Igor Kurganov

Macau “Businessmen” in Control of EPT Grand Final €100k Super High Roller

Yong, Kurganov & Schemion

Yong, Kurganov & Schemion

Yesterday saw the second day of the €100k Super High Roller at the PokerStars European Poker Tour Grand Final event in Monte Carlo, and ended with just eight players getting paid, and going to the Final Table today.
The day started with 3 players getting in just under the deadline. Gus Hansen and David Peters bought in for the first time while Mike Watson’s entry was the second for him.
Hansen was riding the variance rollercoaster, and started off with a big hand against PokerStars Online Pro, Ike Haxton. With the blinds at 3k/6k with a 1k ante Gus opened with a 16k bet from under the Gun. Haxton, sitting in the hijack, took a few moments before he three bet to 44k. The rest of the table folded, and Gus squirmed in his seat before making the call.
The flop of 9cKhTc was spread across the felt, and Gus carefully sorted his chips and threw out a bet of 46k. Ike weighed his options, and after a short trip to the tank, he announced “All in.” Gus slid the remainder of his stack over the line, and Haxton showed his AsAd. Gus however had flopped the nuts as his QsJc had given him a king high straight. The turn of the 8s and river of 3s didn’t help Haxton and Gus’s stack was doubled with the addition of a significant number of Haxton’s chips.

Gus Hansen

Gus Hansen

Soon after, Hansen send high stakes regular, Tobias Reinkemaier, to the rail to bring his stack up to more than 760k.
After seeing his stack cut down by the death of a thousand pots, Gus ended up busting to Dan Coleman when his top pair, top kicker was out flopped by Coleman’s top two pair. Coleman improved to a full house on the turn, and Gus was sent packing. Luckily, his home is only a short walk from the casino.
Other big names that didn’t survive the day included Ike Haxton, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey.

Ike Haxton was sitting on a short stack, and the action preflop ended with all his chips in the middle against Macau based “buisnessman” Richard Yong. Yong had 7d7h crushing Ike’s 2c2s. “I can make a wheel, both my suits are live” said Haxton while he gave his distinctive laugh, “this isn’t such a bad spot for me!”
With the board ran out KdKc5sQc8c, sending all Haxton’s chips to Yong, it turned out to be a worse spot than Ike thought.

Negreanu busted against another of the Macau contingent when his AdJd was dominated by Lo Shing Fung’s AcKs. The board brought a straight draw for Kid Poker on the turn, but the Ts river sent the PokerStars sponsored player to the rail.

Ivey was crippled by Ole Schemion when he called the German’s 50k min plus bet to bring a flop of 7cQhKd. Ole continued his line with another 50k bet only to see Ivey comeback over the top for 150k. The turn card was the 2c and this time Schemion checked to the aggression showed by Ivey. Ivey bet 250k leaving less that 190k in his stack. Ole went into the tank for a moment, but decided to push his remaining chips over the line. The legend over the table instantly mucked his cards, and Ole flashed the Jd which brought nothing but a slight shrug from Ivey.
Ivey started a fightback, but his tournament ended when he shoved over Olivier Busquet’s opening bet and the Frenchman made the call.
Ivey’s AhQh was way behind the KdKh in Busquet’s hand, and the board did nothing to help Ivey as it ran out showing 8sKs9d4h7s.

The bubble burst when Mike McDonald’s run good ran out. He got it in with his short stack holding 6c6d against Dan Colman who was holding AsQs.

