Ihar Soika Defeats Mercier Heads-Up For EPT High Roller Title

Ihar Soika Defeats Mercier Heads-Up For EPT High Roller TitleThe European Poker Tour Barcelona continues to grow in popularity and following the record 1,496 player field set at the €5,000 super high roller main event, the €10,300 high roller, too, proved a record-breaking affair of it’s kind, with 393 players turning out to create a prize pool worth €3,851,400 ($5,072,968). Three days of action later, and it was Belarus’ Ihar Soika who finally overcame last opponent Jason Mercier to capture the title, and collect the huge €747,200 ($989,263) first-place prize.
The high roller event took place at the Casino Barcelona in Spain, and with 55 players getting paid noticeable finishes included Adrian Mateos Diaz in 49th (€18,900), Dan Smith in 40th (€18,900), Mickey Petersen in 37th (€22,700), George Danzer in 28th (€26,600), Vitaly Lunkin in 26th (€30,400), and Juha Helppi in 17th (€42,000).
By the time the final table of eight had been reached, the tournament still retained such talent as Stephen Chidwick (7th for €125,600), Marc-Andre Ladouceur (6th for €168,600) and Ami Barer (4th for €276,900), but eventually Ihar Soika would face off against top US pro Jason Mercier for the EPT crown.
As the final battle got underway, Soika held a more than a 2-to-1 chip advantage over Mercier, and before long that gap widened to 4-to-1 when Mercier responded to a 3-bet by pushing all-in holding 6-6. Soika made the call with A-9 and after the dealer put out an A-10-3-5-2 board, Mercier finished the runner-up for €476,400 ($630,734), while Soika was crowned the champion.
Commenting after his deep run in the tournament, Jason Mercier heaped praise on his Belarusian opponent, and also added: “It’s a huge score. I had pretty much all of myself in this tournament. I was at risk of bubbling, I was all-in with queens against ace-nine three off the money. I could easily have lost that one and I was all in a million times. Obviously I would have loved to get first, but I’m very happy to get second.”
Final Table Results:
1. Ihar Soika, €747,200
2. Jason Mercier, €473,500
3. Ismail Erkenov, €342,400
4. Ami Barer, €276,900
5. Benjamin Pollak, €219,000
6. Marc-Andre Ladouceur, €168,600
7. Stephen Chidwick, €125,600
8. Carlos Chadha, €90,900

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