Jens Kerper´s aspirations came true at Manchester United´s Theatre of Dreams on Saturday, when the player from Berlin trounced an international final table to claim the Grand Series of Poker (GSOP) Manchester crown. Starting the day with a significant chip advantage, the twenty-one year old Bwin sponsored player did not hang around when play started – taking the first pot of the day and making clear his intention to take the GSOP title with aggression.
Kerper Watches as his Opponents Tumble
However, Kerper was reduced to a watching role during the early levels of play as UK poker players James Browning (9th) and Rob Sherwood (8th) were sent to the rail by Martinak Andras and Karl Rosengard respectively, and Vizsnyiczai Zsolt´s (7th) pocket sevens were no match for the Jacks held by Johannes Erfurth. Andras (6th) was the next player to depart when his A♥ 4♦ was beaten in a race by Erfurth´s Q♦ 10♦ – Erfurth spiking the 10♥ on the turn – and the field was reduced to four when Karl Rosengard´s (5th) A♦ Q♦ failed to overcome Andis Netlaus´s J♦ J♣.
Netlaus Puts His Foot Down
The quick-fire departure of five players within two levels of play had a calming effect on those remaining at the table and, for a while, the final quartet was closely matched. It was not until Jens Kerper took two substantial pots in succession from Andis Netlaus that the action started to fire up again, and with Netlaus now being the short stack, he was forced to do something about it. First he doubled up at Johannes Erfurth´s expense, when his 6♦ 6♣ hit a set on the turn to beat Erfurth´s A♥ J♣, and then took 136,000 chips from Kerper when forcing the German to fold with some pre-flop aggression of his own.
Erfurth Next to Go
With Johannes Erfurth now being the short-stack, his options became limited as the blinds rose to 15,000/30,000 (ante 3,000). His forced shove or fold policy seemed to get him back in the game, and it looked as if he was going to make a huge double up against chip leader Kerper, when his A♠ Q♠ found the 3♣ 10♥ K♠ on the flop and J♥ on the turn to give him a straight. But Kerper was holding J♣ 10♣, and when the 10♠ was revealed on the river – giving Kerper a full house – Erfurth was busted out in fourth.
Kerper Scores a Hat Trick to Win the Game
With Erfurth´s departure, Rolf Inge Kvanik was now the short stack (500,000 chips against Kerper´s 3.1 million), but it was Andis Netlaus who was to leave the game in third. Netlaus, who had become increasingly frustrated with his inability to attack Kvanik due to Kerper´s aggression, fired in a four-bet to Kerper while holding pocket sevens. Kerper responded by betting all-in, and Netlaus called. Kerper turned over A♣ 10♣, and when the flop fell A♦ Q♦ A♥, Netlaus was already out of his seat and heading towards the door. Within eight hands the Heads-Up was all over – Kerper´s Q♠ 9♥ outdrawing Kvanik´s A♥ 8♦ – and the boy from Berlin collected the GSOP Manchester trophy, a cheque for $81,175 and a ticket to the GSOP final in the Dominican Republic next April.
Final Table Finishing Order and Prize Money
1st: Jens Kerper $81,175
2nd: Rolf Inge Kvanik $51,570
3rd: Andis Netlaus $35,908
4th: Johannes Erfurth $28,268
5th: Karl Rosengard, $21,174
6th: Martinak Andras, $16,999
7th: Vizsnyiczai Zsolt, $13,752
8th: Rob Sherwood, $10,696
9th: James Browning, $8,786