Continuing from courtiebee’s summary of Days 1 and 2 of the EPT stop in San Remo, I’ll be bringing you Days 3 and 4. The action was hot and heavy in Italy yesterday, as the final table was set for today. They played down from 31 to 8 yesterday, and the players didn’t waste any time in getting down to business. Todd Brunson was eliminated early in Day 3, as was Full Tilt Pro Markus Golser. Mike Sowers busted in 17th place. Sowers, one of the most prolific tournament players online in the past year, also recently had a big win at a $5k event at the Borgata in January, taking it down for nearly $400k. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t able to continue that success yesterday. Fast forward to fifteen players, where so many great players were still in the hunt. The Italian favorite Dario Minieri was alive and well, as was Jason “treysfull21” Mercier, Mark “RandALLin” Flowers, Jonas “Tulkaz” Klausen, William Thorson, Eric “moumouth” Koskas, and perhaps the best remaining player was Issac “mrmenlo” Baron. If you follow online poker, and don’t live under a rock, you probably have a good idea who he is, as he’s been tearing up online tournaments and nosebleed cash games for a long time now, gaining a feared reputation in the process.
Of course, with eight spots left, there was a great chance that some of these players wouldn’t make the final table. Klausen busted in 12th, as his 66 couldn’t hold off Issac Baron’s J8 suited. Issac then ran his 77 into Dag Palovic’s KK some time after, and then ran A9 into Dario Minieri’s AQ, busting in 11th. Finally, Flowers got into the biggest pot of the tournament with AK vs. Minieri’s JJ, covering Minieri. Flowers never got there, and was crippled. He then ran 33 into Palovic, who held KK against. Palovic flopped a set, and took Flowers out in 9th.
After Poker Stars qualifier Johannes Strassman was eliminated in 9th place, the final table was set. Here were the stacks going into the final table:
Dario Minieri 1,782,000
Jason Mercier 1,442,000
Anthony Lellouche 1,137,000
Gregory Genovese 686,000
William Thorson 528,000
Eric Koskas 507,000
Dag Palovic 505,000
Marcus Bower 277,000
Much to the delight of the Italian fans, Dario would be heading into the final table as the chip leader. Would he be able to keep up his dominance that he had over the first three days of the tournament? Here’s what the eight men would be playing for.
This stood to be a very interesting final table as there is some history between Dario Mineri and Eric Koskas. Both players have a ton of experience with one another, doing battle regularly in the $5k Heads-Up matches on Poker Stars. As I’ve said, Koskas is known as moumouth online. He’s gained a bit of infamy over the past year, as he is down nearly $700k playing sit n’ goes. Luckily enough for him, anything better than second place would erase that. Mirroring the day before, the action was fast paced today. Who would last in San Remo?
The blinds started at 12k/24k, with a 3k ante today, putting a bit of pressure on Marcus Bower to make a move early in the day. Unfortunately, his only move today was out the door. He got it in with pocket fours against the AJ of diamonds of Anthony Lellouche. The board rolled out 89K7, with no diamonds…but the river Ace sent Bower reeling home in 8th, earning $118,348.
Justa short time later, Dag Palovic was up against Dario Minieri, with both men seeing a 236 flop. Dario checked to Dag, who pushed all in. Minieri called immediately, rolling over pocket threes for a flopped set. Dag was way behind with pocket queens. Dag didn’t get lucky, and he fell to the Italian, leaving in 7th place with $172,507.
Down to six handed play, here were the stacks:
Dario Minieri – 2,406,000
Anthony Lellouche – 1,597,000
Jason Mercier – 1,360,000
William Thorson – 672,000
Eric Koskas – 503,000
Gregory Genovese – 501,000
Dario was starting to pull away, amassing a massive stack. But Lellouche had been playing quite well, as well as Jason Mercier, yet another Poker Stars qualifier. And both would be chip leader if they doubled through Minieri.
With the blinds up to 15k/30k with a 3k ante, William Thorson opened to 85k, and was promptly reraised by Mercier to 225k. He shoved his remaining chips in, and was called by Mercier. Mercier had Thorson in a dominating position, holding AK to Thorson’s AQ of hearts. With a K6K with 0 hearts, Thorson was in serious trouble. The turn ace gave him some chop outs, but alas, no one outer hit, and Thorson was sent packing in 6th, for $216,946.
Just a small time later, Eric Koskas got his chips in with pocket sevens, against Gregory Genovese’s AK. Genovese had chipped up, and had only 179k more than Koskas, so this was quite the important pot for both men. The board came no higher than 9, and Koskas had doubled up with his sevens. He built his stack up to 968k with that pot.
Just a few hands later, Genovese got his short stack in, with Mineri and Mercier in the pot. On an A57 flop, Mercier bet out, getting Minieri out of the pot. Mercier rolled over A3, while Genovese held 9T. No runner runner magic hit, and Genovese was dispatched in 5th, for $290,855.
It was at this point the final table reached breakneck speed. Just a bit after Genovese’s elimination, another huge pot went down. Koskas and Mercier both saw a flop of J65, which both men checked. The turn was an 8, which prompted Koskas to bet 220k, which was called by Mercier. The river brought another 8, and Koskas pushed all in. After a long think, Mercier called. Koskas flipped over T3 for a stone cold bluff, which was beaten by Mercier’s great call, with 95. Koskas busted in 4th, for $345,015.
Mercier had complete control of this final table, and kept it going a few minutes later.
After Dario opened for 100k on the button, Mercier reraised to 340k from the small blind, Lellouche folded, and Minieri called. Mercier checked a 278 flop with two diamonds, which Minieri then bet 200k on. Mercier check shoved on him, and Minieri instacalled, flipping up QQ. Mercier had a boatload of outs with A4 of diamonds. The four of hearts came on the turn, giving him a few more outs. The river was a gutwrenching blow – the three of diamonds. Surprisingly and quickly, Dario was gone. He left in 3rd, with $443,767.
Going into heads-up play, Mercier held a massive lead.
Jason Mercier – 5,647,000
Anthony Lellouche – 1,392,000
Could Lellouche grind back into contention?
Heads-up lasted just two hands, indicative of the final table thus far. Mercier and Lellouche got it all in preflop, with Lellouche holding 77, and Mercier holding KQ. The AQ4 flop put Lellouche way, way behind. The turn 8 was no good, and the river deuce was no help. Lellouche, the runner up, collected $779,215.
Jason Mercier had come into the final table as one of the big stacks, and just built up steam all day. He was rewarded handsomely for his efforts, collecting $1,340,867 for his play.