Vitaly Lunkin Wins Barcelona Super High Roller Title, Claims $1M Payday

Vitaly Lunkin kicked off Season 10 of the EPT by winning over $1 million in the Barcelona Super High Roller. (Photo c/o Neil Stoddart/PokerStars Blog)

Vitaly Lunkin kicked off Season 10 of the EPT by winning over $1 million in the Barcelona Super High Roller. (Photo c/o Neil Stoddart/PokerStars Blog)

Vitaly Lunkin outlasted one of the toughest fields of the year Sunday to claim the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller title and over $1 million.

Lunkin claimed victory in the first event of Season 10 of the EPT, defeating Erik Seidel heads-up to cap it all off. It was the second seven-figure cash for the two-time bracelet winner, who rose to prominence at the 2009 WSOP by winning the special 40th anniversary $40,000 No Limit Hold’em event and finished second and fourth in $10,000 events to make it a $2.6 million summer.

There were 39 players in the field for this €50,000 event, with 12 players opting to re-enter after busting for the first time. Consequently, none of the players who elected to take a second shot even managed to cash. Timothy Adams, one of the eight players who came back on Day 3 of the Super High Roller, came the closest but ultimately bubbled by running K 9 into Seidel’s Q Q. Adams flopped a king, but Seidel managed to go runner-runner to make a four-flush and burst the €128,515 bubble.

Fabian Quoss, a shortstack in his own right, was the biggest beneficiary of Adams’ elimination, but he wouldn’t last much longer. Mike McDonald opened to 125,000, Quoss three-bet all in for just over 1 million and McDonald called with A K. Quoss was in trouble with K Q but caught a decent chunk of the A 8 3 flop to give himself a few more outs. The J turn and 9 river were no good, though, and Quoss was out in seventh place.

Ole Schemion started Day 3 as the chipleader but little went right for the young German on this day. He eventually three-bet all in over an open by Steve O’Dwyer for 1.3 million, but when O’Dwyer snap-called it was all bad news for Schemion as his 4 4 were dominated by O’Dwyer’s A A. Schemion got no help from the board as it ran out K 8 2 8 6 to knock him out in sixth place. While a victory would have pulled him virtually even with Mike Watson in the 2013 BLUFF Player of the Year race, Schemion will get a nice bump in the contest after this deep run.

David Benefield has mostly been away from the live tournament scene over the last few years, but after securing a spot in the November Nine he elected to head out on tour to keep his game sharp. Benefield’s trip to Florida didn’t net him much, but heading to Barcelona proved wise for the online wizard. He built up a big stack early and hung on to make the final five, eventually three-betting over an open from McDonald with A 6. Unfortunately for Benefield, Lunkin four-bet over the top with A T and held, sending Benefield out in fifth.

After an extended four-handed session, McDonald fell victim to a nasty cooler at the hands of Lunkin. They went to a flop three-handed with O’Dwyer, which came out Q Q 6, and McDonald check-raised all in on the 8 turn. Lunkin snap-called with 6 6, leaving McDonald and his K Q to improve to a bigger full house. The 6 on the river gave Lunkin quads and sent the young Canadian pro home in fourth place.

O’Dwyer ran head-first into Seidel’s A A, getting it in on a J T 4 flop with T 9. The J turn and Q river were of no help and O’Dwyer was out in third place, setting up a heads-up showdown between Lunkin and Seidel.

Seidel nearly had the tournament won when Lunkin four-bet all in with A 7 against Seidel’s Q Q, but an A on the flop gave Lunkin the chiplead. Seidel doubled up with A 9 and pulled ahead with a number of small pots, but Lunkin would not be phased. On the hand that all but determined the champion, Lunkin picked up K K against Seidel’s 6 6 and held, giving him 10.5 million of the 12.7 million in play.

Seidel made his stand with K Q and Lunkin called with A 5. Lunkin flopped everything he needed as it came out A 6 6 and officially locked it up on the 8 turn. The 4 river officially brought an end to the tournament, and Lunkin grabbed his third major title.

Final Results – EPT Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller

  1. Vitaly Lunkin – €771,300 ($1,025,829)
  2. Erik Seidel – €557,100
  3. Steve O’Dwyer – €355,100
  4. Mike McDonald – €269,400
  5. David Benefield – €208,150
  6. Ole Schemion – €159,200
  7. Fabian Quoss – €128,515
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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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