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Tureniec Tops Tough EPT

Swede Masters Scandinavian Slaughterhouse

by Rebecca McAdam |  Published: May 01, 2011

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Swedish professional Michael Tureniec took home €496,271 and his first European Poker Tour title from the 2011 PokerStars EPT Copenhagen, bringing his career earnings to $3,422,518. Tureniec came very close to winning an EPT title once before, when he took second place at EPT London in 2008. Other notable finishes included the runner-up showing from long-time chip leader in the event, Per Linde. The fellow Swede took home €328,612 in second place after falling to top Tureniec. An eighth-place finish was booked by Finnish professional Juha Helppi, who was awarded €39,755.
Here is a look at the chip counts when the final table began:
Andrea Dalle Molle (Italy) 417,000
Per Linde (Sweden) 4,980,000
Nikolas Liakos (Sweden) 1,493,000
Mudassar Khan (Denmark) 823,000
Kevin Iacofano (USA) 1,844,000
John Eames (UK) 1,060,000
Michael Tureniec (Sweden) 1,310,000
Juha Helppi (Finland) 1,470,000
It was the most well-known professional at the final table who was the first to fall, when Helppi picked the wrong time to hold pocket queens. John Eames woke up with pocket kings and he hit a third king on the flop to send Helppi out in eighth place with €39,755. Just 20 minutes later Eames scored another knockout. Andreas Dalle Molle pinned his tournament hopes on Q-J suited but once again Eames was armed with pocket kings to win the hand. Molle took home €60,357 in seventh place.
The bust outs kept falling quickly as Tureniec scored his first elimination of the day just 15 minutes later. He held pocket fives and Mudassar Khan was all in with A-J. The board brought no help and Tureniec won the coin flip. Khan was awarded €80,476 in sixth place. Nikolas Liakos was able to double up after this but he wasn’t able to avoid elimination just a short way down the road. He held A-8 against the pocket sevens of Tureniec and the Swede won the classic coin flip to eliminate Liakos in fifth place (€100,595).
Tureniec continued his strong run with another knockout to take the tournament down to the final three. Kevin Iacofano was the victim in fourth place and he took home €134,127. Tureniec had flopped trip tens when the American decided to make his move with a pair of sevens and his tournament concluded.
The battle for third was a lengthy one and when the dust settled Eames was the odd man out of the final heads-up match. He had gone on a great run to make it to third place on the final day, courtesy of some well-timed pocket kings, and he increased his prize earnings to €187,778. On his final hand Eames held K♣ J♣ and he was up against the A♥ Q♦ of Tureniec. The board ran out K♥ 9♠ 5♥ A♣ 7♦ and the final match was set.
Heads-Up chip counts:
Michael Tureniec — 9,510,000
Per Linde — 3,885,000
Linde moved all-in early in the final match but action was quiet during the first stretch of heads-up play. Tureniec held his large lead until Linde managed to double up with A♦ 5♦ over the A-8 of Tureniec on a K♦ J♣ 4♥ 6♦ Q♦ board to grow his stack to 5.63 million. Tureniec edged back out in front again after that but then Linde doubled again, this time with pocket queens, however his stack was still under 4 million after the hand.
It looked like the final might play late into the night, but things came to an abrupt end around 8:30 p.m. Tureniec bet 225,000 on the button and Linde raised to 600,000. Tureniec reraised all in and Linde made the all-in call.
Their cards:
Linde: 7♥ 7♦
Tureniec: A♠ J♣
Board: 5♣ 3♦ 2♣ J♦ 4♣
Tureniec won the hand and the EPT title along with €496,271. Linde was rewarded with the runner-up prize worth €328,612.
Final-Table Results:
First Michael Tureniec DKK 3,700,000 (€496,271)
Second Per Linde DKK 2,450,000 (€328,612)
Third John Eames DKK 1,400,000 (€187,778)
Fourth Kevin Iacofano DKK 1,000,000 (€134,127)
Fifth Nikolas Liakos DKK 750,000 (€100,595)
Sixth Mudassar Khan DKK 600,000 (€80,476)
Seventh Andrea Dalla Molle DKK 450,000 (€60,357)
Eighth Juha Helppi DKK 296,400 (€39,755)

