Day 4: The Final Table
Boss is the boss!
With a 2-1 chip lead, Simon Boss was the clear favourite – having been here before only 2 years ago when he took the title after a heads-up battle with Austria’s Josip Simunic.
This time the battle was short-lived, fellow Swiss player PiuPiuPiu deciding that discretion was the better part of valour and taking an extra €22K in a deal which saw Boss lift the trophy and the title of European Champion 2017!
How they finished…
|1||Simon Boss||Switzerland||142.000 €||120.000 €|
|2||PiuPiuPiu||Switzerland||87.000 €||109.000 €|
|3||Kilian Löffler||Germany||59.000 €|
|5||Der Papa||Austria||32.000 €|
|7||Rinat Bogdanov||Russia||22.000 €|
|9||Bruno Stefanelli||Italy||15.000 €|
|10||Said Nadjem||Germany||13.000 €|
We’ll have a full round up tomorrow with Rikard Aberg finishing his ‘busman’s holiday’ with a flourish of interviews and reports from Lake Worthersee, but in the meantime here he is talking to the new and now 2-time champion, Simon Boss…
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Off to the races!
July 30th, 2017 21:18
Back from their break, Simon, Kilian and Piu already knew they had secured at least €59,000 for their excellent efforts so far – but who would land the top prize – the trophy and the title of Velden EM European Championship Main Event winner?
With the blinds rising it didn’t take long until we knew who it wouldn’t be – Kilian Löffler. Kilian decided his A♣ 8♠ was the best hand to make a stand with after Simon Boss’s open raise, and we were off to the races when Simon called with 7♦ 7♣. The flop all but sealed Kilian’s fate…
7♠ A♠ 4♥
and when the turn and river saw J♥ 10♥ Kilian hit the rails in 3rd spot.
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While the three remaining players were left to eat in peace and think about how they might secure the European Championship title in short-handed play, our roving interviewer Rikard Aberg was a busy man, first catching up with one of the two Hungarian qualifiers through Intertops, Péter Gál, to find out about his Velden experience…
…and Rikard also managed to snare a chat with Casino Velden’s poker manager Gerald Golker, a job which must be one of the best in the game, working as he does in the idyllic Austrian lakeside town…
July 30th, 2017 19:47
So the dinner break appears, the final table has been whittled down to just three – and here they are!
Home in time for dinner?
Food probably wasn’t the most important thing on our players’ minds today, but the dinner break at the 3-hour mark, well, marked the final table reducing to only 3 players fighting for the title!
Joe settles for 4th and €42K
July 30th, 2017 18:47
It was the flop that did for our man Joe, another of the ‘no surname’ gang of Germans in Velden. His all-in with the black eight’s found a willing caller in Kilian Löffler who had big slick in spades and clubs, but the suits weren’t the issue – the flop came 10♣ J♣ Q♥ which is as beautiful a flop as you’ll see when you table AK!
Papa busts in 5th
July 30th, 2017 18:46
Der Papa had been in a commanding lead for much of the final two days play, but at the final table things went wrong from the off – and things didn’t really improve for the German, his end coming when he was tag-teamed by Boss and PiuPiuPiu, his pocket 9’s looking good until the queen on the turn and ace on the river.
Fifth place and €32,000 is a fine performance, however – along with a lovely holiday of sorts in Velden and some great final table experience.
Markus Flushed away
July 30th, 2017 17:56
When Simon Boss raised it up, Markus shoved and saw a quick call. Markus showed A♦ 9♥ and Simon the Q♦ 10♦ But when the flop came 6♣ 5♦ 2♦ it was heart in the mouth time for the Dutchman. Sure as fate, the J♦ fell and he was relying on a river diamond to save his title hopes. It wasn’t to be, however, the J♣ sealing the deal and sending Markus back to the Netherlands with a hefty €27k in his back pocket.
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2 hours in, 3 players out!
July 30, 2017 16:50
The action was coming thick and fast in the first level of the final table, and it was Rinat Bogdanov who had found the going tough, but he broke the third rule of final tables and poker in general– don’t chase your losses! When he decided to make a play with a flush draw, his shove was met by Kilian Löffler’s call, showing down two pair. 2 brick cards later and the Russian was hitting the rails – a healthy €22,000 richer.
