Philipp Gruissem Wins Season-Ending EPT Grand Final High Roller

Phillip Gruissem took down the EPT Grand Final High Roller. (Photo courtesy of Neil Stoddart/PokerStars Blog

Phillip Gruissem took down the EPT Grand Final High Roller. (Photo courtesy of Neil Stoddart/PokerStars Blog

The third and final day of the EPT Grand Final €25,000 High Roller event returned a talented table of nine players from the field of 214. It was a short day on the felt and when Philipp Gruissem and Scott Seiver reached heads-up play they struck a deal and one hand later Gruissem collected his seventh tournament win and €993,963.

Gruissem has had an amazing past 13 months – he has won four High Roller Events, final tabled six of them and earned $5.27 million in just those six events. His win here gives him sets him up nicely for the upcoming World Series of Poker and possibly the Big One for One Drop.

When cards hit the air Davidi Kitai was the chip leader, followed by Byron Kaverman – who finished runner-up at the WPT World Championship and hopped on a plane to Monaco – and then Seiver and Gruissem. Martin Finger landed in the middle of the leaderboard with Stephen Chidwick, Chenxiang Miao, Pascal Lefrancois and John Juanda rounding out the table.

The first elimination came within the first orbit of play when Lefrancois opened on the button, Kitai three-bet from the small blind and Lefrancois moved all in. Kitai insta-called with pocket queens and Lefrancois tabled A T. The board danced all around Lefrancois but didn’t connect when it came K 9 4 J K and he was eliminated.

An hour later Miao opened for a little more than a min-raise and Kitai called to see the Q 8 5 flop. Kitai called a small bet and the turn came Q. Miao moved all in, Kitai called with A Q for trips and Kitai needed a spade holding A T. The river blanked for him when it came J and Miao was sent to the rail.

Another hour would pass before Chidwick was crippled in hand against Juanda when he held pocket jacks and Chidwick held A 8. He couldn’t outflop Juanda and was left with about four blinds. Two hands later he moved in with pocket fours, Seiver called with pocket tens and eliminated Chidwick when the Brit failed to improve.

On the very next hand Finger open-shoved in late position and Kitai called with pocket nines in the big blind. Finger rolled over Q 8 and the board came K J 8 J 9 to end Finger’s EPT season.

The table played five-handed for an hour until Gruissem opened for a min-raise, Kaverman moved all in behind him and Gruissem called while apologizing. He tabled pocket aces and Kaverman was in a bad spot holding K Q. The dealer spread J 9 4 5 7, Kaverman was eliminated and Gruissem pulled out in front of the remaining players.

History repeated itself and just one hand later Seiver opened with an all-in bet, Juanda called and rolled over K Q. Seiver was behind with K J and the board ran T T 8 Q A. Seiver doubled up and Juanda was left with four big blinds. Two hands later he got them all in holding Q 5 on a T T 4 flop and Gruissem called with 9 7. The turn and river came 7 5 and Juanda was out in fourth place.

Three-way play started with Kitai short-stacked with 11 big blinds, Seiver with 68 blinds and Gruissem holding 135. Kitai hung on for about 30 minutes before he got all in holding A 5 and Gruissem called with Q J. The board went 8 3 3 6 Q and Kitai was eliminated on the river to make way for heads-up play.

Before Seiver and Gruissem started heads-up play they agreed to a deal that gave Gruissem €993,963 and Seiver €857,637 but there was a twist; they agreed to go all-in blind until there was a winner.

Sure enough on the first hand Seiver moved all in with 3 2 and Gruissem needled him with a short slowroll before tabling pocket queens. The board ran K T 4 A 8 and Gruissmem earned another High Roller victory.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Philipp Gruissem – €993,963*
  2. Scott Seiver – €857,637*
  3. Davidi Kitai – €526,400
  4. John Juanda – €426,800
  5. Byron Kaverman – €337,650
  6. Martin Finger – €256,400
  7. Stephen Chidwick – €187,200
  8. Chengxiang Miao – €136,900
  9. Pascal Lefrancois – €113,250

*Denotes heads-up deal

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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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