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Although two men came to the table on Saturday afternoon with a shot at becoming only the second two-time winner in European Poker Tour history, Sebastian Paulidenied both of them – including runner-up Kevin MacPhee – en route to taking down the EPT London at the Grand Connaught Rooms in the United Kingdom.
After a week-long battle at the Grand Connaught Rooms in central London, Sebastian Pauli was crowned winner of the 11th EPT ever hosted in London. Pauli took home £499,700 after an epic finale table that turned out to be one of the most entertaining and high-level final tables in recent memory. Kevin MacPhee was the unfortunate runner-up, but the £308,500 prize he took home will surely be a nice consolation.
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To earn the win the 25-year-old Management and Economics student at Ruhr University had to overcome a very tough final table that featured two former EPT champions in Kevin MacPhee and Jake Cody.
Pauli came into the final day as the chip leader with more than a quarter of the chips in play. He was able to ride that chip lead to heads-up with just under a 2-to-1 chip advantage over Kevin MacPhee, who won the EPT Berlin main event in 2010 and was looking to join Vicki Coren as a multiple EPT main event winner. MacPhee fought his way off of the ropes after getting down early but ran into some big hands from Pauli and again found himself behind when the final hand arose.
The final table started with eight men hungry for an EPT title, two of which had already experienced that feeling before. Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody took down EPT Season 6 Deauville while MacPhee won the Season 6 Berlin title. These two champions turned out to be the headliners everyone expected them to be.
The first level of play at the final table was one of the most thrilling in the history of televised poker, but interestingly enough of the eight finalists were eliminated from play. Many big hands were made, but some of the folds were even bigger. Cody made the biggest fold of the day when he gave up with top pair top kicker on the river against Kevin Killeen’s kings.
Even though chips shifted around quite frequently the chip lead was never within reach for anyone besides Pauli, who carried a big advantage throughout the final table. Jonathan Bensadoun and Pablo Gordillo were among the first players to get in danger of being knocked out, but it took several hours before we lost our first player. Gordillo eventually hit the rail in eighth place for £51,900 when his ace-ten was no match for Killeen’s pair of treys.
Moments after Gordillo’s elimination it was Bensadoun who busted in seventh place for £75,900 when he ran with ace-queen into Artur Koren’spocket kings. At this point 67 hands had been played and Pauli had gradually been extending his lead. On the 78th hand of play Cody to doubled through Koren to 4.8 million with fours against ace-king, but the former Deauville champ would never get closer in chips to winning his second title than after this hand.
A few hands later Koren doubled through MacPhee and the lone American became one of the short stacks after this hand. On Hand #98 it was MacPhee’s turn to double up as Cody took a shot at knocking the player to his left out with king-queen suited against ace-three suited. MacPhee’s hand held up, levelling the playing field even more behind Pauli’s mountainous chip lead.
In the 30th level of play we lost Jakub Mroczek in sixth place for £104,200 when he ended up all in with ace-eight suited against Killeen’s tens. Mroczek had battled with a short stack for the entire final table and finishing sixth was nothing short of impressive.
Eighteen hands after Mroczek was knocked out MacPhee and Cody were all in against each other again. This time it was Cody who tanked for several minutes before calling MacPhee’s three-bet shove with queen-jack suited. MacPhee showed ace-eight suited, and while the river gave Cody a pair of jacks it also filled up MacPhee’s flush. Cody was now the short stack, and after chopping an all in for his tournament life, he was knocked out moments later by MacPhee. Cody took home £133,800 after putting on an amazing show this week, but it wasn’t his time yet to take down another EPT title.
EPT London Final Table Results