EPT Berlin 2011 Won By Ben "NeverScaredB" WilinofskyApril 11, 2011 6:30 am
Ben Wilinofsky has just won the 2011 EPT Berlin, after overcoming a field of 773 players over six days to lift the title, as well as collect the €825,000 ($1,192,000) first place prize.
The young, Canadian pro is a much respected online player and has earned an impressive $2,174,454 from online tournaments since August 2007. The 2 times Triple Crown winner is also an instructor at PocketFives where he specialises in high-stakes MTTs.
Despite his impressive poker credentials, the 22 year-old had so far failed to make an impression at any live tournaments until his incredible win at the €5,000 Berlin Main Event yesterday.
Starting the final table of eight as the chip leader, Ben Wilinofsky was sitting on a 5.225m stack, followed by Germany’s Maximilian Heinzelmann on 4.97m, and Belarusian Vadzim Kursevich on 4.345m. Also hoping for a share of the €3.865 million prize pool was South Africa’s Darren Kramer (2.235m), Germany’s Armin Mette (2.125m), Sweden’s Martin Jacobson (2.085m), Netherlands’ Joep van den Bijgaart (1.060m) and Germany’s Jonas Gutteck on 1.025m.
However, right from the start Ben Wilinofsky managed to win a major pot to commandeer half the chips in play and never looked back. Wilinofsky then eliminated Joep van den Bijgaart in 7th (€100,000), and Armin Mette in 5th (€180,000), whose pocket twos were crushed by Wilinofsky’s A-K turned quad aces.
Finally, Ben “NeverScaredB” Wilinofsky dispatched Kursevich in 3rd (€300,000), after the Belarusian moved all-in holding Ac-Kc on a Ks-Qs-Jc flop, only to walk into Wilinofsky’s 10-9 made straight.
As the heads-up phase of the competition got underway, Wilinofsky held a 7 to 3 lead over Heinzelmann and never relinquished his lead. Eventually, the decisive hand of the tournament was played after Heinzelmann with 8-9 pushed all-in on an 8-5-3 flop and was called by Wilinofsky with 6-7 and an open-ended straight draw.
A 9 on the turn then sealed Heinzelmann’s fate, who collected €500,000 for his runner-up finish, while Ben Wilinofsky was crowned the 2011 EPT Berlin Champion.
Delighted to have cashed in at his first live tournament in such style, Wilinofsky exclaimed while receiving the trophy, “This is ridiculous. How does this happen to anyone?” Later on, he then added to his Facebook page, “RIP legendary Hendon Mob page.”