Dan Colman emerges victorious at €100,000 Super High Roller

Back in the day, there were only a few highroller tournaments that interested players could attend and they were dissociated from prominent series. Basically highrollers got together on rare occasions to compete in exclusive competitions hosted by certain casinos. Things have changed a lot over the last couple of years and now pretty much any respectable poker series has such an event.

The last competition of this sort was the €100,000 Super High Roller, an integrated part of the EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final. Paying a six digit amount just to be a part of a major tournament is not something that regular players can afford, but this doesn’t mean that there was a shortage of poker pros. A total of 50 players sat down at five tables on day one and 12 of them had to rebuy at least once after being eliminated prematurely.pokerbuddy

Some of them have good reasons to congratulate themselves for perseverance, others wish they hadn’t fire another bullet. Daniel Cates was one of those who ran into a lot of trouble early in this tournament, but eventually found a way to turn the ship around and finished second to claim almost €1.3 million. He is widely regarded as a remarkable poker player who won a lot of money over the Internet, so it comes as no surprise that he was feared at the final table.

Another player that gave opponents shivers down their spines was Ole Schemion the leader of the GPI top 300 and one of the constant favorites to win the Player of the Year award. Unfortunately for him he was eliminated rather quickly and was followed by Paul Phua and Rono Lo to the rail. Action slowed down to a crawl when four players were left in the race, with Richard Yong eventually succumbing to pressure and finishing in the fourth place.

The last three players had the option of playing on or reach an agreement, but the terms were not acceptable for all parties involved. It took a while before Kurganov was eliminated and the remaining two players were far more cooperative and so a deal was made. The two Daniels found it more practical to split the money according to their stacks and Daniel Colman got lucky in the last couple of hands.

In all fairness, Daniel Cates seemed far less concerned about what would happen in the last few hands and was willing to take more chances. What really matters is that both players won a seven digit amount, with Colman being the big winner with €1.5 million credited to his bank account. The other finalists didn’t leave empty-handed quite the contrary as they took these juicy payouts:

  1. Daniel Colman – €1,539,300
  2. Daniel Cates – €1,283,700
  3. Igor Kurganov – €1,128,300
  4. Richard Yong – €637,600
  5. Rono Lo – €493,340
  6. Paul Phua – €385,000
  7. Ole Schemion – €307,000
  8. Olivier Busquets – €241,000

Anthony Gregg emerges victorious at Event 47

There were several poker professionals who made the final table but neither Antonio Esfandiari, Bill Perkins, nor Chris Klodnicki succeeded in outshining Anthony Gregg. Only 166 players found it worthwhile to spend the thousands of dollars necessary for buying in this tournament, still 18 millions were generated for charity. Most WSOP tournaments end in three days but in this case, the players had to wait for one more day to learn the name of the winner.


Pretty much everything that matters happened not at the final table but among these four players, with Antonio Esfandiari being justly regarded as favorite to win the tournament. Surprising or not, he failed to meet the high expectations and was eliminated in the fourth place when his opponent hit an ace on the final street. Klodnicki was the one who caused his elimination but Antonio didn’t leave right away, waiting to see how his friend Perkins fares in the tournament.

Sadly for both of them, Bill didn’t make it for much longer and was eventually intimidated in the third place, with Anthony Gregg as the executioner. The eventual winner took charge of the game and started to use his chip lead to push opponents around, from the beginning of day four. The strategy paid off and after eliminating Perkins, he began the heads-up against Klodnicki with twice as many chips.

Obviously, Gregg started as favorite to win the event and he didn’t wait for strong cards to be dealt to him, but raised aggressively hand after hand. His opponent tried to react to this aggressive tactic but lost a major pot that left him with no more than twenty big blinds and then went all in with few outs left. His opponent snap called him and his top pair held, resulting in a hefty payout and a coveted WSOP bracelet.

Late stage and final table freeroll strategy

Freerolls are by definition tournaments attended mostly by beginners and players who don’t have a bankroll that would allow them to play at real money tables. As the ideal combination between play money games and tournaments that can result in actual prizes, these events act as a magnet for players from all the walks of life. This is why the number of people who sign up can be considerable and the odds of actually winning a freeroll are slight, to say the least. These tournaments filter out the inexperienced players, and those who reach the final stages need to know how to handle the situation.

Some free rolls can’t be won by better players because due to the frenzy that usually occurs in the early stage, some beginners amass considerable amounts. These make them untouchable and even if they misplay their hands later on, their stack is deep enough to help them offset those errors. Nevertheless, those who intend to buy in for freerolls, should help themselves to some proven strategies that can help them maximize their chances. Some interesting observations have been made by the author posting on http://www.pokerblog.com/learn-poker/mtt-strategy-final-stages.html.

The first challenge is to understand where the middle stage ends and the late stage of a freeroll begins and it is widely accepted that it starts when roughly 25 big blind are left. By now, players need to tighten up and play their hands very aggressively or fold them pre-flop, with all-ins being quite frequent. There is no point in limping or calling a pre-flop hoping to hit the favorable board, because the blinds are simply too high to make this tactic profitable.

Players are advised to single out short stackers because these are the ones that should be avoided with mediocre hands, as they are more likely to go all in. For these guys, the only way of finishing in the money is to double up quickly and with freerolls awarding very few prizes, the competition is intense. Loose aggressive players who have deeper stack than you do should be the targets, as they will be reluctant to jeopardize their chips. On the other hand, don’t hesitate to fold your cards if one of these players fired back with a reraise, because against them you have a lot to lose.

Pre-flop play is rather simple with high pocket pairs and AK triggering consistent raises regardless of position, while suited connectors warranting raises from late position. Assuming that you stay in the hand when the flop is dealt, you need to make up your mind because this is the time when most hands are decided. The blinds are too high and the corresponding pre-flop raises increase the pot so much that there is no point in slow playing or calling from behind.

Those who reach the final table in the freeroll should stick to the same tactics that help them during the late stage, but push it into overdrive. The same rules apply but since the blinds are even higher, you need to step up your tight aggressive game and be extra careful about players who come out firing from early position. Unless the blinds are so high that pretty much any raise would equal an all in, there is a good chance for these opponents to hold a strong hand. Whatever you do, don’t let pressure alter your style of play, because those who get that far into freerolls should seize the opportunity and go for the main prize.

Successful transition from fixed limit to no limit

A lot of money can be made by playing strictly fixed limit Texas hold ’em, but no limit is the king of poker and that’s why all players aspire to play this game. Assuming you start your poker experience with fixed limit and you want to make the transition, it is worth knowing that there are a couple of risks involved. Quite frankly, no limit poker is not for everybody, and especially those who have problems in keeping their cool and act poorly under pressure are advised to stick to fixed limit.

It goes without saying that when you have access to larger amounts of money and are allowed to bet as much as you like, you need to think twice before making the decision. Those who act under the influence of emotions are taking great chances and there are plenty of cases of players who lost their entire bankroll in a single session. One of the best ways to mitigate this risk is by playing no limit tournaments before you actually sit down at a cash game tables. This applies to players regardless of what type of Texas hold ’em they used to play, and how experienced they are with fixed limit.

The advantage of playing no limit tournaments is that despite the fact that you are in complete control of the amounts that you bet, you can only lose the buy-in and the rebuy. It shouldn’t take long for someone who has played fixed limit poker to master no limit, which means that soon they will play their favorite cash game. Those who are just making their baby steps in online poker, are advised to undertake research before choosing one version or the other.