July 30, 2017 16:40
The second rule is, if someone is all-in for less than 10 big blinds and you have a healthy stack yourself, ganging up on the weaker player is often a good idea.
Germany’s man with no surname, Ben, was the unlucky chappie who busted out in 8th spot, and PiuPiuPiu liked the flop so much he bet Bogdanov off his hand on the river when his trip aces came home. €19K in the bag for Ben – enough to buy a second name!
July 30, 2017 16:03
Final tables have rules: if you’re relatively shortstacked but only want first place, you give it everything you’ve got. That’s exactly what Bruno Stefanelli opted for, but his early shove with pocket 9’s walked into a hand one level bigger – Simon Boss’s pocket 10’s. The board didn’t help and so Bruno’s Velden Main Event dreams are at an end, but he leaves €15,000 better off.
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The Magnificent Nine!
July 30th 2017 15:00
Final tables are what tournament poker players live for. Victories are great of course, but there is something special about sitting down as part of the final nine, having beaten off hundreds of others to get there.
The Velden EM European Championship is definitely one final table you’d want on your CV, the winner guaranteed €142,000 with all the remaining players already having €15K locked up. Blinds are at 15k/30k with a 5k ante.
While the players get down to business, our roving reporter Rikard Aberg is in the Casino Velden on Lake Worthersee’s shores, checking out the main event and the other tournaments finishing today…
Velden EM Championships 2017: Part 3
Reaching the Final Table
July 30th 2017 01:57
It was late into the night when the final table of nine was eventually set, and as with the money bubble boy there had to be someone who wouldn’t be coming back for day 4 – and here it was a double knockout which settled matters, both Christian Stallinger and Said Najdem losing to pocket kings on adjacent tables at the same time.
All nine players are guaranteed €15,000 when play resumes tomorrow afternoon, but who will lift the European Championship title and €142,000? Join us here for final day action and updates, with Rikard Aberg reporting from the Casino Velden.
Final table players with chip counts
Sontheimer straight out
July 29th 2017 18:59
German Steffen Sontheimer is another well-known face in the poker world, a 2nd place worth $1,223,264 in the Aria $100K Super High Roller doubling his live earnings in May of this year.
It’s a testament to Velden’s powerful draw that players of his ilk make the trip to Lake Worthersee, but Steffen’s tournament ended in 23rd place at the hands of Willi Harig – Harig’s turned straight overpowering Sontheimer’s flopped top two pair.
The battle for the top two tables ended just before dinner, with German Ben holding a huge chip lead over his closest rival Der Papa. If the names seem a little odd, remember that many of those in Velden won their qualification online – and screen nicknames seem to be part of the winning strategy this year.
Nitsche knocked out in 26th
July 29th 2017 18:40
When the bubble bursts, tradition has it that the short-stacks give it one final hurrah, secure in the knowledge that their trip has been paid for. Dominik Nitsche is a hugely experienced player with $6,756,416 in tournament winnings to his name already, so hanging around for a ladder jump is not part of his tournament equation.
The German, who lived in Edinburgh for several years, took his chance with AQ in clubs, but it wasn’t to be as Kilian Loffler’s kings held up, despite a queen appearing on the turn. A payday for the 888 ambassador, but not the European Championship title he’d have been eyeing up in Velden this week.
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Bubble, bubble toil and trouble!
July 29th 2017 18:14
The money bubble is always an enjoyable part of any tournament – for fans and spectators that is, the short-stack players finding it a nervy time while the big stacks rip them to shreds - and here in Velden it was no different.
First up, we saw the exit of Steve O’Dwyer – twice dealt pocket queens but only holding up once. He knocked out Alex Rettenbacher and his kings when he flopped a set, but the ladies met their match when the delightfully-named PiuPiuPiu turned over aces and saw the board run out dry. O’Dwyer out in 30th and only two more to go before the money celebrations could begin.
When Thomas Taubenschuss’s aces were cracked he was soon out in 29th, but it would be another hour before the bubble-boy was known, and with 2 short-stacks all-in simultaneously at different tables, it was to be Daniel Vogel who lost out – missing out on the money when Said Nadjem’s pocket aces held up at the adjacent table.
€6500 secured for the other 27 players though, and the battle continues for a place at the final table and the really big money.
