It was a big day for the European Poker Tour (EPT) on Saturday. As the €5,300 Main Event was playing down to a winner, so was the record-setting EPT Vienna €10,300 High Roller, which emerged as the largest high roller of Season 10.
Day 1 of the high roller originally attracted 136 players that accounted for 35 reentries. On Day 2, 10 players took advantage of late registration, which brought the total field up to 181 entries and moved it ahead of the EPT10 Barcelona High Roller by a single entry. The massive turnout generated a prize pool of €1,773,800.
The final nine players of the 181-entry field returned to action, and after six levels of play it was France’s Fabrice Soulier who emerged victorious to capture the €392,900 first-place prize.
Soulier's tournament record is quite an impressive one. The Frenchman own a World Series of Poker gold bracelet, over $5.5 million in live earnings following this victory, and 12 six-figure scores. This win of nearly €400,000 ranks as the fourth largest score of Soulier's career.
Action resumed in Level 21 (10,000/20,000/3,000), and in the first hand of the day chip leader Dmitry Yurasov opened for 40,000. It folded to Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel in the small blind and he raised to 105,000. The big blind folded and action was back on Yurasov, who pushed out two stacks of blue T5,000 chips for a further raise to 195,000. Duhamel instantly moved all in and Yurasov called.
The board ran out and Duhamel fell in ninth place for €39,800, which brought about the final table of eight.
Not long after, action folded to a short-stacked Fady Kamar in the hijack seat and he moved all in for roughly 170,000. Yurasov, who was next to act in the cutoff, put in a call, and then Vitaly Lunkin moved all in over the top for right around 820,000 from the button. The blinds both folded and Yurasov made the call.
The flop delivered Yurasov a king, and he was on the verge of eliminating two opponents and becoming a massive chip leader. The turn gave both Famar and Lunkin straight draws, but as it was they held some of the other's outs. As such, both were on their feet preparing to make their exit when the slammed down on the river.
"Straight," an elated Lunkin said. Indeed, the jack on the river gave him the winning hand. Yurasov seemed shell shocked, while Kamar took his leave from the tournament in eighth place for €48,050.
It took awhile for the next elimination to occur, but eventually EPT8 London champ Benny Spindler, who began the day second in chips, fell in seventh place for €66,350. Spindler was never able to gain any traction at the final table and fell when he ran ace-queen into the ace-king of Lunkin. A few hands later, the short-stacked Rasmus Agerskov followed him out the door in sixth place.
Yurasov suffered a similar fate as Spindler. He began the day as chip leader, but ended up losing a big pot to Soulier. Shortly thereafter, he lost a race to bust to Anatoly Filatov in fifth. Likewise, after Lunkin assumed the chip lead, he had a fall from grace and promptly busted in fourth place for €148,800.
After Ukraine’s Oleh Okhotskyi fell in third place, Filatov and Soulier began heads-up play with the latter holding a 2-1 chip lead. Filatov managed to fight his way into the lead, but the Frenchman pushed back and slowly whittled away at his Russian opponent.
In what would be the final hand of the night, which took place in Level 26 (30,000/60,000/10,000), Filatov raised the button to 125,000 and Soulier announced that he was all in. Filatov wasted little time in calling off.
Filatov was behind and in need of some help, and while the flop didn't hit him directly, it did give him a gutshot straight draw to a jack. The turn changed nothing, and it was down to the river for the Russian. The dealer burned one last time and put out the . Filatov missed and had to settle for a runner-up finish and a €265,200 consolation prize.
Congratulations to Fabrice Soulier, the EPT10 Vienna High Roller champion!