Steve Silverman defeats his old grinding buddy, Tony Gregg, in heads-up action to claim the title of €25,000 High Roller champion at the European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final in Monte Carlo.
Steve Silverman and Tony Gregg have just realized that it’s a very small world. Rewind the Betamax of life and the Maryland pair would spend Sunday’s together grinding the online life at Gregg’s home. Fast-forward six-years and the pair have just played heads-up for the €25,000 High Roller title at the European Poker Tour (EPT) in Monte Carlo.
Even friends can bare teeth when they need to, but this heads-up encounter was a gummy affair after a three-way chop meant both Silverman and Gregg were only playing for an additional €15,000 and the EPT hardware. Those extra incentives went the way of Silverman after a painless heads-up encounter was over before it had even started.
When the final day of action commenced nobody really gave Silverman or Gregg a chance – except maybe Silverman and Gregg – as the smart money was on either Vanessa Selbst or Igor Kurganov. Kurganov eats €25,000 High Rollers for breakfast, and was the reigning champion after defeating Daniel Negreanu and Philipp Gruissem in three-handed action to take this title last year. Selbst on the other hand had already secured a 2013 seven-figure score after her victory in the $25,000 High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) back in January. The most successful woman in the history of poker started the day as the chip leader and proceeded to eat chips like Pac Man eats dots, raspberries and cherries. But the scriptwriters were throwing shredded paper into the air as the dust finally settled and neither Kurganov nor Selbst was anywhere to be seen.
The recent Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) Brazil winner, Victor Sbrissa, continued his trail of heat with an eight place finish good for €116,100, and the British number one, Toby Lewis, showed why he has that mantle with a fifth place finish for €232,400. Kurganov had to settle for seventh spot and Selbst took fourth before Fady Kamar, Tony Gregg and Steve Silverman struck a three way chop worth €760,000 each with €15,000 left on the side. Tony Gregg and his cowboys pistol whipped Kamar and his ace-seven of diamonds in third, leaving the best of friends to finish off the action. Firstly, Silverman looked down to see pocket aces from which he gleaned a big chunk of chips from a Gregg hand that went into the muck, before finishing things off with the customary flip: [As] [Js] v [2c] [2h]; Jacks on both the turn and the river turning Silver into Gold.