The first PokerStars Championship High Roller two months ago ended with a Team PokerStars Pro finishing fifth and a heads-up deal between a man named Greenwood from Toronto and a former Global Poker Index rankings leader.
This time, however, the Greenwood came up one spot shy of the win. But it's another familiar face hoisting yet another high roller trophy -- Steve O'Dwyer.
Make it a PokerStars Championship Panama trifecta for O'Dwyer, who cashed in the Main Event (48th), the Super High Roller (fourth), and takes down the High Roller to continue what is now a several-years-long tournament run.
Luc Greenwood was the victor two months ago in the Bahamas, topping Nick Petrangelo following a heads-up deal for the win. Today it was Luc's brother Sam getting all of the way to the heads-up deal before O'Dwyer took it down.
Just five were left from the 110-entry field for today's final day of play, with around two-thirds of the tournament's $1 million-plus prize pool to be divided between them.
O'Dwyer came in today as the chip leader. Meanwhile as the lone Team PokerStars Pro left, Felipe Ramos, began as the shortest of the five. As such, Ramos unsurprisingly folded through the first half-hour or so while looking for a hand behind which to wager his 10 BB-ish stack.
Finally K♠K♣ came along for Ramos, but A♥A♦ came for Francois Billard on the same hand, and five cards later the Brazilian was on the rail in fifth. That matched the finish of his red-spade wearing teammate Daniel Negreanu who took fifth in the PokerStars Championship Bahamas High Roller in January.
Billard soon grabbed the chip lead while Chris Hunichen became short, then Hunichen doubled through Billard and grabbed some more from Greenwood to move in front by the day's first break. But during the next level Greenwood went up, Hunichen went down, then Hunichen doubled through Greenwood and all were in shouting distance of each other once again.
The back-and-forthing continued, then O'Dwyer sniffed out a Hunichen bluff to win a big pot and retake the lead. Not long after that Hunichen was all in for it all with a pair of eights versus Billard's ace-queen suited, and while the flop and turn were fine for the "Big Huni" he was sunk by a queen on the river for a fourth-place finish.
It took considerably less time for the next to fall, as O'Dwyer and Billard soon found themselves in a preflop bidding war that ended with an O'Dwyer four-bet shove and a call from Billard.
O'Dwyer had two black tens and Billard overcards with ace-queen with a spade. Three more spades by the turn added flush hopes for Billard, but a red seven on the end meant an end to the Canadian's run.
That catapulted O'Dwyer back to a 4-to-1 chip lead to start heads-up play, but a quick Greenwood double with pocket fours versus O'Dwyer's ace-king brought the pair closer to even with O'Dwyer right at 3 million and Greenwood close to 2.5 million.
The clock was paused, the calculators brought out, and after discussions concluded a deal was done, leaving a small slice of the prize pool ($8,589) and the big trophy for which to play.
The first hand of heads-up saw Greenwood bluff big on the river with two pair on the board, O'Dwyer correctly call with ace-high, and Greenwood suddenly down in the danger zone. The Main Event final table nearby with its raucous rail finally quieted down as the players went on a dinner break, and the play between O'Dwyer and Greenwood similarly fell into a more tranquil mode.
About 15 minutes later, however, Greenwood was calling an O'Dwyer button open, then after a 3♦2♥7♦ flop check-raised an O'Dwyer continuation bet. The latter moved all in, and Greenwood called showing Q♣3♠ for treys. O'Dwyer had 5♠4♠ for an open-ender plus two live cards, and the 4♥ turn hit one of them. The T♥ completed the board, and after a little over six hours of play today, O'Dwyer had all the chips.
Today's finish marks a fourth time Sam Greenwood has taken runner-up in high rollers (including "super" high rollers) to go along with his one high roller win last December at EPT13 Prague -- keeping him in a tie with brother Luc for one high roller trophy apiece.
Meanwhile O'Dwyer moves up over $16.5 million in tournament earnings, having collected his eye-popping eighth first-place (!) in a high roller/super high roller.
Here are the full final table results, including the last three knockouts from last night:
PokerStars Championship Panama $10K High Roller
Dates: March 18-20, 2017
Buy-in: $10,000 + $300
Total prize pool: $1,067,000
|4||Chris Hunichen||United States||$100,300|
|5||Team PokerStars Pro Felipe Ramos||Brazil||$80,560|
|6||Anthony Zinno||United States||$62,690|
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.