Saturday, March 12, 2005

EPT Vienna E-WSOP Final Table Wrap-Up and Results

For a full hand history of the final table, click here. Be sure to join us here for the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo in just a few days)

Danger in Vienna

We live in an unsafe world. We live in a time of mayhem and danger. So, who in their right mind would make every effort to be on time for a meeting with a documented poker serial killer and a mysterious Swede with enough chips to scare the Frito Lay company?

The final table ready for play

This was the meeting place: an eight-seated table, surrounded by lights and flags of the world. By all accounts, there was only a minimal chance someone would be carried out unconscious. Eight players were willing to take the risk. After all, several hundred thousand Euros were at stake.

The players begin their quest for the title

It was the final table of the European Poker Tour's Vienna E-WSOP. What had started as a friendly competition had turned nasty in the night before, with players snapping at each other, slamming their cards on the table, and expressing a certain amount of crankiness.

They were eight men who defied the poker version of the expression "all men were created equal." After all, there was that mysterious Swede, Andreas Harnemo, who had defied his lack of professional playing time and stacked up more than 800,000 in chips.

Andreas Harnemo

And then there was the poker serial killer, Pascal Perrault, a popular Frenchman who had singlehandedly turned the losers lounge into a morgue in the days before. He sat second in chips and had his eyes set firmly on the prize.

Pascal Perrault

As play began, the chipstacks looked as follows:

Seat 1: Joachim Sanejstra, 129,500
Seat 2: Tim Ramsey, 152,500 (USA online qualifier)
Seat 3: David Clayton, 287,000
Seat 4: Pascal Perrault, 641,500 (France)
Seat 5: Josh Schiffman, 197,000 (USA)
Seat 6: Simon Nowab, 301,000
Seat 7: Mika Puro,450,500 (Finland)(PokerStars online qualifier)
Seat 8: Andreas Harnemo, 821,000 (Sweden)

At first it seemed as if no one wanted to play in a big arena. While players sparred a bit pre-flop, we saw very few hands past the initial betting stage. In fact, it took 30 hands before...well, before the floor fell out from underneath the final table and players fell to their doom with it.

It began as so...

Simon Nowab, in an apparent blind-steal, raised all in with A7 offsuit. Mike Puro seemed happy to call with a pair of nines. The first card off the flop was a nine and it ultimately spelled Nowab's end. What had once been a tight final table was suddenly as loose as a goose in a noose. Nowab left the room in eighth place and 17,300 Euro.

Simon Nowab

Just two hands later, Josh Schiffman, half of the America's Duke University Mafia, raised more than two times the big blind, 40,000 chips, out of position. Andreas sat on the button and made it 120,000. Perhaps thinking Andreas was on a steal, Josh moved all in. Andreas called, turning over AQs. It dominated Josh's KJs both before and after the ace-high flop. Schiffman left in seventh place, taking home 23,000 Euro.

Josh Schiffman

On the very next hand, the players folded around to the small blind where David Clayton put in a huge raise, 92,000 into Perrault's 15,000 big blind. Perrault came over the top an pushed all in. Clayton called. Perrault's AJ easily survived Clayton's A5 offsuit. Clayton took sixth place and cashed for 28,800 Euro. Perrault's credentials as a poker serial killer were re-affirmed.

David Clayton

In just four hands, we'd lost three players and the bloodshed would not stop. Not ten hands later, the most interesting hand of the night unleashed itself on the table.

With the blinds still at 7500/15000/1500, Harnemo raised under the gun to 55,000. Without a great deal of concern on his face, Tim Ramsey pushed in the rest of his stack. For the first time in a great while, Harnemo seemed to fall into the tank. He pondered. Then he pondered some more.

And, then, out of nowhere he asked Ramsey, "Do you have a pair of sevens?"

If Ramsey responded, I didn't hear it. All I know is that when Andreas called, Ramsey flipped over a seven...and a seven. Harnemo held A9 offsuit. Ramsey seemed to be in good shape. The first four cards on the board were 3832. The river, however, came as an ace sending Ramsey back to the USA in fifth place wih 34,500 Euro.