Tureniec Talks Success and Variance
Rebecca McAdam: First of all, Congratulations!
Michael Tureniec: Thank you very much!
RM: You came so close before on the EPT, what did it feel like to be the last one standing?
MT: It felt so good to win, if you’re very competitive you won’t settle for anything less than first, and since I think I played pretty bad against against Michael Martin back in London ‘08 it felt great to get another chance and I gave my best to win this time.
RM: Would you look at it then like you weren’t ready for the win in ‘08, but you were in Copenhagen?
MT: Well I was so happy securing a lot of cash after a four-way deal in London that I lost the adrenaline that had kept me going, so I slipped, which I regret a lot even though I was very happy for the big win and second of course. I worked a lot on my game and think the win was more skill dependent in Copenhagen, whereas it was more luck dependent in London.
RM: What did you do differently this time around? Or have you improved your game in general over the past two years or so?
MT: I’ve been playing a lot, discussing hands and theory with friends, been railing friends playing and vice versa.
RM: It was a pretty tough final table in Copenhagen.
MT: Yeah, probably one of the toughest finals I´ve tabled.
RM: Had you played with any of them before?
MT: I’ve played two final tables with [John] Eames before — the English Poker Open 2009 and we chopped the €2,000 side event in EPT Barcelona in 2010, but he always loses to me so I knew he wouldnt be a problem [laughs]. [Juha] Helppi and I have played a lot lately as well and I think I have a pretty good clue how he plays. Per [Linde] and I played for the first time on day 4 and his style felt kind of random to me but he was definitely one of the toughest opponents. Liakos and I have been friends since we were like seven and started playing at the same time, so I guess we have a pretty good idea about each other’s game.
RM: How did you find the heads up with Linde then? Did you see a pattern after a while?
MT: I noticed I got away with being more aggressive than him. I three-bet way more and he just folded for most of the time. It seemed like he wanted to play small pots mostly, so I tried to keep playing aggressive without being wreckless.
RM: Were there many key hands or was it just bit by bit?
MT: I think it was mostly bit by bit. He managed to double up twice while being down to 20-35 big blinds, but of course I had some big pots from time to time when the board ran out very good for me, and if I was bluffing, the best cards to continue the bluff fell on the turn and river.
RM: Was there a point during the entire event when you felt like you were going to win?
MT: I thought there was a good chance that I could make the final table after day 2, but to win… I dont know, things can turn so fast. After being pretty shortstacked and getting it in with 5-5 versus A-J on the final table I thought I had a decent chance.
RM: Did you do anything special after you won?
MT: I went to Lund in Sweden where a lot of my friends live and had a nice party at a night club.
RM: Great, do you usually take some time off after a big win?
MT: It depends. After london I didn’t play for a couple of weeks. This time, there was a €2,500 event at the casino in Stockholm so I played that one, but I haven’t been playing much online. The plan is to take some vacation though since I’ve been playing a bit too much lately.
RM: If you don’t play for a while, do you find you get a bit rusty? Or is it good for your game?
MT: You don’t recognise the situations as good as when you’re playing often, but it can be good for you as well to get a break for a while.
RM: After time off, would you start playing lower stakes just to get back into the swing of things or just jump in the deep end?
MT: Cash games — I would be playing lower stakes. Tournaments — I would play the same stakes.
RM: So what kind of cash games and tournaments would you normally play, and how often?
MT: Cash games — mostly 25-50 and 50-100, tournaments — from 150 and above. I haven’t played much online lately but maybe 1-2 times a week.
RM: Hold’em only?
MT: Yeah.
RM: But you look like you’ve been doing really well online. You recently won just over $128,000 in an FTOPS XIX event!
MT: Yeah I finished second to Jonas Klausen in a $300 Rush multi-entry tournament.
RM: Is there a big difference to the way you play online and live?
MT: Yeah there is, I’d say I’m a bit more creative while playing live.
RM: Do you play a lot of live events?
MT: I’ve been playing a lot of live. I didn’t do too well in 2010 but I’ve played most of the EPT’s, the Partouche, Irish Open, and the WPT’s in Paris.
RM: Why do you think you weren’t doing well?
MT: I was doing well online during 2010, so I think/hope its just variance. I managed to finish 2010 off with a chop in the €2,000 event with Eames as I mentioned earlier but that and a small cash in an Aussie Millions side were my only live cashes during 2010.
RM: Well EPT Copenhagen is usually thought of as one of the more difficult fields, so that’s a good way to start 2011! Would you agree that it’s one of the harder fields?
MT: Yeah, it’s definitely one of the toughest tournaments along with WSOP Europe and EPT London.
RM: You must be feeling pretty good about your game now then?
MT: [Laughs] Yeah it has worked out just fine lately. ♠