July 29th 2017 15:00
Day 3 of the Velden EM European Poker Championships kicked off this afternoon with 37 hopefuls left from an initial starting field of 236 runners, each ponying up the €2700 buy-in and looking to share the €570,000 prizepool, a hefty €142,000 going to the winner!
Our remaining four Intertops boys went out on day 2 as reported yesterday, but hopefully Rikard Aberg will be able to catch up with one or two of them later to ask about their all-expenses paid Velden experience.
In the meantime, here’s how the chip leaders stand and a recap of what they are playing for – 10 of today’s 37 starters will be heading home without a pay cheque, but for the rest it will be a sweet Austrian experience as they vie for a place at tomorrow’s final table.
Chip counts – top 10 at start of day 3
|9||Jaroslaw Sikora||Poland|| 457,000|
|10||Daniel Studer ||Switzerland||417,000|
Main Event Day 2
Day 2 of the Velden EM Main Event and it’s been action=packed from the off, Rikard Aberg following the fortunes of the Intertops online satellite qualifiers as they fight it out with some very well-known pros for the €142,000 top prize and title of European Poker Champion.
We lost Intertops USA representative Derek Nakafuji yesterday when the LA man just couldn’t translate his online success into a live cash, but we still had Sweden’s Sven Lucha and his fellow Intertops players – Hungarian pair Péter Gál and Csaba Molnar, as well as local favourite Michael Rösselhubr.
Rösselhubr plays his poker out of Salzburg, but he’s no stranger to Velden on the shores of Lake Wörthersee, the Austrian man taking home €15,230 for his excellent 7th spot back in 2014’s Main Event.
Back in the sumptuous playing hall, we unfortunately saw the remaining four Intertops qualifiers hit the rails today. First Michael and Sven bust out, then Csaba Molnar lost with 88 against AK and AK, and finally Rikard reports that:
“Péter Gál went out around 20 places before the money and was thereby the best qualifier from Intertops”.
It’s always an adventure for the Intertops qualifiers – a chance to sample the high-life of professional poker without having to invest a fortune, and take on the big boys of the game in a beautiful venue. The transition from online qualifiers to live tournament player isn’t an easy one, but they will all be back online trying to secure another satellite win once their Velden holiday is over!
A trawl of the chip counts with 41 players left in and only 27 guaranteed to walk off with a payday sees the wonderfully named Mr. Pink up there with 474,500 – but that’s still some way short of the 600k+ of Ben and Der Papa, the German players apparently not too keen to share their real names!
Steve O’Dwyer, Dominik Nitsche, Steffen Sontheimer and last year’s winner Matthias Habernig are all still in with a shout as they reach level 14, the blinds at 2k/4k with a 500 ante, but it’s anyone’s guess who will come out the other side of a grueling battle as Velden EM European Champion.
Here’s the prizefund they are playing for…
The Velden EM Main Event prizefund…
Let’s see who Rikard has found wandering the magnificent Casino Velden…
Leon Tsoukernik on Velden, Rozvadov and the future of poker
‘Leon Tsoukernik needs no further introduction to people in poker’, writes Rikard, catching up with the King’s Casino mogul shortly after Leon had become the bubble boy in the High Roller.
"When Casino Velden announced that they could arrange a €25,000 Highroller during the Poker EM in Velden, Austria, Leon brought a couple of friends on his private jet."
This created an unprecedented 41 buy-ins including rebuys. Unfortunately Leon was the one who bubbled the event, but he stayed positive. Leon has a couple of very hectic months ahead of him as several big tournaments will be arranged in his casino in King’s Casino in Rozvadov in the Czech Republic.
Here he talks with Rikard about his plans for the big events to come, that he believe the future of poker is bright and why he finds Velden to be such a great place.
Of course Leon Tsoukernik plays for the highest of stakes, but it’s hardly pocket change that our Main Event hopefuls have their eyes on, the 236 players who ponied up the €2700 buy-in looking to share a €570,000 prizefund, with €142,000 up top.
For the Intertops qualifiers that would be free money of course, the 5 lucky satellite winners each receiving €4500 packages including Main Event buy-in, 5 star accommodation and travel expenses.
They were up against a tough bunch though, with Dominik Nitsche, Philipp Gruissem, Jan Bendik, Steffen Sontheimer and Steve O’Dwyer all taking a seat today, alongside last year’s winner Matthias Habernig.
