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Tuesday, February 5, 2008 | Francis Lee


The European Poker Tour (EPT) was held in the German city of Dortmund in the 7th leg of the series. The €7,000 buy in main event attracted 411 players, generating a total prize pool of €3,164,700. First place was set to receive just under €1 million Euro’s in prize money along with a seat to the EPT grand final in Monte Carlo.

After the first three days play had completed we were down to the last eight players to battle out the final positions on the final table. Michael McDonald was leading the chip rankings on €862,000 on chips, only just ahead of his nearest rival Johannes Strassmann.

Final Table Chip Rankings:

  • 1st Michael McDonald $862,000
  • 2nd Johannes Strassmann $827,000
  • 3rd Diego Perez $744,000
  • 4th Andreas Guluany $560,000
  • 5th Torsten Haase $369,000
  • 6th Christian Harder $339,000
  • 7th Claudio Rinaldi $276,000
  • 8th Thibaut Durand $148,000

Christian Harder was the first man out at the start of proceedings on this final table. He moved all his stack into the middle with :ah :kd Michael McDonald the chip leader made the call revealing pocket Aces leaving Harder needing help to survive. This never came as the Aces held up to extend McDonalds lead even further.

The shortest stacked player on the table Thibaut Durand was next to go shortly after. He moved All In with :as :4d and was called by Trosten Hasse with pocket Eights. Hasse who won the pot hitting a set of eights on the Flop sending Durand to the rail in 7th place.

Michael McDonald had lost his lead momentarily, but got it back just before the first break by knocking out Johannes Strassmann in a big pot. McDonald made the first pre flop raise to which Strassmann re-raised by the same amount. McDonald moved over the top All In and Strassmann made the call. Strassmann has :8c :7c suited connectors, but was behind up against McDonalds pocket Kings. It was all over after the Flop came down :kd :3s :2d giving McDonald the set and leaving Strassmann drawing dead with two cards to come.

The next elimination came just after the restart when Claudio Rinaldi move All In pre flop with :ad :9d He was called by Andreas Guluany holding pocket Sevens. The final board came down :4d :3s :kh :kd :5c handing Guluany the pot.

Michael McDonald took the next two knock out hands one after the other to get to heads up. First he took on Diego Perez with pocket Deuces against :jd :10c The small pocket pair held up as the board missed both players. The next elimination came soon afterwards when Torsten Hasse, McDonald and Guluany saw a flop of :qh :5h :3s McDonald moved All In with :kc :qs having top pair and was called by Guluany with only :ac :5c The final two cards came down :3s :4d to hand McDonald the pot and a 3-1 chip lead going into heads up.

It took McDonald just over twenty minutes to finish this event off. The final hand came when both players saw a flop of :kh :jd :7c after McDonalds small raise was called. Guluany check raised McDonald, to which he just called and the :kc came down on the turn. Guluany bet again and Mcdonald again just called and the :2h came down on the River. Guluany moved All In with just :10c :7d but McDonald was sat on the big slick :ac :ks and was just itching to call.

Michael McDonald picked up his first EPT title to go with his cash finishes at the Aussie Millions 2008 last month. He earned €933,600 as well as the €10,000 seat to the EPT grand final.

EPT Dortmund 2008 Final Result:

  • 1st Michael McDonald €933,600
  • 2nd Andreas Guluany €528,500
  • 3rd Torsten Haase €307,000
  • 4th Diego Perez €234,200
  • 5th Claudio Rinaldi €193,000
  • 6th Johannes Strassmann €152,000
  • 7th Thibaut Durand €120,200
  • 8th Christian Harder €85,500



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