German poker pro Julian Stuer steamrolled the end of the 2017 PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino® €25,750 High Roller on Friday night to claim €1,015,000 and his first PokerStars Championship title.
The third and final day of the tournament saw 27 hopefuls out of a 187-entry strong field return to the tables at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, and each of them guaranteed a portion of the massive €4.5 million prize pool.
The bubble had burst late the previous night and it took less than five hours to reduce the field to the last nine hopefuls with Julian Stuer in charge, holding a decent lead over Charlie Carrel and John Juanda. After Stuer watched the first three eliminations as an onlooker, the German then knocked out all other five opponents that stood between him, a seven-figure score and the shiny golden PokerStars Championship High Roller trophy.
It is by far the biggest career score for the 27-year-old German and Vienna-based poker pro. Stuer had already come close to victory in a PokerStars-sponsored event last September, finishing second to Isaac Haxton in one of the €25,500 Single-Day High Rollers at the EPT13 Prague festival last September for a payday of €397,550.
Juanda finished second to Stuer in this event, helping him break through $20 million in live tournament cashes, further cementing his spot in the top five of the all-time money list.
Once the field was trimmed to nine on Friday, Jimmy Guerrero, who finished third in the Main Event in Monte Carlo in 2016 when the festival was still running as the European Poker Tour, was coolered by Thomas Muehloecker and finished in ninth place. Guerrero was one of the short stacks going into the last table and three-bet pocket jacks, then called the four-bet shove of Muehloecker only to get shown pocket aces.
Julian Thomas also fell victim to the early hot run of Muehloecker at the final table. After the German defended his big blind with eight-six suited on a king-high all diamond flop, Thomas check-raised all in. Muehloecker called with ace-jack for a gutshot and nut flush draw, and instantly found another diamond on the turn to reduce the field by another player.
Thomas Muehloecker became the second biggest stack after eliminating Ekrem Sanioglu. A raise by Sammartino from under the gun was called by Sanioglu in the small blind, who then check-shoved with queen-jack for top two pair. Sammartino had king-ten for the flopped straight and the turn and river were both blanks.
What followed was a rampage by Stuer, who sent four players in a row to the rail to enter heads up with an overwhelming lead. First to go was Charlie Carrel, who four-bet shoved with the queen-seven suited and found no help against Stuer’s aces.
Javier Gomez Zapatero took fifth place after a battle of the blinds saw the Spaniard call three barrels of Stuer with the ace-eight. There were two eights on the flop, but Stuer managed to snag a runner-runner straight with jack-ten and shoved the river to pick up the call he wanted.
Sammartino’s exit in fourth place was an especially cruel one. After having dropped back into the pack of shorties, he Italian High Roller regular four-bet shoved with pocket aces and Stuer called with pocket jacks. Two hearts on the flop were followed by the ace of hearts on the turn, giving Sammartino top set, and another heart on the river completed a four-card flush for Stuer.
Muehloecker opted for the three-bet shove out of the small blind with jack-nine suited and Stuer called with pocket eights. Ultimately, the German ended with up with an eight-high straight and entered heads-up with a more than seven-to-one lead.
Juanda doubled once and closed the gap to a two-to-one lead only, but after having paid off a straight of Stuer, Juanda was back down to a mere 20 big blinds. The last hand saw Stuer three-bet shove with king-jack and Juanda called with ace-ten. The German-speaking rail asked for picture cards and their wish was granted with a king in the window.
€25,750 High Roller Results
|5||Javier Gomez Zapatero||Spain||€306,500|