We had early fireworks at the final table of the WSOP Europe Main Event during a double elimination that knocked out two of the favorites: Maria Ho and Niall Farrell. Ho busted in sixth place and 25K High Roller champ Farrell was knocked out in fifth place during a three-way hand against Marti Roca De Torres' pocket Aces. The finale came down to a heads-up battle between Italy and Spain. After a grueling match, Spain prevailed when Marti Roca De Torres defeated Gianluca Speranza heads-up for the victory. Marti Roca De Torres shipped €1.1 million for first place, plus the coveted Main Event bracelet. Italy's Speranza earned a runner-up prize worth €689,246.
It's a wrap! The 2017 World Series of Poker Europe wrapped up its 11-event series at the King's Casino in Rozvadov with the conclusion of the Main Event Championship. The 2017 WSOPE Main Event attracted 529 entrants (in this re-entry event). A 36-year old former Econ professor turned poker pro Marti Roca De Torres won his first bracelet and first seven0fgure score with a victory in the Main Event.
The buy-in for the marquee event was €10K (plus juice) and the total prize pool exceeded €5 million. First place would get a sick score worth €1.1M, or more than 20% of the pie. That's one, sick, juicy, dope-ass pie!
The sixth and final day of the Main Event began with only six players. American pro Maria Ho had made her fifth WSOP final table, but she had yet to win a bracelet. She amassed a big stack in the later stages of the tournament and it looked like no one was going to stop her from winning her first bracelet. Her biggest challenger was Scottish pro Niall Farrell. The Triple Crown winner shipped his first bracelet last week, when he took down the 25K High Roller.
Farrell outlasted a difficult field filled with the usual high balla suspects and a slew of Germans out to prove they're still the best of the best in the SHR and HR scene. Alas, it was the Scottish pro who prevailed in the 25K. Some of his run good spilled over into the Main Event. Farrell somehow managed to stay alive and keep advancing. He came into the final table in the middle of the pack, but one of the favorites to win the title based on his stellar end-game experience.
Alas, it was neither the American pro, nor the Scottish pro who stepped into the winner's circle. Nope. Instead it was Marti Roca De Torres, who won the Main Event.
Yeah, ship it to Spain!
The final table started out rather slow. No one busted during the first 89 hands. However, Maria Ho got off to a rough start and lost most of her chips. She went from the big stack to one of the short stacks. Just when it appeared she was poised to make a comeback and get some of her chips back with a well-timed triple up, Ho got involved in one heck of a cooler.
Double elimination alert! On Hand #90, we had a three-way all-in. Short-stacked Maria Ho made a final stand with Ace-Jack, but she picked a wrong time to make a move because she ran into both Aces and Kings. Niall Farrell was all in with pocket cowboys... but his future looked grim. Pocket Aces held up for Marti Roca De Torres and the Spanish pro gobbled up a massive pot worth over 17M.
Maria Ho had fewer chips going into this hand, so she busted in sixth place for €174K.
Niall Farrell's run came to an end when he was picked off in fifth place. Farrell earned €239,639 for fifth place.
In the last week or so, Farrell won a bracelet, locked up a Triple Crown, final tabled the Main Event, and earned €984K in cash. Not a bad week in RozVegas, eh? Farrell will walk away with nearly €1M in WSOPE winnings.
Four-handed lasted 82 hands before someone hit the bricks. Marti Roca De Torres lost a tremendous lead and couldn't bully the rest of the table. It didn't take long before the pack caught up to MRDT. The final four looked like they might play four-handed all evening... until it happened. Robert Bickley got super short and couldn't launch a successful rally. The last Brit standing was knocked out in fourth place and he earned a payday worth €335,089.
With three remaining, Gianluca Speranza led with nearly 17M, which was nearly 50% of the chips in play. Three-handed only lasted 22 hands before someone else bit the dust. On Hand #194, Mathijs Jonkers was picked off in third place. Jonkers' Ace-ten got run down by the tourist! Speranza's Ace-seven beat out Ace-ten. "Thems are da breaks, kid!" For a third-place finish, Jonkers from Holland banked €476,585.
And then there were two. With two to go, Speranza held nearly 20M compared to MRDT's 6.5M.
After an hour of heads-up sparring, Speranza blew the lead and the two were nearly dead even. MRDT took a turn with the bigger stack. The proverbial tides had turned.
They battled for several hours and everyone was thinking... could this really go on all night? Cancel your weekend plans... this might be a while!
By Hand #240, Speranza regained his 2 to 1 edge. By Hand #268 it was back to almost even again. And then things got weird. Marti Roca De Torres got it all-in for his tournament life with pocket fives against Speranza's . Speranza flopped an Ace but MRDT turned a set to take the lead. MRDT rivered a boat to win the pot and double up.
Speranza was short-stacked and was all-in on the next hand. The ole ten-eight was no match against Queen-five. MRDT flopped a pair of fives, which held up.
Marti Roca De Torres won the pot and the tournament! Speranza won €689,246 for a second-place finish. Marti Roca De Torres banked €1.1M as the newest bracelet winner and the latest player from Spain to earn a WSOP bracelet.
Only the top 80 places got a cut of the pool, with the bulk of the money awarded to the champion.
Tennis star Evgeny Kafelnikov went deep and cashed in 45th place. Other notables who cashed in the Main Event included... Jack Stalter, Kevin MacPhee, Vlad Darie, Kristen Bicknell, Rainer Kempe, Anthony Zinno, Parker Talbot, Mike Leah, David Peters, Philipp Gruissem, Pierre Neuville, William Kassouf, William Liang, Leo Nash, and Stefan Schillhabel.
2017 WSOP Europe - Main Event
Prize Pool: €5,025,500
Final Table Payouts:
1. Marti Roca De Torres (Spain) €1,115,207
2. Gianluca Speranza (Italy) €689,246
3. Mathijs Jonkers (Netherlands) €476,585
4. Robert Bickley (U.K.) €335,089
5. Niall Farrell (Scotland) €239,639
6. Maria Ho (USA) €174,365