Dominik Nitsche, an 888poker ambassador, told Rikard he has “come to Velden to play poker and enjoy a week of European summer”, and like O’Dwyer and Tsoukernik and many others, it’s not the first time he has visited the recreational resort in south Austria.
Here Rikard finds out about Dominik’s World Series of Poker adventures in Las Vegas, his thoughts on Velden, and his plans for the coming months - where he might skip the Pokerstars Festival in Barcelona due to some changes that has been made for the worse in his opinion.
Main Event Day 1
While the day 1a starters get down to business, Rikard has been out and about chatting to all and sundry, and one player who might come as a surprise to many is Steve O’Dwyer – one of the most successful high-roller tournament specialists in the world. To find out what the special attraction Velden holds for him, back for the second time, check out his interview.
It’s not all pool-side BBQ interviews in Rikard Aberg’s working life – he’s also been in the casino doing his Facebook Live streams, catching up with day 1 survivor Anton Wigg for example, who was struggling all the way until the last 15 minutes of the session – until one of his opponent’s ‘did a Hellmuth’ that is!
After spewing off his chips and complaining loudly to his wife, the table suddenly sprang into life – Wigg the grateful recipient of some serious tilt play and increasing his stack 5-fold in as many minutes!
One of the nicest things about Intertops’ online qualification is that they always offer satellite package winners the option of bringing along a friend or family member to enjoy the experience, as we heard from Derek Nakafuji.
Rikard’s FB Live trawl of the playing hall sees him checking up on the qualifiers progress although unfortunately for Derek his tournament hopes ended on day 1, but there’s plenty of things to occupy his time with in Velden.
One player who couldn’t make it back to Velden this year is Intertops pro Tim O’Keefe who cashed for over €6,000 last year after winning his package online. Rikard managed an interesting Skype chat with Tim who is back in Choktaw, the massive casino arranging the big tournament series leading up to the WPT Main Event starting next week.
All eyes are on the beautiful Casino Velden this week as the European Poker Championships descends on the idyllic resort on the shores of Lake Wörthersee – over - €2 million in prize money, with 1,500 poker players from over 30 nations, and 17 tournaments at over 45 poker tables.
PokerTube will be on hand to bring you all the best of the action, with Rikard Aberg interviewing the Intertops qualifiers who are battling it out in the €2500 NLHE Championship event, while yours truly will be regularly updating the standings and treating you to the best of the action.
In addition to the four European Championship titles on offer over the 11-day festival, including PLO and Seven Card Stud, for the first time there will be a ladies event, so we will also have a female European champion crowned. But first things first…let’s see who is mixing it up in the ‘Main Event’…
Sven Lucha in Velden with Intertops second year in a row
Sven Lucha from Altötting in Germany is one of the players who qualified through Intertops Poker - the second year in a row he has won his entry through the Intertops satellites online, which offer €4500 packages for the lucky winners, including entry fee, 5 star accommodation and travel expenses.
Sven explains that the ‘hidden gem’ of Velden isn’t really a secret to Austrians and Germans, the resort and casino being high on the list of holiday hotspots.
With high hopes for a successful tournament we’ll be watching out for Sven throughout the tournament – and here’s what he had to say to Rikard before the big one started.
Derek Nakafuji takes up his Intertops Velden spot!
It’s not only ‘locals’ such as Sven who have made the trip for the European Championships - Derek Nakafuji from Los Angeles in the USA also qualified for the Poker EM Velden Main Event by playing an online satellite on Intertops Poker.
His ‘winner takes it all’ triumph against 39 others online has seen the poker pro embark on his first-ever European trip - accompanied by two good friends, Gary and Paul. Again I’ll be following Derek as he fights it out in Velden for a share of the €700,000 guaranteed prize-purse.
Here he is chatting with Rikard in an excellent interview covering the young pro’s travels (his Intertops package affording him the chance to see more of Europe than just the inside of a casino!) and his online poker background and transition to the live game…
Intertops have a long history of sending their satellite winners around the globe, their Living the Dream vlog chronicling the adventures of qualifiers in Velden, Vegas, Aruba and a host of other poker Meccas.
In Velden, Intertops have sent hopefuls to challenge for the European Championship title – and likely indulge in a few other events while they’re at it, so watch this space for updates and interviews!