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Michael Eiler Wins PokerStars European Poker Tour Vienna Main Event

Eiler Takes EPT Vienna Title After Dramatic Final Table


EPT Vienna Champ Michael Eiler. Credit: Neil Stoddart and PokerStarsAn explosive final table at the PokerStars €5,300 buy-in European Poker Tour Vienna main event saw 20-year-old Michael Eiler become the first German winner since Team PokerStars pro Sandra Naujoks won EPT Dortmund in season 5.

Eiler began the final table mid-pack with all eyes on chip leader Daniel Negreanu. It wasn’t to be for the Team PokerStars Pro player this time however, and without too many swings, Eiler eventually made his way to heads up with another Team PokerStars pro, Martin Hruby.

Hruby had the second shortest stack starting the day but after some small-ball poker and then one giant hand he launched into the lead. Eiler would get the better of him in the end however and take home the €700,000 first prize for topping a 587-strong field. Hruby left with €470,000 for his runner-up finish in Austria’s richest poker tournament.

Here is a look at the chip counts when the final table began:

Seat 1: Luca Cainelli (Italy) — 1,935,000
Seat 2: Daniel Negreanu (Canada) — 5,070,000
Seat 3: Matthias Lotze (Germany) — 1,210,000
Seat 4: Andreas Wiese (Germany) — 730,000
Seat 5: Martin Hruby (Czech Republic) — 975,000
Seat 6: Konstantinos Nanos (Greece) — 3,635,000
Seat 7: Michael Eiler (Germany) — 2,160,000
Seat 8: Bruno Launais (France) — 1,785,000

Frenchman Bruno Launais was the first to hit the rail after tangling with Italian Luca Cainelli. Launais opened to 115,000 and Cainelli made the call, as did Negreanu. The big blind, Nanos, thought about it and passed. The flop was dealt JClub Suit 8Heart Suit 2Heart Suit and Launais bet 175,000. Cainelli made it 550,000 and Negreanu passed. Launais made his last stand, shoving all in, and Cainelli made the call flipping over AClub Suit ASpade Suit. Launais revealed ADiamond Suit JHeart Suit, and the 5Club Suit turn and 2Club Suit river did nothing to help. He left the event in eighth place with €60,000 for his efforts.

Matthias Lotze. Credit: Neil Stoddart and PokerStarsThe short stack, German Andreas Wiese, then doubled through Negreanu after the two got all in preflop with pocket queens versus pocket tens respectively. Wiese made a set of queens on the flop, and then turned his sights on Matthias Lotze. After taking a little beating from Wiese, Lotze got a double up of his own through Michael Eiler with A-Q versus pocket kings. An ace on the turn livened things up a little putting Lotze back in the game.

At this point, Martin Hruby became the shortest stack and actually had not played a hand at the final table yet. He was down to 400,000 when he finally began making some all-in moves. Despite being so low in chips, Hruby was a long time away from making an exit, and it was Lotze who would become the next casualty of the day, at the hands of Cainelli.

The Italian raised to 230,000 from under the gun and Lotze moved all in for 1,065,000. Cainelli went into the tank and eventually made the call with pocket jacks. Lotze’s pocket tens stayed behind on the KHeart Suit 9Heart Suit 3Heart Suit 9Diamond Suit KSpade Suit board and the PokerStars qualifier hit the rail with €76,000 for seventh place.

Negreanu then regained the chip lead from Nanos in a battle of wills, just in time to see another casualty. Andreas Wiese moved all in from the cut-off for 705,000 and Michael Eiler made the call. Eiler’s pocket kings were up against Wiese’s AHeart Suit 5Spade Suit and held, sending Wiese out in sixth place, €105,000 richer.

Negreanu and Hruby were successfully chipping up when along came the key hand of the final table. Cainelli bet 290,000 from the hijack, Negreanu called from the cut-off, as did Hruby from the button. The flop was dealt KSpade Suit 8Heart Suit 5Heart Suit and Cainelli bet 725,000. Negreanu made the call, as did Hruby once again. The 9Spade Suit was dealt on the turn and then all hell broke loose. Cainelli moved all in for 1,575,000 and Negreanu quickly moved all in behind him. Shockingly, Hruby called all in and the three flipped over their cards:

Cainelli: ASpade Suit ADiamond Suit
Negreanu: KDiamond Suit 9Diamond Suit
Hruby: 7Club Suit 6Diamond Suit

Daniel Negreanu. Credit: Neil Stoddart and PokerStarsThe river was the 5Club Suit and Hruby took down the whole lot with a turned straight. He stacked up 10,795,000 in chips, while Negreanu fell to 2,600,000, and Cainelli was sent to the other side of the rail with €140,000 for fifth place.

