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EPT: Michael Martin Wins EPT London

Eric Liu Dominates Most of the Way but Martin Pulls off the Greatest Comeback in EPT History

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The final eight players took their seats at 1:30 p.m. GMT for the final day of the £5,200 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event at the Pokerstars European Poker Tour London stop. The record field of 596 players had helped create a £1,000,000 first-place prize, and each of the players remaining was ready to play their way to victory. Here is a look at the starting chip stacks and seating chart:

Eric LiuSeat 1: Eric Liu (USA) -- 1,308,000
Seat 2: Johannes Strassmann (Germany) --434,000
Seat 3: Philippe D'Auteuil (Candaa) -- 476,000
Seat 4: Antony Lellouche (France) -- 1,022,000
Seat 5: Michael Tureniec (Sweden) -- 1,331,000
Seat 6: Alan Smurfit (Ireland) -- 396,000
Seat 7: Marcin Horecki (Poland) -- 309,000
Seat 8: Michael Martin (USA) -- 718,000

The final table was surrounded by the sacked tables of the £20,000 PokerStars.com EPT London £1 Million Showdown. The likes of Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen, Patrik Antonius, and Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu and Barry Greenstein filled out that field, of which the final nine will take their place at the final table tomorrow.

The story at the final table that took place tonight was one told by Eric Liu early. He began the day much the same way he had played the entire tournament, he was very aggressive out of the gate. He orchestrated a series of preflop raises that were rarely called, and his stack grew at a steady pace the whole way. Even when he was set back by the occasional double up of his opponent, Liu was back to raising the majority of the pots preflop a few minutes later. Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki began the day much the same way he had played the whole tournament as well, on a short stack. But he used a multitude of all-in bets to double up at some key times, and collect chips to pad his stack when no one decided to play with him. Michael Martin began the day card dead, but he recovered nicely to keep his stack consistently around 1 million heading into the dinner break.

After dinner, all bets were off, and the big stacks and short stacks switched spots, and then did so again on the way to the head's-up match. Liu was eliminated in fourth place, while Martin saw his stack shrink to 90,000 before he staged the greatest comeback in EPT history to take a massive chip lead into the heads-up match against Michael Tureniec (read about all of these hands in the section below) and eventually win it all. Martin walked away with his first major tournament title and the £1,000,000 first-place prize. The win also gave Martin 1,920 Card Player Player of the Year points, which gives him 3,320 for the year (good for 10th place on the POY leader board).

Here are the final-table results:

1: Michael Martin (USA) -- £1,000,000
2: Michael Tureniec (Sweden) -- £525,314
3: Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki (Poland) £303,439
4: Eric Liu (USA) -- £234,920
5: Philippe D'Auteuil (Canada) -- £195,766
6: Alan Smurfit (Ireland) -- £153,351
7: Johannes Strassmann (Germany) -- £120,723
8: Antony Lellouche (France) -- £81,569

Here are the big hands from the final table, as featured in CardPlayer.com’s live updates:

Anthony Lellouche Eliminated in 8th Place (£81,569)

Anthony Lellouche

Anthony Lellouche was on a short stack after he doubled up Johannes Strassmann. He then decided to move that all in a few hands later and Strassmann called him down. Their cards:

Lellouche: A 9
Strassmann: K J

Board: K 10 6 7 10

Strassmann won the hand to grow his stack to 900,000 and Lellouche was eliminated in eighth place. The Frenchman took home £81,569 in prize money.

Johannes Strassmann Eliminated in Seventh Place (£120,723)

Johannes Strassmann was knocked down to a low stack after he doubled up Marcin Horecki, and he found himself all in a few hands later. Strassmann was all in preflop and Michael Martin called him down. Their cards:

Strassmann: J J
Martin: A Q

Board: Q 9 5 5 6

Strassmann was eliminated in seventh place, and he will take home £120,723 in prize money. Martin climbs back to the 1 million mark once again.

Alan SmurfitAlan Smurfit Eliminated in Sixth Place (£153,351)

Michael Martin moved all in preflop for 765,000 and Alan Smurfit made the all-in call for just 180,000. Their cards:

Martin: J J
Smurfit: A 4

Board: K J 3 5 5

Smurfit was eliminated in sixth place, and he took home £153,351 in prize money. Martin was back over 1 million once again.

