Riess’ Ten-High River Call Tops Best Five Hands of 2019 EPT Monte Carlo Final Table
Table Of Contents
The annual PokerStars festival in the swanky principality of Monaco on the beautiful French Riviera has come to a close. The final table of the 2019 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino European Poker Tour (EPT) €5,300 Main Event was quite the marathon, taking around 15 hours including breaks to find a winner from the final six. That winner was German high roller , and it would require a good deal of patience.
In addition to a notably drawn-out period of five-handed play, there were some hands that stood out from the rest during the final table. We’ll present five of the best, most entertaining hands here for you so you don’t have to weed through 15 hours of film yourself…You’re welcome.
#5) Manig Loeser Finds a Perfect Turn to Complete EPT Victory
Just after starting to pulling away heads up calling two streets correctly with king-high, Loeser defended the big blind with queen-eight suited against Wei Huang‘s king-eight button open. They both checked the flop, Loeser having flopped a gutshot straight draw. The turn was just what Loeser needed, and fortunately for him, it also gave his opponent a decent draw.
Loeser led out for 1.4 million into a pot of 2.9 million with his straight. Huang took the opportunity to shove for around 8 million and Loeser didn’t waste any time making the call. Huang was drawing slim, needing one of three remaining queens to stay alive, and it wasn’t to be.
China would have to settle for one spot short of EPT victory once again along with a healthy payday of €552,056. You can watch a clip of the final hand on PokerStars Live Twitter.
That winning moment. # Congrats to @swordfish007, this is how he took down the #EPTMonteCarlo Main Event, winning €… https://t.co/1stteKdXYl
— PokerStars LIVE (@PokerStarsLIVE)
#4) Viktor Katzenberger Celebrates Too Early
Three players remained and blinds were at 25,000-250,000 with a 250,000 ante. Loeser opened the button to 500k with ace-five suited. Huang called in the small blind with ace-ten suited and Viktor Katzenberger shoved for 5 million chips in the big blind with ace-deuce offsuit. Loeser got out of the way but Huang made the call with the dominating hand to put the Hungarian at risk.
The dealers spread a flop was met with cheers by Katzenberger’s rail. Huang still had outs to a flush, but the turn all but eliminated all hope for getting the field down to three. Just after Katzenberger did a round of fist-bumps with his friends, the spiked on the river.
As both players stared up at the screen and processed the chop on the board, the Chinese rail celebrated as the Katzenberger celebration fizzled out. Once the shock and awkward laughter subsided, they were back at it, Katzenberger still the shortest of the three and Huang with the second-biggest stack.
#3) Huang Picks off Grieco (Twice)
In the midst of the lengthy five-handed battle, vocal Italian Nicola Grieco was rather active for many orbits, using his big stack to put ICM pressure on some of the shorter stacks and happily showing bluffs. He tried his antics with Huang, but they didn’t work out so well.
Still with six players in, Wang opened the button with ace-seven of clubs and Grieco called with king-ten in the small blind. They checked to the river on and Grieco led for full pot. Confused by the line, Huang asked his neighbor what he had. Grieco made some hand motions and shifted his body position, then answered, "For me, it’s good if you fold."
Huang responded instantly with "I call" and looked at Grieco. The cheeky Italian left his cards face-down and announced "flush," signaling for Huang to muck.
"Really’https://clips.twitch.tv/ObservantGiftedStingrayBibleThump’ target=’_blank’ rel=’nofollow noopener’>watch the clip of the encounter here.
It only put a dent in the chip leader’s stack, but Huang would later put a bigger dent calling off with second pair top kicker when Grieco shoved with the same pair and a worse kicker.
#2) Huang Gets Loeser to Fold a Straight to Keep Three-Handed Play Going
With three players left, Loeser had established a healthy chip lead with Katzenberger getting ever shorter and Huang within striking distance. In this pivotal hand, action folded to Loeser in the small blind and he completed with . Huang checked his option with and things got a little weird on the flop when Huang checked out of turn. Loeser then put out a bet of 250,000 and Huang called.
Loeser picked up an open-ended straight draw to go with his seven-high on the turn and he kept the betting lead, firing out another 850,000. The turn also put a backdoor club draw on the board and Huang quickly called with his pair of fives, also holding the best club.
The river completed Loeser’s straight and he bet 2,000,000 into a pot of 2,950,000. Huang quickly moved all in for 6,550,000 and Loeser immediately tossed in a time extension. He threw in one more as he deliberated and then asked for a count. Loeser opted to fold his straight and Huang’s bluff holding the nut-flush blocker got through, resulting in the two players’ stacks evening out.
Huang held on to his slight lead after this hand long enough to earn himself the highest number when the final three eventually made a deal before playing it out.
#1) Ryan Riess Calls Off Correctly with Ten-High
With five left, Ryan Riess escaped elimination on multiple occasions, including winning all-ins with sevens vs. aces and ace-nine against ace-king. After hours of five-handed play, Riess was back to wielding a short stack and found himself in an interesting spot with it against the only other experienced live player left, Loeser.
Action folded to Loeser who completed in the small blind with six-deuce. Riess was sitting on just six bigs and opted to check his option with ten-deuce offsuit. They saw a flop of and it checked through. They both also checked the turn and on the river, Loeser bet enough to put Riess to the test for his last five bigs. Riess thought it over and used one time bank before making the call with two pair and a ten-high kicker. If his rail had been present, you can bet the call would have prompted some "Riess the Beast" chants.
"Unless he has maybe like nine-deuce or something but he probably would have bet like the turn or something," Riess told PokerStars media in an interview at break. "There’s not really anything he can have that beats me unless maybe he has aces and he decided to trap me preflop instead of shoving. So I called, and I was right."
"There’s not really anything he can have that beats me unless maybe he has aces and he decided to trap me preflop instead of shoving."
When asked if the high pressure context made the call more difficult, Riess responded:
"If it was like a really small buy-in like on an outer table I think I would have called faster, it would have made it a lot easier. But because you’re playing for so much money at the final table of a really prestigious tournament, it makes it harder but you still have to do what’s right."
Besides the fact that he was so short to start the hand, another factor in the decision was likely the length of time that five-handed play was dragging out.
"I think we had been playing for like nine hours with five people, no one’s busted in forever."
It had indeed been around nine hours including breaks with nary an elimination, and Riess took a stand. It would be followed by Grieco’s downturn and elimination just after that break, before Riess bled down again and busted in fourth. It may not have been the most significant pot in terms of big blinds in the middle, but it did allow Riess to stick around to ladder one more spot, and it was a pretty beastly call by any standard. You can watch the clipped hand at the PokerStars Live Twitter account:
Not all heroes wear capes. Take a bow @RyanRiess1. # Cards-up coverage of the #EPTMonteCarlo Main Event final tabl… https://t.co/y8KG5V48k0
— PokerStars LIVE (@PokerStarsLIVE)
Images courtesy of PokerStars / Neil Stoddart
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