A week of nosebleed poker at the Merit Casino, Hotel, and Spa in Cyprus came to an end today. Super High Roller Bowl Europe ended on a high, with a $3,690,000 payout going to the first-place finisher in SHRBE Event #8: $250,000 Main Event.
Despite the enormous cost of buying in, the Main Event still gathered 41 entries when all the rebuys and late entries were tallied up. At a cool quarter million a pop, that put $10,250,000 in the prize pool. That money was to be split among the top six finishers. The min-cash in this event—$512,500— was bigger than some of the first-place finishes in this series.
The event ultimately came down to a heads-up showdown between Wiktor “Limitless” Malinowski and Ivan Leow. Leow has over $9 million in live cashes. Malinowski less than $800k. But that number hides Malinowski’s years of experience playing in the highest stakes cash games online.
Both players had deep runs in the series before this event. Leow even managed to cash in event #5. So, both players were out for gold this time around, but only one could triumph. In the end, the win went to Malinowski.
Epic Heads up conclusion
Anyone who hoped the series would end with a bang was in for a treat.
After Ruan went back across the rail in third, heads-up play became a 12-round slug-fest. With both players comfortably deep-stacked thanks to the tourney’s glacial structure. As a result, there was plenty of room for each player to put in some fancy footwork.
There were several hours of play before the first all-in of heads-up occurred. That was an ace v. ace situation where Leow folded the better hand. At this point, the stacks were dead even at 5.1 million each, the blinds were at 75,000/150,000, and a break was imminent to prolong the agony.
The end came soon after the break. Leow took a few hits and found his stack dwindle below 1 million in chips. With the J♣4♣ he moved in and Malinowski snap-called with the 9♥8♦.
The flop rolled out A♠5♦6♦8♠4♥, and that was all she wrote.
Leow took $2,460,000 for his second-place finish.
Farewell, Super High (rock’n’)Rollers
SHRBE has been a huge success.
Viewers of the PokerGO event coverage got to see Phil Ivey win his second post-pandemic tournament. They also saw Tony G return to poker, mixing it up in the cash games and taking down two separate short deck tournaments within days of each other. Players and their backers won and lost millions over the last few days.
If the WSOP hadn’t broken its vaccine news at the same time, you could almost close your eyes and imagine it was 2009 again, back when Black Friday was just a glint in some G-man’s eye.
One of the super high roller events weaknesses as a test of skill is the small fields of mostly the same players. But this, for a spectator, is precisely what makes a series like this fun. Unlike the WSOP, you can follow familiar names through multiple tournaments. Final tables pit the same heroes, villains, and sidekicks against each other again and again.
The small fields reassure players and fans of the skill element in poker too. “Why do you think the same five guys make it to the final table of the World Series every year?” asked Mike McDermott in Rounders back in 1998. That’s no longer true of the World Series, huge fields see to that. But super high roller events deliver on McDermott’s rhetoric for Gen Z.
Congrats to Malinowski for wrapping up a great week of poker.
Super High Roller Bowl Europe Main Event: $250,000 buy in No Limit Hold’em complete final table results
|Wiktor “Limitless” Malinowski
Featured image source: Twitter