Pieter DeKorver won €2.3 million first prize in EPT Grand Final

May 4, 2009 by Dan Brown in EPT

The PokerStars EPT Grand Final has come to a conclusion and Pieter DeKorver takes home the massive €2.3 million first prize. He bobbed and weaved his way through one of the largest fields of the season and can now look at the World Series of Poker as his next playground.

The final table started as they all have lately, very slowly. Players were tight and nobody dared call an all in for fear of being the first one launched from the table. It took about 30 hands before any significant action happened and then finally both Traply and Mikkelson looked down at a couple of monster hands and the fireworks started.


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Traply and Mikkelson started the day in 3rd and 1st place respectively and if Mikkelson were to take down this hand he would have a 4:1 chip lead over the next closest player. Mikkelson called the all in with his QQ and saw one of three hands you don’t want to be up against in that position, AK. Luckily, the ladies held up for once and the chips were shipped. Now with over 12,000,000 in chips, he was clearly in control.

Mikkelson picked off one more player, Daniel Zink, to get it down to seven and then turned the duties over Mikhail Tulchinskiy. Starting the day with a little over 3 million, he welcomed the action from the short stacks and took out Alem Shah and Eric Qu. With the new chips, he was over 7,000,000 and now putting pressure on Mikkelson for the lead.

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However, as shorthanded poker tends to do, everything changed quickly and the momentum of the table started to swing to the players that had been merely spectators at that point. Pieter DeKorver started to make his move and his cards allowed him to do so by slamming Mikkelson’s stack time and again. From the penthouse to the outhouse he went and 4th place was all he could muster with that giant stack to start the day off.

Matt Woodward then stepped up and took out Tulchinskiy and they players were finally heads up for the largest payout in EPT history. The players started the round back and forth until DeKorver had enough and started to get super aggressive. He took advantage of Tulchinskiy’s passive style and continued to scoop up chips.

At the start of the final hand, DeKorver held about a 3,000,000 chip lead and looked down at 96s to start the hand. The flop came out 10-6-5h and both players hit the 6, but while Woodward was sitting with a weaker kicker, he was also looking at the only flush draw as he held 6c4h in his hand. Figuring he was good on the flush draw, he fired out a bet of 700,000 and DeKorver tried to push him around again and immediately went all in. Woodward had the right read and called having to know he needed to hit the flush in order to win. The board never improved and he watched the €2,300,000 get shipped to the other side of the table.

This was another great tournament with a lot of the major players in poker going out early. The amateurs continue to target the pros and make their road to the final table more difficult. The WSOP is getting ever closer and it should be another great series with a lot of new faces becoming instant millionaires.

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