If you ever needed to see a prototype in action to prove that great hand selection, and patience, is one of the cornerstones of being a great poker player, then you only had to watch Dan Shak in his impressive Premier League performance. He was about as interesting as a Charlie Chaplin movie to a blind man, but Shak doesn’t care. As a highly successful hedge fund manager, the IveyPoker pro (who isn’t even a pro), is all about the money. The American was the only player from the 16 that never had his tournament life on the life. Not bad when you consider the company he was in the midst of, and that he defeated them all over a period of a week.
Here are the crucial moments of a wonderful last day.
Jonathan Duhamel Gets Away With Murder
The first big moment involved two of the most impressive performers of the week: the two group winners, Jonathan Duhamel, and Tobias Reinkemeier. The German opened the action, Talal Shakerchi made the call before Duhamel squeezed with [As] [Ts]. Reinkemeier was holding ace-king and made the four-bet, Shakerchi folded, Duhamel moved all-in and Reinkemeier snap-called.
Duhamel knew that he had screwed up royally, but the [8h] [5d] [5s] [Jd] [Js] saved the Canadians bacon, and he eventually shrugged it off to move into the early chip lead.
“Wow, I’m running good.” Said Duhamel.
Antonio Esfandiari Doubles Through Jennifer Tilly
It was a case of ‘what might have been’ for Tilly. This double up was one of two vital hands where she got her money in good only to end up with nothing to show for it.
Tilly opened with pocket tens, Esfandiari moved all-in with [Kc] [Qd] and Tilly made the call.
“Where’s my Mum…Mum where are you?” Shouted Esfandiari.
“Oh no…Esfandiari will never win a flip without his Mum on the rail,” joked Jesse May in the commentary booth.
The board ran out with a king on the flop and Esfandiari did win a flip with his Mum on the rail.
Talal Shakerchi Eliminated in 8th Place
Nothing really went right for the active Shakerchi at this final table, and he proved to be the first player to hit the rail.
After doubling up through Duhamel [Jc] [5d] > [Ah] [9d], Shakerchi once again moved all-in – this time from the button holding [Ah] [8c] – and Esfandiari made the call with [Ac] [Jh]. The board ran down well for The Magician and the hand left Shakerchi with chip dust. Shakerchi then picked up pocket kings, but Tilly called his all-in with [Ad] [6c] and an ace on the flop sent Shakerchi back to the city.
Jennifer Tilly Eliminated in 7th Place
“Maybe this is where it starts?” Said Trickett after moving all-in with [Kd] [5c] only to be called by Tilly holding [As] [7c].
The board ran out [Kc] [9h] [6s] [5d] [3s] and Tilly once against lost that crucial flip. She was left with 14k (less than one big blind) and Duhamel took her out in the very next hand.
Tobias Reinkemeier Eliminated in 6th Place
The German’s exit came at the hands of Duhamel as the blinds started to eat into the players stack like a case of Ebola. Dan Cates limped on the button, Reinkemeier called in the small blind as did Duhamel in the big blind.
Flop: [7c] [6c] [4s]
The flop contained something for everyone. Reinkemeier checked with top pair, Duhamel bet 25,000 with [5x] [3x] for the straight, Cates also called with top pair before Reinkemeier moved all-in for 187k. Duhamel called, Cates folded and the turn and river held no miracles for Reinkemeier and he was out. Duhamel became the chip leader once more.
“He has been a tour de force in this tournament,” said Jesse May in reference to Reinkemeier’s performance.
Daniel Cates Eliminated in 5th Place
Last year’s runner-up was the next man to head to the showers, just moments after being handed a ‘Jaeger Bomb’ by the jovial Sam Trickett.
Cates got it in with pocket sevens against the pocket fours of Shak. But it was a case of Shak-Attack as a four on the flop sent Cates back to the Jungle.
“I’m sorry man,” said a consoling Shak.
Double Double For Trickett
With the action fourhanded Sam Trickett burst into life – or maybe it was those Jaeger Bombs?
Trickett doubling with pocket fives against the ace-five of Esfandiari before finding ace-queen to do the same thing against Duhamel and his ace-deuce. Trickett was left with a big chip lead and both Esfandiari and Duhamel were left short-changed.
Jonathan Duhamel Eliminated in 4th Place
The Canadian was one of the favorites for this title, and many people’s choice of most innovative and interesting player. But it wasn’t to be as Dan Shak took his scalp after both players turned two pair. Shak’s was the dominating hand and Duhamel was out in 4th.
Antonio Esfandiari Eliminated in 3rd Place
The last time Antonio Esfandiari and Sam Trickett faced each other heads up there was a difference of $9 million in pay jumps. But Dan Shak made sure that we would not get to see a repeat performance after eliminating the Magician – and his Mom – in third place. Shak finding an ace on the river with ace-deuce to take down Esfandiari’s pocket nines to set up a heads up encounter with Trickett.
Sam Trickett Eliminated in 2nd Place
When the heads-up action started Shak held a 1.7 million to 871,000-chip lead over Trickett. But the British pro ground down the American with a series of post flop pots to take the lead. Then the pivotal hand of the tournament. With the board showing [As] [8h] [2h] [Ts] [7h] Shak over-shoved 1.165million into a pot of 200,000 to send Trickett into the tank for an extremely long time.
“This is the longest I’ve ever taken over any poker decision in my life.” Said Trickett.
Trickett eventually made the call with [Th] [2d] for two-pair, but Shak showed [Qh][4h] for the flush and it was all-over bar the shouting. Trickett was left with next to nothing and Shak took him out to become the new champion in the very next hand.
It was a wonderful performance for the ever-improving Shak, and he might have moved into the Global Poker Index Player of the Year top spot after this victory.