Wanting part of the action, Eiler then moved all in from the button with pocket fours, and was called by the new chip leader, Hruby, in the big blind with ADiamond Suit 10Diamond Suit. The fours held to improve Eiler’s stack and take a little away from Hruby’s ammunition.

Next it was Negreanu’s turn to hit the rail. He moved all in from the button for 1,205,000 and the now very active Hruby made the call from the small blind. Negreanu’s QSpade Suit 8Spade Suit was beaten by Hruby’s AClub Suit 4Heart Suit. Hruby paired his ace on the turn and Negreanu’s hopes of an EPT win and obtaining poker’s triple crown were put on the side burner.

Negreanu, who had not cashed in an EPT main event until his min-cash at EPT London recently, goes home to Vegas with €175,000 for fourth place, three places earlier than planned.

The chip counts threehanded were:

Martin Hruby — 9,440,000
Konstantinos Nanos — 4,100,000
Michael Eiler — 4,030,000

Hruby continued to further his lead, largely through Nanos, and eventually put the PokerStars qualifier out with KHeart Suit 9Heart Suit versus Nanos’ QSpade Suit 9Spade Suit. The board ran ASpade Suit KClub Suit 6Club Suit 10Heart Suit 2Heart Suit and Nanos, who had proved himself to be a force to be reckoned with throughout the event, had to make do with €265,000 for third place.

Chips began flying back and forth between Hruby and Eiler as the two struggled for glory. One of two key heads-up hands then occurred when Eiler bet 450,000 and Hruby shoved all in. Eiler called and turned over ASpade Suit JDiamond Suit dominating Hruby’s AClub Suit 3Heart Suit. The board fell JClub Suit 6Spade Suit 2Club Suit 4Heart Suit 3Heart Suit and Eiler took the lead with 9,995,000 to Hruby’s 7,620,000.

Martin Hruby. Credit: Neil Stoddart and PokerStarsEiler then furthered his lead to 11.9 million with another key hand. Eiler bet 425,000 from the button and Hruby called. The flop came QDiamond Suit 6Heart Suit 4Diamond Suit and the two players checked. The 2Spade Suit was dealt on the turn and Eiler bet 525,000. Hruby check-called, and the two saw the 4Club Suit river. After some thought, Hruby check-called Eiler’s river bet of 1,225,000 but mucked when he saw Eiler’s Q-10.

The final hand of the event came when Eiler open-shoved from the button with ADiamond Suit 10Diamond Suit and Hruby called for his remaining 3,900,000 in chips with 2Club Suit 2Heart Suit. The flop fell totally in Eiler’s favour – KDiamond Suit JDiamond Suit 8Diamond Suit and Hruby was in need of running deuces, eights, jacks, or kings, to double up. The turn was the 3Spade Suit however, and the useless river was the 4Diamond Suit. Hruby was flushed away and Eiler became an EPT champion.

Largely an online poker player, Michael “MAE9690” Eiler won the Sunday Million last March for a payday of $260,000. The German champ who won his EPT Vienna seat via PokerStars, said, “It was my first EPT but I’m definitely going to play more now. This is really a happy moment for me. The money is great obviously but the title is worth so much to me; an EPT title is a dream for a poker player.”

Here are the results and payouts:

1. Michael Eiler, Germany, €700,000
2. Martin Hruby, Czech Republic, €470,000
3. Konstantinos Nanos, Greece, €265,000
4. Daniel Negreanu, Canada, €175,000
5. Luca Cainelli, Italy, €140,000
6. Andreas Wiese, Germany, €105,000
7. Matthias Lotze, Germany, €76,000
8. Bruno Launais, France, €60,000

Other champions during the EPT’s stay at Austria’s Kursalon included the €330 Ladies event winner Alessandra Cravero; the €1,000 H.O.R.S.E. victor, Team PokerStars pro Marcel Luske, and the €10,000 no-limit hold’em event champ, EPT London finalist Fernando Brito.

All photographs courtesy of Neil Stoddart and PokerStars.