Tim Ramsey

When the beating stopped, the chip counts looked like this:

Joachim Sanejstra: 127,500
Pascal Perrault: 799,000
Mika Puro: 527000
Andreas Harnemo: 1,500,000

Remarkably, the man who began the day with the shortest stack, Joachim Sanejstra, had managed to blind steal and hang on until fourth place. And when he finally went out, he got his chips in with the best hand. Mika Puro put in a raise to 45,000 (3x the big blind). Behind him, Harnemo made it 105,000 to go. After some thought, Sanejstra put in all his chips. Puro folded and Hernemo showed K7offsuit to Sanejstra's pair of fours. It was still a coinflip, which Harnemo won, pairing his king on the flop and hitting another on the turn. The shortest stack at the start of the day took fourth place and 40,500 for his efforts.

Joachim Sanejstra

A dinner break came unexpectedly and apparently, Mika Puro's dinner didn't agree with his poker timing. Just three hands into the after-dinner session, Puro raised to 55,000. Perrault immediately made it 150,000 to go. Puro came back over the top all-in and Perrault happily called, showing a pair of queens. Puro only had a pair of fours and he never improved. Puro left in third place with 51,800 Euro.

Mika Puro

Bettors would've likely put good money that Perrault and Harnemo would end heads up. However, I would defy anyone to predict the outcome. Perrualt's game is sometimes difficult to predict. At times he's fantastically tight. Other times he makes curiously hyper-aggressive moves. At the same time, he has many years of experience over Harnemo in big tournament play. The poker serial killer then set his target squarely on the mysterious Swede. Perrualt had 1.2 million in chips to Harenmo's 1.9 million.

Heads up

We got a taste of Perrault's aggressive style a few hands into heads-up play. Perrault called from the small blind and Harnemo raised a little more than 3x the big blind to 70,000. Perrault called and they saw a flop of Q2K. Both players checked to the turn, a nine. Harnemo bet out 50,000 and Perrault raised to 300,000. After some thought, Harnemo mucked a pair of sixes face up. With a grin, Perrault showed his bluff, a little hand some poker bloggers like to call The Jackhammer, J4.

While the players had battled to even stacks, Perrault had just set up a move that would end in Harnemo's undoing.

In the small blind, Perrault raised 3x the big blind to 60,000. Harnemo called and the flop came down 473. Harenmo checked to Perrault who bet out 150,000. Harnemo, perhaps remembering Perrault's move a little earlier, made it another 250,000 to go. With nary a thought, Perrault announced all in.

Harenmo didn't seem sure what to do. He seemed to like his hand but his face fell into a concentrated version of American actor Clint Eastwood's tough face. When Harenmo regained consciousness, he called and showed J7offsuit for top pair on the board (sevens with a jack kicker). With that, Perrault turned over a pair of nines, the hand that would eventually win and take nearly all of Harnemo's stack.

While Harenmo battled strongly for a few more hands, he eventually got the rest of his chips in with KJs, but ran right into Perrault's AJs. With that, it was over. Harenmo pocketed 101,400 for his second place finish.

The winning hand and its bountiful harvest

Perrault had the biggest fan club in the rooom and cheers rose to the rafters.

Pascal gets congratulations from his friends

It was a 184,500 payday for Perrault, a man so dedicated to this game, he reportedly named his baby daughter...Vegas.

A thumbs up from the winner

Pascal gets paid

And lest you think this is the last time Perrault and Harenmo will meet, both players received entries into the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo this coming week.

Please join me back here on this blog for full coverage of this fine circuit's biggest event.

EPT Vienna Final Results


1--Pascal Perrault, France.


2--Andreas Harnemo, Sweden


3--Mika Puro, Finland (PokerStars online qualifier)


4--Joachim Sanejstra, Austria


5--Tim Ramsey, USA (PokerStars Online Qualifier)


6--David Clayton


7--Josh Schiffman, USA


8--Simon Nowab

9--Jeffrey Rogers (PokerStars online qualifier)


11-Paul Hersleth
12--Alan Betson (PokerStars online qualifier)


13--Milurat Peric
14--Luca Pagano, Italy
15--Sigi Stockinger, Ireland


16--Paul Testud
17--Cohen Robert
18--Mike Shalibi

19--Tibor Tolnai
20--Horst Riedlinger
21--Bernhard Reither
22--Denis Kharitonov, Russia
23--Luis Jaikel, Costa Rica
24--BadGirl Pham, Great Britain
25--Harry Casagrande
26--Falker Leview, Russia
27--Joseph Grech