The Super High Roller Bowl Europe at the Merit Hotel, Casino, and Spa in Cyprus saw its third champion crowned today. The SHRBE keeps delivering, we got a Phil Ivey victory earlier in the week and this time Antanas Guoga won—better known as “Tony G”.
“I’ve been focused, I’ve been playing well. I’ve been enjoying poker again,” Guoga said in his post-game interview. “This is my comeback tournament. And I think I am back.”
Event #3 at the SHRBE was another $25,000 buy-in short deck tourney. This one garnered 47 entries. That was one fewer player than Event #1–the other $25k short deck event in the series. This made for a prize pool of $1,125,000 which was to be split by the top six finishers.
Guoga attributes some of his recent focus to an unusual source. He’s spent the last two weeks fasting. His only intake is water and salt. In part he says this is for his health, in part for a kind of ascetic kick, and in part it lends him focus.
“I’m very happy, very stoked. I guess my fasting helped,” he told interviewers.
Guoga had to beat a field that included Cary Katz, Phil Ivey, and Richard Yong. He also had to dominate a final table lineup of Ivan Leow, Boris Turitsa, Paul Phua, Santi Jiang, Robert Flink, and a heads-up showdown with Chris Brewer.
Tony tweeted about his victory. “Everyone’s a winner and especially me this time!” Guoga wrote after he took the tournament down. “Amazing to win the 25k NLH Short Deck.”
The comeback man
Guoga hasn’t spent a lot of time workshopping his strategy for this event. So he had to rely on his instincts and a bit of luck.
“I guess [short deck] brings everybody back a bit,” he said. “I haven’t studied this game. I just play. I mean, I know the maths pretty well so it is easy for me to play it kind of decent. Then there’s a bit of luck. I had some very good situations.”
While most of the poker world’s eyes were darting back and forth between the chip stacks of Tom Dwan and Phil Hellmuth on High Stakes Duel, the SHRBE $25k short deck tourney was winding up Day 1 play as the money bubble approached.
On Day 2 Guoga faced the final six players. Despite the murderer’s row of high roller regs standing between him and the title, he felt pretty good going in.
“It’s always very difficult to win a tournament,” he said of the experience. “Especially against the best in the world—you know, against the likes of Phil Ivey. I felt I was holding my own, you know. Which is good. I didn’t feel I was outclassed.”
The final hand
By the time Tand, Phua, Jiang, and Flink had busted, Guoga had a solid but not unimpeachable lead. His 7.6 million to Brewer’s 5.7 million.
It took Guoga a while to finish the job. Heads-up play ran for a little under an hour before the dealer sent the K♠J♠ his way. With the ante at 60,000 and the pair playing with effective stacks of 2.8 million. Guoga’s shove might have seemed overly aggressive. However, Brewer still called Guoga off with the J♥T♥.
The board rolled out Q♦8♠6♦7♠J♦ giving both players a pair of jacks, with Guoga’s king-kicker breaking the tie.
Brewer took $247,500 for his second-place finish. From here on out the stakes at SHRBE only get higher with the $50k No Limit Hold’em event starting play today.
Super High Roller Bowl Europe Event #3: Short Deck Hold’em complete final table results
|7th||Boris Turitsa||N/A (Money bubble)|
Featured image source: Twitter