventually fell on the bubble. After Sven Reichardt raised to 100,000 from the cutoff seat, Gregg reraised all in from the small blind for 280,000. Reichardt made the call with the to have Gregg and his on the ropes. The flop, turn, and river ran out , and Gregg was eliminated in 12th place, sending all remaining competitors into the money.
With a lot of short stacks, it didn't take long to reach the final table of nine.
Start-of-day chip leader Ryan Fee was the first to hit the rail in the money, finishing in 11th place for €92,400. He got mixed up in a three-bet pot with the and hit middle pair. His opponent, Russian Vladimir Troyanovskiy, who finished runner-up in the 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $25,000 High Roller, had pocket aces and saw his hand hold up after all the chips went to the middle.
Minutes later, Jake Schindler busted in 10th place, earning the same consolation prize of €92,400. His didn't improve against Scott Seiver's pocket sevens, and just like that the final table of nine was set. While Schindler did cash, he had reentered on the first day.
When the dust settled, it turned out Morten Klein from Norway was leading the charge. Klein, an experienced recreational player, will start out with 3,740,000 in chips when the final table starts. Right behind him is Vladimir Troyanovskiy with 3,370,000 in chips, and starting out as the shortest stack will be Mustapha Kanit. The Italian Poker Tour Nova Gorica winner will have 690,000 to work with when play restarts.
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Dan Shak, who has several super high roller results on his résumé, must be glad he changed his mind on playing these events, as he's made it to Day 3 with an impressive stack of 2,690,000. PokerNews' own Remko Rinkema talked to him during one of the breaks on Day 2, and you can check out that interview below:
Action for the final day will commence at 1 p.m. local time, and the live stream with cards up will start at 2 p.m. local time. Be sure to tune in to PokerNews for all the big bets, bust outs, and to see who walks way champion and scores the seven-figure payday.