Switzerland´s Ronny Kaiser finished off what he started on Friday, with a sensational victory in the PokerStars sponsored European Poker Tour in Tallinn, Estonia. Having lucked into a huge lead late on Friday evening with a runner, runner straight with busted the unfortunate Lithuanian, Liutauras Armanavicius, the Kaiser never relinquished his grip on the tournament and tore apart one of the strongest international fields ever to compete in an EPT Main Event.
Day 4 Starts Badly for the Irish and British
Of the three remaining UK and Ireland poker players in the event, two were gone in double quick time on Saturday – Irish qualifier Michael Graydon (pocket Kings) losing his 455,000 chip stack to Ronny Kaiser´s rivered straight, and UK professional Praz Bansi disappearing shortly after the first break when his A♦ Q♦ was friendless on the board against Raigo Aasmaa´s J♠ J♦. Fortunately, PokerStars qualifier, Stuart Fox, survived the day and made it onto the final table.
The End of the €2 Dream
Petri Vuolle, the qualifier who had battled his way through countless online poker satellites to qualify for the Main Event with just a €2.00 buy-in, was also to fall victim to Ronny Kaiser during Saturday afternoon´s play – his K♠ 9♣ being no match for the Kaiser´s K♦ Q♥ – but the Estonian departed with a cheque for €7,700 for his efforts, so a fantastic result for his efforts and encouragement for every online poker player with a limited bankroll.
More Dreams Shattered
More dreams were shattered by cruel fate throughout Saturday, with an incredible number of AA´s being turned over. The unlikeliest dream belonged to Dutch online star Johan van Til – the player who had started Day 2 on Thursday with just five big blinds remaining. Johan had pulled out his A-Game throughout Thursday and Friday to be in with a chance of a superb last-to-first victory, but was pitilessly denied his place on the final table when Sami Kelopuro paired the King in his hand to take out van Til´s 2♥ 2♣.
The Final Table Set
Sunday´s play started with Ronny Kaiser (2.394 million) still holding a commanding chip advantage over Poland´s Grzegorz Cichocki (2.059 million) and Finland´s Sami Kelopuro (1.325 million). UK poker player Stuart Fox (514,000) was still in the action, but he was amongst the early casualties in an action-packed day which saw Arvi Vainionkulma (8th), Sami Kelopuro (7th after running into Cichocki´s quad aces), Erlend Melsom (6th) and Stuart (5th) all sent to the rail within the first couple of hours.
Ronny Kaiser Still Ahead
Despite Grzegorz Cichocki winning a sizeable pot with his quads, Ronny Kaiser maintained his lead – first taking down a million chip pot uncontested against Jani Sointiula and then stepping up a gear against the Pole to hold a 2 million chip advantage going into Level 25 (15,000/30,000 + 4,000 Ante). It was at this point that things started to happen very quickly.
Swiss v Pole in Heads Up
There had never been a Swiss or Polish winner of an EPT Main Event before, but when Ronny Kaiser´s 7♥ 7♣ were too strong for Sointula´s A♠ K♦, and Grzegorz Cichocki´s A♥ A♦ overwhelmed Raigo Aasmaa´s K♥ 10♥ (Aasmaa being the first Estonian ever to reach an EPT Main Event final table), the stage was set. At first, the cards went in favour of Cichocka, and at one point the two players were almost level, but Kaiser´s pair of queens and pocket aces in back-to-back hands made a huge hole in Cichocki´s chip stack – one he was never to recover from – and ten minutes later it was all over when Kaiser´s A♣ 9♠ found A♥ on the flop and the Swiss had won a remarkable victory.
EPT Tallinn – Final Table Places and Payouts
Ronny Kaiser collected €275,000 for his well-earned victory (despite his outrageous good fortune on Day 2) with the final table of eight collecting €805,000 between them.