The 2012 PokerStars.com European Poker Tour Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller concluded Sunday, with Dan Smith capturing the €962,925 first-place prize, a Shamballa bracelet, and the first major EPT title of Season 9.
*Denotes two-player deal
The day began with the final table skewed as the top three players — Smith (5,108,000), Mike “Timex” McDonald (4,650,000) and JC Alvarado (3,116,000) held 80 percent of the chips in play. Five of the short stacks, all below 700,000, were working with around 20 big blind stacks in Level 16 (15,000/30,000/4,000). Each were anxious to capture a larger chunk of the €3,072,960 prize pool, which was created after 55 players entered the event and accounted for nine rebuys. Interestingly, none of the players who rebought made the final table.
Despite the short stacks, it took a whole level for the first elimination to occur. It happened when action folded around to Smith in the small blind and he tossed out a handful of black T100,00 chips, putting the pressure short-stacked Jim McCrink, who made the call.
McCrink woke up with a decent pair and was out in front, but the flop made things interesting because it gave Smith the nut-flush draw. The anticipation was intense around the main stage as the dealer burned and turned the . Smith hit his flush to leave his opponent drawing dead. After the was put out on the river for good measure, McCrink shook hands with Smith and took his leave in eighth place, good for €122,960.
Not long after, Talal Shakerchi was eliminated in seventh place for €138,300 after failing to hit an open-ended straight against the top pair of Ilari Sahamies, and then Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel fell to Sahamies in sixth place.
Soon after, McDonald and Alvarado played a massive pot that resulted in the latter doubling, and the former ended up busting the very next hand when his ran into Smith’s .
A few hands later, Smith raised from the button and Sahamies reraised from the small blind. Smith then moved all-in and Sahamies made the call. This time, Smith held , but he was dominated by the of Sahamies.
Smith had been running well since the start of Day 2, and that momentum carried over to the final table as the flop came down . Neither the turn nor river helped Sahamies, and he was awarded a consolation prize of fourth-place money worth €291,900.
Mike Watson began three-handed play as the short stack, and he raised to 160,000 from the button. After Smith folded the small blind, Alvarado moved all-in from the big. Watson called off and the cards were turned up:
Watson got it in good with ace high, but the spelled disaster as Alvarado paired his king. The turn left Watson in need of an ace on the river, but it wasn't in the cards as the harmless rolled off and sent him home in third place for €399,500.
Heads-up play began with Smith holding a 5-3 chip lead, but he and Alvarado still decided to do a deal — Smith would take home €862,925, and Alvarado would pocket €788,675. The remaining €100,000, and the Shamballa bracelet were left up for grabs.
Alvarado managed to pull into the chip lead, but then a big hand saw Smith snatch it back. From there, Smith whittled down his opponent and pulled out to a 6-1 chip lead before the final hand occurred. It happened after the dinner break when Alvarado raised from the button and then Smith reraised all-in from the big blind. Alvarado quickly called holding and was ahead of Smith's . Unfortunately for Alvarado, the flop summed up just what kind of tournament it has been for Smith, coming down to give him the lead. The turn left Alvarado looking for the case king on the river, but the fell. For his runner-up finish, Alvarado took home €788,675, by far the largest score of his career.
Smith’s latest EPT win comes on the heels of winning three €5,000 side events at the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final (€5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Max Turbo for €152,980; €5,000 No-Limit Hold'em for €250,500; and €5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Max for €118,0000), and five cashes at this year’s World Series of Poker, including a big score in another $5,000 event where he took third in Event 50: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em for $368,943. He also won the $100,000 Challenge at the 2012 Aussie Millions, pocketing AUD$1,012,000.
Although action in this event has concluded, the Main Event is in full swing. The PokerNews Live Reporting Team is bringing you all the action, and will also be live reporting the €10,000 High Roller from Aug. 23 through 24.
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