It was talked about for months. Some of the best players in the world made their reservations, and online players did what they could to win seats and make it to Salbaach-Hinterglemm, Austria. The PokerNews Cup Alpine was set to begin its preliminary tournaments in the beautiful Austrian Alps on March 21st, and many set out on the journey to get there.
Finally, that day arrived. Some players arrived in time for an inaugurational trip to the slopes - catch up with Tony G’s blog and extreme skiing - and the very first tournament of the series, such as Liv Boeree and Mark Vos, while others were on their way for some of the later events, Marcel Luske, Sandra Naujoks, Noah Boeken, John Duthie, David Saab, and Markus Gosler.
Event 1: €100 NLHE Welcome Event
The first event of the PokerNews Cup Alpine was the No-Limit Hold’em Welcome Event. With a reasonable €100 + 10 buy-in on a Saturday, it was just a little early for the tournament reporters to get settled in, so no live reporting was done for the event. Nevertheless, it was noted that nine players cashed and Orhan Kemal of Germany took the victory and €2,654 in first place cash. All of the money finishes were as follows:
1st place: Orhan Kemal €2,654
2nd place: Salvatore Cundari €1,600
3rd place: Yordan Mitrentsov €1,080
4th place: Nicholas Van der Marel € 900
5th place: Stephan Innester € 720
6th place: Yoeri Van Erp € 620
7th place: Erik Mertens € 540
8th place: Runnar Indepuu € 440
9th place: Christoph Berti € 370
Event 2: €50 NLHE w/Rebuys
Sunday brought with it the second event of the series, complete with tournament reporters in place and players anxious for some no-limit hold’em rebuy action. With Thomas Lamatsch as the tournament director and his somewhat original “Start, please,” command, the cards were dealt and action was underway.
By the time the first break hit, some of the larger stacks sat with players like Viliyan Petleshkov, Eduard Borochov, and Rasmus Gandrup. But the final numbers were just coming in at that point, which seemed to be of more interest than the chip leaders. The 63 players in the tournament managed to rebuy for €50 a total of 97 times, and 59 players accepted the 3,000-chip add-on at the end of the rebuy period. That created a prize pool of €10,623 and a €3,183 first prize awaiting the eventual winner.
One of the stories as play progressed came from the always-volatile player Mark Vos. After only a few levels, the late arrival Vos had just 2,000 chips, but he soon more than doubled through Reinhard Knitel to start his climb. By the time the tables were reduced to just two, Vos was the far-and-away chip leader with 69,400, with his nearest competitor being Petleshkov with 36,100 chips. But Vos soon fell a bit when Michael Kainz and Thomas Wagermaier both doubled through him. After dinner, Vos came back to lose another significant hand with a caught bluff by Christian Fischbacher. Vos then proceeded to double through Petleschkov on the very next hand, however, to stay alive.
As other players progressed toward the money to be found at the final table, it was Wagermaier who took his chance on the bubble by pushing all-in with pocket fives against the of Vos. The board came to give Vos the flush and eliminate Wagermaier on the money bubble.
The final table began with Fischbacher in the lead with 100,500 chips and Michael Kainz as the 12,300 short stack. Play began with Gerard Deckers being ousted by Mark Vos for a ninth place finish, then Rasmus Gandrup took the reigns and sent Petleshkov to the rail in eighth place. Vos took over again, this time to eliminate Michael Kainz and Joost Winjen in the same hand with K-6 when he flopped a six to outrun the K-10 and pocket threes of his opponents. Vos continued the rampage and eliminated Michael Pesek in fifth place, but sat back while Gandrup took out Christian Fischbacher in fourth. With Vos in the lead going into three-handed play, it didn’t take long for him to send Gandrup to the rail in third place to get to heads-up action.
The final two began their battle with Vos and his 3-to-1 advantage over Stephan Inhester, though the latter quickly doubled up and evened the score. But the final hand was what mattered, and it began with a limp from Inhester and a 99K raise from Vos. Inhester responded with an all-in raise with , but Vos called with a dominating . The board came to end it and leave Inhester with a second place finish.
Mark Vos happily took the first place nod for Event 2, along with the €3,183 in prize money for a day’s work. All of the payouts were as follows:
1st place: Mark Vos €3,183
2nd place: Stephan Inhester €1,920
3rd place: Rasmus Gandrup €1,280
4th place: Christian Fischbacher €1,060
5th place: Michael Pesek € 840
6th place: Joost Winjen € 740
7th place: Michael Kainz € 640
8th place: Viliyan Petleschkov € 540
9th place: Gerard Deckers € 420
Event 3: €100 NLHE w/Bounties
The next tournament on the schedule is a fan favorite. The €100 buy-in was a draw, but the bounties made it a must-play. There were €250 bounties on the head of Tony G, Mark Vos, and Erich Kollman, which put extra pressure on them to escape extreme plays in order to stay in the game.
Besides the three bounties, there were other well-known players in the crowd, such as John Duthie and Liv Boeree. All together, the field grew to 112 players, which put the prize pool at €10,294 to be split according to the finishes of the top nine players. The action was off to a swift start, but it was the bounties coming out on top, with Tony G and Mark Vos doubling up through players looking to collect a few extra Euros. Kollmann wasn’t so lucky, as he got his money in with pocket nines against the J-10 of Thomas Hammerl on a J-10-8 flop. Kollman left the tournament, while Hammerl took the €250 bounty and went into freeroll mode.
As play continued toward the bubble, that money bubble distinction finally went to Ralf Steiner, who was all-in with against the of Kristian Svensson. The board came to give Svensson the turned flush, leaving Steiner out of the tournament just before the dinner break with no money.
The final nine returned from dinner with Richard Pols in dominating chip position with 90K and Salvatore Cundari on the short stack with only 15K. Action began with Liv Boeree doubling through Simon Kullenberg to stay alive, and she went on to eliminate Cundari in ninth place soon after. Tony G took eighth place in a three-way hand versus Bessi Bessy and Mark Vos, which was won by Bessy, who took Tony G’s bounty to add to his ultimate winnings.
Boeree continued the rampage and took out Simon Kullenberg in seventh place, but it was Svensson who eliminated Vos in sixth to thin the field and collect the last bounty of €250. A major hand between Jeroen Kersjes, Bessy, and Pols took out the latter two players in fifth and fourth places respectively, and Boeree was finally ousted in third place at the hands of Svensson.
Heads-up action began with Svensson and his 110K in chips needing help against the 340K of Kersjes. Svensson received that help courtesy of a double-up, even taking a 10K chip lead over his opponent at that point, but he soon fell to a deficit again. A double-up assisted, but Svensson was short when the final hand came down.
It happened when Svensson pushed all-in with and received the call from Kersjes with . The board couldn’t have run out better for the chip leader when it produced to end the tournament. Svensson was left with second place, while Jeroen Kersjes won the tournament and €3,264 that went with the title. The money finishes were listed as follows:
1st place: Jeroen Kersjes €3,264
2nd place: Kristian Svensson €1,960
3rd place: Liv Boeree €1,360
4th place: Richard Pols €1,080
5th place: Bessi Bessy € 860
6th place: Mark Vos € 760
7th place: Simon Kullenberg € 660
8th place: Tony G € 540
9th place: Salvatore Cundari € 440
With that, the first three events of the PokerNews Cup Alpine were in the record books, and more were to come leading up to the main event. Stay tuned for more action directly from the Alps in Austria.
(Thanks to PokerNews for the live updates from which this information was compiled.)