Patience is a virtue and can also help you win tournaments.
Just ask the latest European Poker Tour High Roller champ, Fabrice Soulier. “I waited, I took my time in the beginning, and I observed the action. I was shortstack the whole tournament and I had nothing else to do than observe people. I was between 7 and 12 blinds for six – seven hours maybe (yesterday in Day 2) so it is kind of crazy to win it,” Soulier told PokerStars Blog after his amazing win.
Far from the bright spotlights of the EPT10 Vienna Main Event final table and between two crowds that were looking in a different direction, the Frenchman managed to sneak his way through a very tough field and secured a nice €392,900 prize along with the prestigious EPT10 Vienna High Roller champion title.
He started the unofficial final table fifth in chips and not very far from fourth place Vitaly Lunkin. Oleh Okhotskyi, Rasmus Agerskov, and Fady Kamar were the shortstacks and the usual suspects for bursting the official final table bubble.
However, none of those three got in that unpleasant position. In the first hand of nine-handed play, Jonathan Duhamel three-bet chip leader Dmitry Yurasov and called his all-in with #9h#9d. “Out 1st hand…. 99 < TT vs super aggro chip leader….. #ouch,” Duhamel tweeted after his exist.
The official final table was on and aggro Yurasov was rolling. He was one river away from eliminating two players but he ended up bleeding 40 big blinds. Both Kamar and Lunkin were all-in and at risk after a series of aggresive plays pre-flop. Lunkin had #qh#qc while Famar held #ac#js. Yurasov called with #as#ks and caught top pair on the #kc#3h#10h flop. The #9d turn gave the underdogs hopes and when the #jc hit the river, Lunkin yelled “straight.” Famar had nothing else to add, shaking hands with the high rollers on his way out.
2011 EPT London Main Event champ Benny Spindler was next to hit the rail. He shoved his remaining 22 big blinds with #as#qc, but ran into the one of the worst possible hands: #ac#kc. A little while later, Agerskov put all his chips in the middle, saying to Yurasov: “You call the all-ins.” Indeed he did, and he also won it after a #ac#5s vs. #qd#10h battle.
Eventually, Yurasov’s super-aggressive style crippled his stack. Soulier took full-advantage and won a major pot that put him in the lead by turning a made straight after his opponent moved all-in with top pair. Fifteen minutes later, Yurasov was gone. He open-shoved from the cut-off with #qd#10s but couldn’t connect with the board in any way as his opponent, Anatoly Filatov, held #6h#6s.
Lunkin followed him in fourth place. He lost most of his stack to Soulier and was forced to shove twice. He rivered a board in the first all-in but got really unlucky two hands later holding an Ace with a better kicker than his opponent, Filatov. Nevertheless, Filatov flopped a pair that grew into a full-house on the river. “Good game, Vitaly,” the future winner tried to comfort the fourth place finisher.
Three-handed play didn’t last long as Ukrainian Oleh Okhotskyi made a move with a very tiny stack of just 5 big blinds. His #as#5s hand ran into Filatov’s #ad#7h.
Heads-up play was one hour long and finished in style. “I’d better put my sunglasses on,” Filatov told Soulier prior to the last hand of the tournament. He open-raised the action and called his opponent’s raise that put him at risk. Filatov had #ks#10h while the Frenchman held #as#5s. The board gave Soulier a flush, securing his title.
Here are the final payouts:
- Fabrice Soulier (France) – €392,900
- Anatoly Filatov (Russia) – €265,200
- Oleh Okhotskyi (Ukraine) – €182,500
- Vitaly Lunkin (Russia) – €148,800
- Dmitry Yurasov (Russia) – €118,650
- Rasmus Agerskov (Denmark) – €91,150
- Benny Spindler (Germany) – €66,350
- Fady Kamar (Lebanon) – €48,050
- Jonathan Duhamel (Canada) – €39,800
Congratulations to Fabrice Soulier on his performance. He added a new big cash to his already impressive resume that includes six-figure numbers like €610,000 in last year’s WSOP Europe, €500,000 in the 2010 Partouche Poker Tour Cannes Main Event, and $609,130 in the 2011 WSOP H.O.R.S.E. Championship.