Returning for what turned out to be a relatively short day of poker, Thomas Muhlocker has defeated Daniel Negreanu and eight other final table contestants to win the European Poker Tour Barcelona €10,000 High Roller event.
The day’s proceeding started when the unofficial final table of nine returned to the tournament room, each aiming to claim a good slice of the huge payday on offer. Boasting names such as 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel, current World Series of Poker November Nine star David Benefield and the always dangerous five-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winning Pro Daniel Negreanu, the sparks were always going to fly from the get go.
Negreanu’s situation leading into the event was particularly engaging, as he had disagreed with a ruling so ferociously on day one he essentially removed himself from the tournament, returning only late in the day with his A-game on display and forcing his way into the final.
Progressing quite rapidly, the first elimination came quite early when a large confrontation with Ole Schemion left Raoul Refos crippled beyond salvage, setting up the official final table.
Benefield, who had carried the short stack into the final table, found his tournament come to an end when he moved all in against Schemion before the flop, only to be completely dominated.
Schemion’s streak of high fortune continued almost immediately after dispatching Benefield, when Richard Yong opened with a pre-flop raise against a hidden hand of pocket Aces. Letting out a chuckle and shake of the head, Yong left the final table in seventh position for a total prize of €66,000.
Although it seemed he posed an unstoppable threat to the rest of the table, Schemion lost the majority of his stack just a few hands later when Negreanu pulled a flush over the top of his substantially weaker hand, leading to an eventual bust at the hands of Jean-Noel Thorel.
Duhamel and start-of-the-day chip leader Joni Jouhkimainen followed next, the latter running into pocket aces and forced to settle for fourth place.
By this point, Negreanu was without doubt commanding the table and further extended his lead heading into heads-up play by disposing of Thorel with an amazing straight flush.
Able to score his first double up with an over-pair over Negreanu’s pocket fours, Muhlocker made the killing move on pocket nines when Negreanu had once again pulled a pair of fours.
For his steady, under-the-radar technique, Muhlocker walked away with a handy €390,700 and the added confidence gained from beating the five-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner in heads-up play.
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