Saturday was a very long day for the eight players that returned for the EPT London Main Event Final Table. It was a strenuous four hours before the first elimination of the day, and the remainder of the departures didn’t happen much quicker. After almost ten hours of play and seven eliminations, it was Sebastian Pauli who would take down the event and be crowned the champion of the EPT London Main Event. The German had the lead in the tournament non-stop for the last three days of play, and although American Kevin MacPhee got close to Pauli, he was unable to overcome the massive chip lead Pauli had built. In the end, Pauli walked away with £499,700 and his first EPT title, and would be the second champion from Germany this season. MacPhee was close to earning his second title as EPT champion, but the American would have to settle for second place and £308,500.
The first few hours of the event had very little action, with the players attempting to bide their time and wait for the proper hands without blinding out. Former EPT Champion and PokerStars Pro Jake Cody had started the day in sixth place, and a few hours later had climbed his way into second place, only behind Pauli. Pablo Gordillo and Jakub Mroczek had switched spots as the shortest stack, with Mroczek holding just over 500,000 chips and clinging to his tournament life.
Four hours after the first cards were dealt, the first elimination of the day took place. Kevin Killeen looked down at pocket threes and chose to push all in for his last 975,000. Gordillo was on the button, and held A T; after a few minutes of deep thought, Gordillo announced an all in call for his last 920,000 chips. The flop came out 4 J 3 giving Killeen a strong hand with a set of threes, and his hand only improved with the J that hit on the turn, filling up Killeen’s hand. The 9 completed the board and sent Gordillo to the rails in eighth place as the first elimination of the day.
Just a few minutes after Gordillo exited the stage, another player hit the rails and joined him on the sidelines. Artur Koren raised pre-flop to 120,000 and Mrozcek, who had earned himself some more chips, opted to three-bet from the button. Jonathan Bensadoun shoved all in from the small blind, and the action was back on Koren. Koren pushed all in, and Mrozcek decided to fold his hand and leave the showdown between Koren and Bensadoun. Koren held K K and was hoping to eliminate Bensadoun who had the A Q. The board ran out 6 Q 9 5 2 giving Bensadoun no help and ending his tournament life in seventh place.
After doubles for Koren, Cody and Killeen, and another 2 hours of play, Mroczek finally took his opportunity to get his chips all in. He had been patient throughout the day, holding on and coming back from being the shortest stack throughout the afternoon. He moved all in for 1.205 million and it was Killeen from the small blind who re-shoved from 1.5 million. The hands were flipped over, revealing Mroczek’s A 8 was up against Killeen’s T T. The flop came down K 3 6 leaving Mroczek searching for an ace, but the board paired with the K on the turn, and gave Killeen a full house on the river with the T. Killeen moved into second place with three million chips, and sent Mroczek packing in sixth place after a long day of patience and shoves.
Cody, who had moved through the ranks and made his way closer to the chip lead, played a huge hand against fellow EPT champion MacPhee. MacPhee had been dealt pocket queens and raised under the gun for 200,000. Cody was sitting in the big blind with the K T and decided to make the call. The flop looked good for Cody, revealing the J K K giving Cody trip kings. Cody checked the hand to MacPhee, who continued his original bet for 230,000, to which Cody moved all in for 1.12 million. MacPhee made the call, and saw that Cody was favored to win the hand. Unluckily for Cody, the Q was revealed on the turn, giving MacPhee a full house, and leaving Cody in the dust with his trip kings. The 2 on the river did nothing to help Cody, as he finished the event in fifth place, leaving MacPhee as the only EPT champion left in the field.
Action finally started to heat up after Cody joined the rail, and just twenty minutes later, another player’s tournament life was at risk. Koren decided to limp into a hand with pocket eights, and Killeen pushed all in with Q J. Koren called the all in for his last 1.825 million, and the race for his tournament life began. The board ran out Q T 3 T J giving Koren no hope and ending his time at the table as he finished the tournament in fourth place. After the hand, Killeen was up to 5.8 million chips, good for third place with Pauli and MacPhee ahead of him for the lead.
Killeen himself would be the next player’s spot that would be up for grabs, as he opted to battle it out against MacPhee. Killeen had raised the button with A 7 for all 2.32 million of his chips, and MacPhee looked down at the A Q and decided to make the call. At this point, MacPhee only had Killeen covered by a few big blinds, but was ahead in the hand and looking to make the knockout. The flop brought out the 8 4 7, giving Killeen a pair and backdoor flush draw, and leaving MacPhee searching for some help. The A on the turn gave Killeen two pair, but also gave a glimmer of hope for MacPhee, who needed a queen on the river to complete the elimination. Luck must have been on his side, for the Q appeared on the board and ended Killeen’s run for the title as he finished the event in third place. When the hand was complete, Pauli was still in the lead with over 12.8 million chips, while MacPhee had reached 7.44 million after adding Killeen’s stack to his own.
The heads-up match between MacPhee and Pauli lasted a little over an hour. Pauli entered the match with a little less then double his opponent’s stack, but MacPhee managed to double his stack a few times in the hour long feat. In the end, MacPhee raised to 320,000 with the A T and Pauli three-bet to 860,000 with the A Q; after a short pause for contemplation, MacPhee moved all in and Pauli called. The flop showed the K 6 6, keeping Pauli in the lead but adding some hope for a chopped pot for MacPhee. The 4 on the turn didn’t do much but gave MacPhee a shot at a flush if another diamond appeared on the river, but when the 8 hit, it was over for MacPhee. He would finish the event in second place, leaving Pauli to take home his first EPT Main Event title.
Final Table Payouts
- Sebastian Pauli – £499,700
- Kevin MacPhee – £308,500
- Kevin Killeen – £220,500
- Artur Koren – £168,900
- Jake Cody – £133,800
- Jakub Mroczek – £104,200
- Jonathan Bensadoun – £75,900
- Pablo Gordillo – £51,900
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