PokerNews Cup Alpine Finds Marc Naalden Victorious

PokerNews Cup Alpine Finds Marc Naalden Victorious
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By Jennifer Newell There was action inside and outside the Alpine Palace Hotel and Card Casino in Austria last week. With the Alps just outside and skiing slopes galore, the other option was the poker action on the inside, where it was nice and toasty warm. Several preliminary events had led to the €1,500 buy-in NLHE main event, and there were 129 players ready and anxious to get it underway. On March 25, the first day began with those 129 players, who came together to create a prize pool of €172,054. The top 15 finishers would split it according to where they ended their runs, but the winner was looking at nearly €50K. There were many big names in the Day 1 field when it began, like Tony G, John Duthie, Marcel Luske, Liv Boeree, Noah Boeken, Mark Vos, David Saab, and Sandra Naujoks. But most of them fell short of making it through the first day, as only 33 players were able to do that. When the chips were counted, Vos sat atop the leaderboard with 213,200 chips, and Luske was in the second spot with 102,800. Also in the top five were Franciscus Dekkers, Vladislav Bakalov, and Runnar Lindepuu. The goal of Day 2 was to play down to the final nine, and they did so in only four hours. Luske was one of the first to go early in the day, and when it got down to the money bubble, it was Daniel Perfeito all-in with pocket kings against the A-Q of Vos. But Vos caught an ace on the flop, and it was all over for bubble-player Perfeito, out in 16th place. That made way for Nicholas Van der Marel to cash in 15th place for €2,580, and the other money spots were taken by - in order - Nick Lackovic, Vladislav Bakalov, Stephan Kernig, and Peter Linkhorst. On the final table bubble, it was Jasper Wetemans who was all-in with ah 3h against the as jh of Lindepuu. The board blanked and sent Wetemans out in tenth place with €3,100 and the distinction of final table bubble player. The final table was then set for the next day as follows: Seat 1: Marc Naalden 251,200 Seat 2: Fedor Los 286,700 Seat 3: Simon Borg 75,800 Seat 4: Salvatore Cundari 116,800 Seat 5: Mark Vos 548,800 Seat 6: Runnar Lindepuu 391,300 Seat 7: Joseph Buhmann 126,300 Seat 8: Jan Hlobil 84,400 Seat 9: Farhad Kia 74,100 As the short stack coming in, Kia tried to make something happen but never got any traction. After being dwindled down to 21K, he pushed all-in preflop with td 9c, which looked against the 8d 7c of Buhmann until the board came 8h kd ts qc 8c. Farhad Kia couldn’t compete with the set and left in ninth place with €4,820. Hlobil was the next on the desperation-stack list and moved all-in when he looked down at ah jc. Lindepuu was there for the call with pocket eights, and the board cooperated with the pair to give Lindepuu a full house with 8c 6c ac 5d 5c. Jan Hlobil couldn’t argue with that and left in eighth place with €6,360. Though Buhmann got off to a reasonable start by eliminating the first player of the day, there came a time for him to move, which he did with as kd. It just so happened that Cundari had pocket aces and called. The board blanked with 8d qc 4c 6s jd, and Joey Buhmann was gone in seventh place with €8,080. Vos came in with a significant chip lead at the beginning of the day, but a little time and untimely aggression saw those chips disappear, as Naalden took several significant pots from him, including a double-up. Vos continued to struggle and finally moved all-in with pocket eights against the ah jc of Lindepuu. The dealer gave them 7d kc 6d qd tc, and that rivered straight was the end of Mark Vos’ day. He made €10,320 for the sixth place finish. Cundari took a chance and doubled through Los to stay alive, but he then tried it again holding ks 6s but found himself up against the as 6d of Naalden. The board came 6h 3s 5h 2c qh, and Salvatore Cuncari was ousted in fifth place with €12,900. It was soon after the players reached four-handed play that Naalden took off with a significant chip lead after doubling through Lindepuu and never looking back. Lindepuu was still second in chips but hurting from the hit nonetheless. Borg doubled through Los to live to see another hand, but he then chose to go up against Naalden. After almost all of Borg’s chips were in to see the ks 8d qs flop, Borg gave his last 2K holding as td. Naalden obviously called and had a dominating kc qc. The qd on the turn was the last card necessary, though the 5s came on the river to make it official. Simon Borg was out of the tournament in fourth place with €16,340. An exhausted Los, who reportedly had little sleep the night before, finally pushed all-in with kh 7d, and Naalden called with pocket eights. The board was an uninteresting 2d 4s ad 3d 6s, and Fedor Los took his exit in third place with €19,780. Heads-up started as follows: Marc Naalden 1,635,000 Runnar Lindepuu 300,000 It was not meant to be a quick match. Though it began with a double-up for Lindepuu, he had to keep fighting for the next several hours but was still unable to take much control of the chips. The last hand saw Lindepuu give it a shot by moving all-in with 9h 8d, and Naalden turned over his pocket eights. That took them to the board that produced 4c kc 5s 3h 2c, and Runnar Lindepuu finally settled for €29,940 and a second place finish. Marc Naalden became the PokerNews Cup Alpine champion, for which the Dutchman was awarded a trophy and €46,474 in first-place prize money. (Thanks to PokerNews for the live updates from which this information was compiled.)