HomeLive ReportingThe 2012 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final€25,000 High Roller

The 2012 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final › €25,000 High Roller


Seat 1: Philipp Gruissem (Germany) -- 990,000

Posted 2012-05-01 GMT+1
Philipp Gruissem
Philipp Gruissem

Philipp Gruissem is the resident high roller of the European Poker Tour. Every time there is a High Roller event being held, Gruissem's making some noise and he's here doing it again in this one.

Gruissem had an outstanding 2011 that all started back in April, just one year ago. Since then, he's racked up over $1.5 million in live tournament winnings and is only going to add to that today.

Things all started when Gruissem took third in last season's EPT Berlin €10,000 High Roller for €67,000. He then went on to finish 28th in the World Series of Poker Main Event for over $240,000, win the EPT Barcelona High Roller for €234,500 and beat Igor Kurganov in the EPT London High Roller to win the title £450,200.

Along with those impressive scores, Gruissem took fourth in the EPT San Remo High Roller, third in the EPT Prague High Roller and cashed in the EPT Berlin Main Event. Some would say, this guy is a stud, and we can't really argue.

Gruissem will enter the final table with just under a million in chips at 990,000. He has some tough competition on his left with Kurganov next to him followed by Daniel Negreanu and then the overwhelming chip leader Justin Bonomo, but Gruissem's proven his worth over the past year and will be a handful at this final table.

Seat 2: Igor Kurganov (Germany) -- 1,288,000

Posted 2012-05-01 GMT+1

We see Igor Kurganov a lot on the European Pour Tour and it comes of no surprise that he's done well to make the final table in this event second in chips with 1.288 million.

Kurganov has nearly $900,000 in live tournament earnings coming into this final table. With the €100,000 he's already locked up, Kurganov has guaranteed himself to eclipse the seven-figure mark.

Most of Kurganov's winnings have come in big buy-in events like this one. In May of 2011, he took second in the €10,000 High Roller Turbo at the EPT Grand Final in Madrid for €123,000. He then went on to finish third in the EPT Tallinn High Roller for €40,450 and second in the EPT London High Roller for £318,300 after losing to his neighbor at this final table, Philipp Gruissem. Both of those latter two results were this season.

Seat 3: Daniel Negreanu (Canada) -- 660,000

Posted 2012-05-01 GMT+1
Daniel Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu is easily the most recognizable face in the game. He's also a Team PokerStars Pro, a four-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner, a two-time World Poker Tour champion and third overall on the all-time money list. He's also a member of the greatest soccer team on Earth, the Angle Shooters, but that's one of his lesser accolades.

With over $15.3 million in live tournament earnings and results that could fill a book, it's almost pointless for us to write this bio for Negreanu as it wouldn't do him justice.

Negreanu was one of several players to re-enter this event, but has made his way to a second major final table within a week. Earlier this week, Negreanu joined the chip leader, Justin Bonomo, at the €100,000 Super High Roller final table and went on to finish sixth for €310,000.

In 2011, Negreanu finished runner-up behind fell Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 Super High Roller. He also took fifth in that same event the prior year. Those scores earned him $1 million and $250,900, respectively.

The largest score on Negreanu's record is from 2004 when he won the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic for over $1.77 million. Winning this event today would eclipse that and finishing in the top spot would give him his fourth $1 million result.

Negreanu will enter the final table with 660,000 in chips and is fourth overall.

Seat 4: Justin Bonomo (USA) -- 2,202,000

Posted 2012-05-01 GMT+1
Super High Roller champion Justin Bonomo
Super High Roller champion Justin Bonomo

Justin Bonomo will begin the final table as the overwhelming chip leader. He holds over 33% of the chips in play and has nearly twice as much as anyone else.

To say that Bonomo has had a good week would be an understatement. He first won the €100,000 Super High Roller for €1.64 million to kick things off and then went on to make an extremely deep run in the Main Event before eventually bowing out in 28th place for €35,000.

