The World Poker Tour Merit Cyprus Classic wrapped up yesterday and a slice of poker history was served in the Mediterranean. Marvin Rettenmaier became the first player to win back-to-back WPT titles and he did it in style, eliminating every other player at the final table along the way.
Ran Azor started the final table as the chip leader, with Rettenmaier in 3rd position. However, this all changed when Rettenmaier won a big pot against the chip leader, giving himself the chip lead and allowing him to start his massacre at the table. The first to fall was Kiryl Radzivonau, who found himself in need of a double up and shoved with J 10. Little did he know that Rettenmaier, who snap called, was holding pocket queens. A paired 10 on the flop gave Azor a glimmer of hope, but a queen on the board gave Rettenmaier a set and sent Radzivonau home as the first casualty.
The next three hours were a steady affair, with no big moves being made or any unnecessary risks being taken. All the while, the blinds were going up and some of the chip stacks were getting dangerously small. Eventually, Joseph El Khoury felt that he had to make a move and found himself all-in with A 2 in his hand. Once again, Rettenmaier had a hand and made the call with AQ. El Khoury was dominated, but a board of 4 8 6 3 gave him a few more outs. Unfortunately for him, Rettenmaier dodged the bullets when a harmless 8 hit the board, sending El Khoury to the rail and reinforcing Rettenmaiers dominant position at the table.
At this point, Rettenmaier became the table bully and began putting his opponents all in with weak holdings, knowing full well that he would most likely not get a caller. The pressure was building on the other players at the table to make a move in order to keep themselves in contention. Victor Paraschiv was the man to step up to the plate and threw his chips in over the top of Rettenmaier’s open raise. Rettenmaier turned over KK and was never in any trouble from Paraschiv’s K 5. The board did little to help the Romanian, who found himself eliminated in 4th place.
With Rettenmaier holding such a significant chip lead, his place in the poker history books was all but guaranteed. However, with a jump of over $60,000 from 3rd to 2nd place neither of the other two players at the table was going to go down without a scrap. Rettenmaier continued to pile on the pressure with shove after shove, raking in the blinds and antes all the while. Ran Azor, chip leader at the start of the day, woke up with pocket 7’s and called one of Rettenmaier’s shoves. The German held Q 9 and Azor found himself flipping for his tournament life. The flop came J 10 6, giving Rettenmaier 14 outs and making him the favourite for the hand. Azor dodged the turn card but a Q on the river sealed his fate, eliminating him in 3rd place and signalling the start of heads-up play.
Rettenmaier found himself with a 5:1 chip lead and Voskanyan knew he had to do something pretty special to bring this one back. Unfortunately, he was never really given the chance and found himself all in on the second hand of heads up play. Rettenmaier held J 9 against the A 10 of Voskanyan and when the flop came 9 8 4, the Russian knew he had some catching up to do. The turn and river brought a Q and 7 and the heads-up phase was over as quickly as it began.
Rettenmaier looked stunned as he stood up from the table, unable to really take in just how much of an amazing feat he had accomplished. However, this final really was ‘The Marvin Rettenmaier Show’ and there was really no doubt that he would pull it off after the first couple of eliminations.
The final results and prize distribution was as follows:
|5||Joseph El Khoury||$65,770|
Rettenmaier made sure his name will go down in poker history yesterday and this tournament in Cyprus is one that he will surely remember very fondly. The next stop on the WPT is Pennsylvania for the World Poker Tour Parx Open Poker Classic. We will have to wait and see if Rettenmaier continues his run of WPT dominance and makes the final table, or even does the unthinkable and makes it three in a row.
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