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EPT Grand Final High Roller Day 2: And Then There Were Nine

Day 2 of the EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final High Roller confirmed the record set in the opening day. Nine more entries were added to the prize pool for a total of 214. Four of those were, in fact, re-entries, and for Griffin Benger, it was just another missed bullet.

Benger was eliminated late on Day 1 and wasn’t about to give up just yet…until the first hand of the second day. With a fresh 25 big blind stack, Benger confidently moved all-in with pocket eights after Martin Finger raised initially. He knew that Finger was a very loose-aggressive player, but this time the LAG had the goods – pocket queens.

Other short stacks soon followed Benger to the rail including Alexander Kuzmin, who started the day with literally one chip – T5000, Justin Bonomo, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Erik Seidel, Daniel Negreanu, and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom.

Others, however, found the recipe for success in doubling up. Take Scott Seiver for example. He started Day 2 with one of the shortest stacks of the tournament but doubled up quickly thanks to three lucky ladies – #qd#qh#qc. His #8s#8h provided the same, winning a race versus Super High Roller winner Daniel Colman, and all of a sudden, Seiver was sitting comfortably as the money bubble was approaching.

Only 31 players had a chance to cash in this event and one unlucky one had to become the bubble boy. And his name was Igor Yaroshevskyy, who was way too short to pass up #8d#7d from the big blind. Davidi Kitai called him with #ad#9h, opening the bank for all the other 31 competitors.

Seiver didn’t just want to finish in the money and continued his run by doubling, once again thanks to #8c#8h. Later, he eliminated Adrian Mateos with his #ad#ah and his dream of winning it all was suddenly starting to take shape.

On the other hand, Ole Schemion’s dream was starting to fade after being coolered on a #8s#10c#kd#10d board. The German held #jh#10h but sighed when he saw Rui Cao’s #qd#10s. A little while later, he was out in 25th place after going all-in with #7c#7s. The red-hot Seiver called him with #ad#jc, peeling a jack on the flop.

With his latest cash for €51,400, Ole Schemion sealed the EPT Season 10 Player of the Year race, walking away with €50,000 in Main Event buy-ins. The 21-year-old tournament expert now has 1,272.67 points in the PoY leaderboard after he achieved the EPT Trifecta three times this season; in Barcelona, Paradise Island, and Monte Carlo. In all of those locations, he managed to finish in the money in the Main Event, High Roller, and Super High Roller tournaments. The German also took down the EPT San Remo High Roller trophy last month.

The Monte Carlo High Roller is still up for grabs and Kitai has a small advantage after taking the chip lead in the last couple of hours of Day 2. He three-barreled on a #6d#4h#6c#jc#9s board, forcing his opponent, Calvin Anderson, to fold. Kitai also eliminated two opponents in one shot. Both Benjamin Pollak and Alex Bilokur moved all-in and Kitai called with #jc#js. Bilokur showed #ah#qs for 35% equity, while Pollak was in bad shape with #kh#qc for only 21% equity. Eventually, the big stack dodged all of his opponents’ outs and took down the pot.

With nine players left, Kitai is the only finalist with over 2 million chips in front of him. Here is a look at the names and chip counts for the start of the final day:

  1. Davidi Kitai (BEL) – 2,208,000
  2. Byron Kaverman (USA) – 1,813,000
  3. Scott Seiver (USA) – 1,553,000
  4. Philipp Gruissem (GER) – 1,470,000
  5. Martin Finger (GER) – 1,047,000
  6. Stephen Chidwick (UK) – 991,000
  7. Chenxiang Miao (CHI) – 674,000
  8. Pascal Lefrancois (CAN) – 596,000
  9. John Juanda (USA) – 355,000

Besides Kitai and red-hot Seiver, Byron Kaverman is another big name who has been on a roll recently. He finished second just a few days ago in the WPT World Championship event and set a record for most cashes in a single WPT season. Kaverman cashed in seven times during Season XII and is looking for his biggest prize ever if he wins the High Roller.

Will he do it? Check out PokerUpdate to find out the answer.

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Florian Gheorghe