Prior to this week, Bonomo had just over $2.9 million in live tournament earnings. Headed into this final table just a handful of days later, his live tournament winnings now eclipse $5 million.

Of Bonomo's young career, he has 10 cashes of six figures or more, including his big win earlier this week. One of those came in May 2011 when he took fifth in the $100,000 Super High Roller event at the World Poker Tour's Ninth Annual Five Star World Poker Classic. For that finish, he earned $224,160.

The second-largest score on Bonomo's record came in 2009 when he had another fifth-place finish. This one was in the World Series of Poker's $40,000 No-Limit Hold'em event and he won $413,165. He also has three other WSOP final tables under his belt and a WSOP Circuit title from 2009.

With nearly one million more chips than anyone else at the final table, we just might be seeing another repeat performance from the €100,000 Super High Roller where Bonomo worked his way into the winner's circle with relative ease.

Seat 5: Max Lykov (Russia) -- 271,000

Posted 2012-05-01 GMT+1
Max Lykov
Max Lykov

Max Lykov is one of two Team PokerStars Pros to make this final table. Lykov began playing poker in 2005 while at school and it only took him a couple of years before he started crushing the games everywhere.

In 2009, Lykov had a great year on the felt. He had a few cashes leading up until the summer, where he then placed third in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout event at the World Series of Poker for $145,062. A couple months later, he won the European Poker Tour Kiev event for €330,000 and the first major victory of his career.

In 2011, Lykov won his first WSOP gold bracelet after conquering a $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event for just short of $650,000. Altogether, Lykov has nearly $2.7 million in live tournament earnings and is fifth on the Russian all-time money list.

Lykov will have the hardest mountain to climb today as he enters with the least amount of chips at 271,000.

Seat 6: Artem Litvinov (Russia) -- 331,000

Posted 2012-05-01 GMT+1

Hailing from Russia and starting the final table with 331,000 is Artem Litvinov. We covered Litvinov in several European Poker Tour events and he also played the €100,000 Super High Roller earlier in this series.

Litvinov has nearly $170,000 in live tournament earnings, but this is by far his largest cash ever. Previously, Litvinov's largest score was a sixth-place finish for €33,500 at the EPT Barcelona €10,000 High Roller in 2011. He's also cashed in four EPT Main Events and once in the WSOP Europe Main Event.

This final table marks the third of his career, but Litvinov will have the work cut out for him as he enters the day next to last in chips.

Seat 7: Noah Schwartz (USA) -- 522,000

Posted 2012-05-01 GMT+1

Noah Schwartz has over $2.2 million in live tournament earnings and will be bringing 522,000 in chips back to this final table today, good enough for fifth place overall.

Already in 2012, Schwartz has two final tables to his credit. At the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Schwartz won the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Max Turbo for just over $85,000. Then in February, he took fourth in the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic for $355,750. That was already the largest single score of his career. With already locking up a minimum of €100,000 for this deep run, Schwartz has secured his sixth six-figure score.

Seat 8: Nathan Schoo (Canada) -- 387,000

Posted 2012-05-01 GMT+1

Nathan Schoo from Canada is as unknown as one could be at this €25,000 High Roller final table, but that doesn't mean he can't play. We already know he has to have some serious game if he was able to maneuver his way to the final table in this type of a field.

On his tournament resumé, Schoo has three cashes. Two of those cashes came in 2010 at the World Series of Poker and his third cash was at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event in 2011. Of those, the largest cash was a 545th-place finish in the WSOP Main Event for $24,079. In total, Schoo has just shy of $50,000 in live tournament earnings.

Schoo will enter the final table sixth in chips with 387,000.

Day 3 started

Posted 2012-05-01 GMT+1

€25,000 High Roller
Day 3 started
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Winner Igor Kurganov
Winning Hand ♦K♠3
Prize 1,080,000

Level Info

Level 26
Blinds 30,000 / 60,000
Ante 5,000

Players Info

Prize Pool 3,325,000