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.
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. [Removed:119] 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's pocket 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.
In fourth place we lost a German living in Austria, as Koren busted to Killeen in a battle of the blinds. Koren limped with eights in the small blind and snap-called when Killeen put him all in with queen-jack. The board gave Killeen two pair and Koren walked away £168,900 richer, but his dream of winning this EPT abruptly ended.
The final three players briefly discussed a deal, but Pauli's unwillingness to accept ICM, as he found it unfair for the chip leader, made play continue with all the remaining money still on the line. Killeen became the eventual third-place finisher for £220,500 when he shoved ace-seven of diamonds into MacPhee's ace-queen.
After a short break MacPhee started the heads-up battle for his second EPT title with 7,445,000 chips versus Pauli's 12,810,000-chip stack. At no point did Pauli give up his chip lead, but MacPhee came very close to closing the gap completely. Just when the momentum seemed to be shifting towards MacPhee, Pauli woke up with pocket aces and took a big lead again.
On the final hand MacPhee raised to 320,000, Pauli three-bet to 860,000 and MacPhee moved all in after quite some tanking. Pauli snap-called with ace-queen and beat MacPhee's ace-ten. MacPhee almost became the second two-time EPT champion, but in the end Germany gets its second champion of the 11th season of the EPT.