The flop crippled McDonald’s chances as the cards fell showing Ad5d3c, but the turn gave him some equity back as the 4c was turned over. Mike was down to looking for a 6, a 2 or a 7 to survive, and the river brought the Qc to send the Canadian to the rail as the bubble boy.
The confirmed the line up for the final table is:

Seat 1: Dan “Jungleman” Cates – 2,341,000
Seat 2: Richard Yong – 1,301,000
Seat 3: Olivier Busquet – 1,038,000
Seat 4: Lo Shing Fung – 4,558,000
Seat 5: Daniel “mrGR33N13” Colman – 1,398,000
Seat 6: Igor Kurganov – 261,000
Seat 7: Ole Schemion – 2,818,000
Seat 8: Paul Phua – 1,785,000

Daniel "Jungleman" Cates

Daniel “Jungleman” Cates

Dan “Jungleman” Cates is mainly known for his online cash game antics, but he is more than just a cash game player. His $1.2 million in live winnings are testament to that. However, he’s not always been able to crush the games he’s played. When he started out he had to get a fast food job just to top up his bankroll. He was one of the slew of poker players who dropped out College to play poker professionally, and is one of the few not to regret that decision.
He’s had a good start to 2014 with winnings of around $1.75million being reported.

Richard Yong is technically an amateur player, and has a day job, but anyone who plays in the high stakes games he plays in while in Macau has to have a reasonable level of skill. His live tournament winnings of $3.6 million seems to back up that assessment. Yong’s biggest cash to date is the 8th place he achived in last year’s One Drop event at the WSOP, where he picked up $1,237,333 for his efforts.
Yong was born in Malaysia, but has been a resident of Hong Kong for more than 25 years.

Olivier Busquet has a face that will be familiar to those who keep tabs on the high stakes poker scene. He moved from playing home games as a sideline to go along with his day job as a Wall Street Trader. Once he found online poker he specialised in heads up Sit & Gos and was the first ever player to make a 7 figure profit in these games. The standout highlights from the list of his live cashes are his WPT Borgata win and his second places in the EPT6 Grand Final and EPT10 Prague’s High Rollers along with many other cashes on the EPT and other tours.
With Busquet considered one of the gest heads up players in the world, if he manages to get to the final pairing at this table, it would be hard to bet against him, almost regardless of the stack sizes.

Lo Shing Fung or Rono Lo as he’s also called is pretty much an unknown. We know he’s a businessman, he flew in from Macau for this event, he’s 51, and born in Hong Kong. Now living in Macau, his biggest ever live result was last year’s WSOP APAT when he came 4th  in the A$50k high roller event for a A$225,000 payday. He is probably the dark horse at this table.

Daniel “mrGR33N13” Colman may not be a household name, but he is well known in the online Heads Up circles. He’s the reigning WCOOP Heads up champion and is probably the only player at the table who’s heads up game can stand up to Busquet.
As with a lot of American online pros, Dan has relocated outside the US following Black Friday. He is now based in Brazil, and continues to crush the online game from there.
This will be Colman’s biggest live cash to date, regardless of where he finishes. His live cashes have only been worth $563,999 before this event, but expect more from this player in the future. Colman has bought in three time to this event, so needs to reach 7th place to make a profit.

Igor Kurganov is common sight on the EPT tour, having played nearly every stop on the tour. He has played the majority of the Main Events and every High Roller and Super High Roller since their introduction. He has more than $6 million in live tournament winnings and won the €25k High Roller in Monaco in season 8.
Kurganov is more than just a poker machine though, he has pledged to give 10% of his tournament winnings to Charity through an organisation called Effective Altruism.

Paul Phua

Paul Phua

Ole Schemion is on fire. He won the €10k High Roller in Sanremo last week by running over the final table. This 21 year old has been on a tear this year, and now has an almost unassailable lead in the EPT Player of the Year Race. His $4.6 million in live winnings has him 7th all time in the German list, and his online results aren’t too bad either. He won the PokerStars MTT Leaderboard back in 2011 and he final tabled the PokerStars Super Tuesday this week as well, ending up finishing 7th for $18,947.50

Paul Phua is another player from the Macau contingent. The 49 year old businessman travels the world playing the super high buy in events and cash games. he has $2.3 in live tournament winnings from just 3 Hendon Mob results. He regularly plays in the massive games in Macau and should be considered a threat at the table.

The action has already started as I finish typing this, and can be watched with hole cards up on PokerStars.tv.

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