After a week of play, the action reached its culmination late last night as the new EPT Vienna champion was crowned. It is Oleksii Khoroshenin, a 27-year-old Ukrainian player. With his victory, Khoroshenin has become the first ever Ukranian EPT winner and this is by far his best tournament score to date as he banked €578,392.
His last obstacle was Anthony Ghamrawi, a local player who came close to disputing some of the early claims that the EPT Vienna winner wouldn’t come from Austria. However, he came short in heads-up play, as he couldn’t find a way to beat Oleksii. He did come into heads-up as about a 3:1 dog, so it was an uphill battle right from the start. The last hand saw Ghamrawi get it in with #7h#6d against Khoroshenin’s #ks#3s on a #5s#7c#4s flop and they were essentially flipping for it. The pot would bring Anthony back into serious contention, but #10s on the turn sealed his fate as it made Oleksii’s flush, leaving him drawing dead. He took home €446,481 for his performance so the defeat probably hurt a bit less, but he was on the verge of bringing an EPT title to Austria and it would certainly have been a great accomplishment.
Germany’s Marko Neumann was going strong for the entire final table despite coming in as a short stack. He clawed his way to the chip lead and at some points it definitely felt like it was his tournament to lose. It turned out it was, as he was eliminated in 3rd place after getting it in with top two pair against Khoroshenin’s flopped nut straight and failing to improve. He still walked away with the biggest cash of €638,127 – courtesy of the deal that was made during three-handed play, leaving €50,000 to play for while splitting the rest.
The story of the tournament was a young man called Pablo Gordillo. A PokerStars qualifier, the 20 years young Spaniard was quite an enigma, as he only had about €2,500 in live cashes up to this point. This did not stop him from making the most from the good run of cards he has had here in Vienna, but he couldn’t go all the way. Despite coming to the final table with a very good stack, his run was ended by Neumann as he got his pocket pair to hold up against Gordillo’s Ace-King. For his 4th place finish in the EPT Vienna Main Event, Gordillo took home €262,150, an amount that pretty much guarantees that we will be seeing much more of him in the future.
Timo Pfutzenreuter, a German player with a decent amount of experience under his belt, finished in 5th place. He had his ups and downs throughout the tournament and was eventually eliminated by Ghamrawi, whose pocket sevens held up against Timo’s pocket sixes. He still walked away with his biggest cash to date, amounting to €203,900.
For 26-year old Bulgarian Simeon Naydenov, the final table wasn’t all that new of an experience as he is the proud owner of a WSOP bracelet, becoming the second player from Bulgaria with this achievement. However, he failed to add an EPT title to his name as he finished in 6th, banking €151,000.
Frei Dilling represented Denmark at the Vienna final table. Although he started the day as second in chips, he couldn’t master better than a 7th place finish after barreling away his stack in a bluff attempt against Neumann. Although he banked €108,100, it is probably not the result he was hoping for going in with a big stack.
Nine eliminations were needed before forming the final table and it happened in only a couple of hours. The final table, on the other hand, played for a couple of hours before seeing even a first elimination. But it had to happen eventually and the first one to hit the rail was Rumen Nanev. He played a classic flip against Khoroshenin, with his Ace-King looking to improve against Khoroshenin’s pocket Queens. It did not happen, as Oleksii flopped the set and Nanev was sent to the rail, banking €77,000.
Despite the fact that the final table lacked the big names as some have complained, EPT Season 10’s stop in Vienna offered a lot of fun and excitement. There was certainly not a lack of good poker and it was very interesting to see how things panned out in the end, especially for young Gordillo, a man you simply had to root for, at least a little bit. And now that all has been said and done and the last cards have been dealt, our congratulations go to the winner, Oleksii Khoroshenin, and to all the others who made it to the final table. But also to those who came short somewhere along the way, there is always the next time!