A round-up of the very best live tournament action in the world including a victory in the €50,000 Super High Roller at the PokerStars Championship Barcelona, and wins for Sean Winter and Cary Katz in the Aria High Rollers.
It’s been a tragic week in the lives of inhabitants of Barcelona, but life goes on, as does the PokerStars Championship, with Igor Kurganov taking down one of the biggest prizes of the festival.
A day after the Barcelona terrorist attack death toll rose to 15, it was apt that a man devoting his life to reduce suffering in the world would take down the top prize in the €50,000 Super High Roller.
PokerStars Team Pro, Igor Kurganov, entered the final day 2/9, with Koray Aldemir in the boss seat. Fellow PokerStars Team Pro, Daniel Negreanu also made the cut but would be the first player eliminated when play resumed on Day 3.
Aldemir exited the tournament in third place, leaving Kurganov facing Bartlomiej Machon in heads-up action with a sizable chip advantage. The pair cut a deal that favoured the man with the most chips and experience, and Kurganov wrapped up the win in double time.
It’s Kurganov’s fourth seven-figure score:
2012 – 1st the €25k High Roller, EPT Monte Carlo – $1,425,874
2013 – 6th in the HK$1m Guangdong Asia Millions – $1,069,137
2014 – 3rd in the €100k Super High Roller, EPT Monte Carlo $1,559,373
His victory sees his all-time money earnings hit the $14m mark, moving him from the 29th to the 24th spot ahead of heavyweights: Mike McDonald, Ole Schemion, Jake Schindler, Bertrand Grospellier, and Joseph McKeehen.
Kurganov sits on the board of Raising for Effective Giving (REG) a non-profit that raises money to reduce suffering in the world, and a sizeable chunk of Kurganov’s million euros will go into REGs coffers.
1. Igor Kurganov – €1,084,100*
2. Bartlomiej Machon – €858,700*
3. Koray Aldemir – €528,500
4. Dietrich Fast – €406,790
5. Ivan Luca – €322,100
6. Chris Kruk – €251,900
7. Bryn Kenney – #198,200
8. Stanley Choi – €154,900
9. Daniel Negreanu – €117,700
10. Dan Colman – €103,200
11. Isaac Haxton – €103,200
*Indicates a heads-up deal
In other PokerStars Championship results, Goran Mandic defeated 166 entrants to win a €10,300 side event for €374,400. Ivan Luca (3rd), Pete Chen (4th), David Peters (6th), Martin Jacobson (7th), and Liv Boeree (8th) went deep in that one.
And Pedro Cairat won the PokerStars National Championship for €432,178 after cutting a three-way deal with Marius Gicovanu and Bart Lybaert. The event was the largest in PokerStars history attracting 4,557 entrants.
Sean Winter & Cary Katz Secure Aria High Roller Victories
With most of the heavyweights in Barcelona, you would expect the Aria High Rollers to take a hiatus. Instead, they kept on rolling, although there were meagre turnouts for the three most recent events.
The star of the three days was Sean Winter. The former Bellagio Cup winner defeated 23 entrants to win the $115,000 first prize in a $10k event, and then beat ten competitors to take the $175,000 first prize in a $26k event.
Sandwiched in the middle of those two Winter wins was a victory for Cary Katz. The Aria High Roller progenitor defeated 15 entrants to capture the $217,500 first prize in a $26k buy-in event. Katz also finished third in the $10k event. Jason Koon picked up a second and a third in the two $26k buy-in events.
Katz is the leading Aria High Roller ITM man with 30 cashes. Tom Marchese is second with 26.
The Best of the Rest
Albert Paik topped a field of 185 entrants to take the $39,345 first prize in the Asian Poker Tour (APT) Main Event in Korea. Ben Rendell beat 147 players to win the NZ$75,000 first prize in the New Zealand Poker Championships. And Satish Thakur beat 320 entrants to win the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Indiana State Poker Championship.
And finally, there were $1.2m reasons to be cheerful in Montreal’s Playground Poker Club, after the players hit the bad beat jackpot during a $1/$2 cash game.
Elphege Delarosbi turned quad jacks, only for Shane Galle to hit a straight flush on the river. Delarosbi netted $460,149 for the bad beat, Galle picked up $230,088, the rest of the players at the table won $32,870, and everyone in the poker room netted $1,224.