Philippe Dauteuil Eliminated in Fifth Place (£195,766)

Philippe Dauteuil moved all in preflop and Marcin Horecki moved all in over the top of Dauteuil. Everyone else folded, and the two players turned up their hands:

Dauteuil: 8 8
Horecki: K K

Board: A 7 7 4 5

Dauteuil was eliminated in fifth place, and he took home £195,766 in prize money.

Eric Liu Crippled

Michael Tureniec got it all in preflop and Eric Liu made the call. Their cards:

Liu: A 6

Tureniec: A A

Board: J 7 5 7 10

Tureniec doubled up on the hand to take the chip lead, while Liu was below 500,000.

Michael MartinEric Liu Doubles Up - Michael Martin Crippled

Eric Liu moved all in preflop for 585,000 and Michael Martin moved all in over the top of him. Everyone else folded and the players turned up their cards:

Martin: 2 2
Liu: A 10

Board: K Q J K 7

Liu doubled up on the hand to grow his stack back to 1 million, and Martin was now on life support with less than 100,000.

The Michael Martin Comeback

Hand 1:

After he was crippled, Michael Martin moved all in preflop on the very next hand. Both Michael Tureniec and Marcin Horecki both called and the board was dealt K 6 2 K 4 as Horecki and Tureniec checked it down. They turned up their hands on the end, and Martin doubled up with pocket eights in the hole over Turniec's A-7 and Horecki's Q-3. Martin was now up to 305,000.

Hand 2:

On the very next hand Martin moved all in again after Tureniec raised to 240,000. Tureniec called down the raise and they turned up their cards:

Michael MartinTureniec: K 7
Martin: 9 9

Board: K J 7 7 9

Martin was now up to 695,000.

Hand 3:

Martin was all in again the hand after that for 695,000 and Tureniec quickly called him down. Their cards:

Martin: A A
Tureniec: Q J

Board: 5 3 2 4 9

Martin doubled up again, and he was very much alive again in this tournament.

Eric Liu Eliminated in Fourth Place (£234,920) 

Eric Liu moved all in preflop and Michael Martin made the call. Their cards:

Liu: J 10
Martin: A 9

Board: A K 5 A 7

Liu was eliminated in fourth place, and he took home £234,920 in prize money.

Marcin HoreckiMarcin Horecki Eliminated in Third Place (£303,439)

Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki moved all in and Michael Martin came over the top of him all in. Tureniec got out of the way, and the last two players turned over their cards:

Horecki: K 8
Martin: K J

Board: Q 6 3 8 J

Horecki was eliminated in third place, and he took home £303,439 in prize money.

Heads-up Chip Counts:

Michael Martin: 4,800,000
Michael Tureniec: 1,205,000

Michael Tureniec Doubles Up

Michael Martin moved all in preflop and Michael Tureniec made the all-in call. Their cards:

Martin: 7 7
Tureniec: A J

Board: A A 2 K 3

Tureniec doubled up on the hand, and he was back in the match.

Penultimate Call of the Tournament

Michael Martin raised to 250,000 preflop and Michael Tureniec made the call. The flop was dealt J 10 6 and both players checked. The turn brought the 3 and Tureniec opened the action for 380,000. Martin made the call. The J fell on the river and Tureniec led out once again, this time for 680,000. Martin went into the tank for a minute and eventually made the call. Tureniec revealed Q-4 for a bluff, and Martin showed K-10 for two pair, jacks and 10s. Martin took down the large pot and grew his stack to 4,630,000 to take a huge lead in the heads-up match. Tureniec now held just 1,375,000.

Michael Martin Wins EPT London (£1,000,000)

Michael Tureniec got all of his chips into the middle against Michael Martin and they turned up their cards:

Tureniec: K 9
Martin: 4 4

Board: 6 3 2 4 2

Martin won the tournament on the hand, and he won £1,000,000 in prize money for the first major tournament win of his career. Michael Tureniec took home £525,314 for his second-place finish.