Seth Davies has emerged victorious with the title in the 2021 GGPoker Spring Festival $25,500 high roller event, overcoming a field of 172 total entries to secure the top prize of $956,440. The American high-stakes tournament regular had a stacked final table to contend with, including the three highest-earning online tournament pokers players in history according to PocketFives’ rankings: Joao Vieira (1st – $23.2 million), Niklas Astedt (2nd – $22.2 million) and Sami Kelopuro (3rd – $21 million).
The huge turnout for this event created a prize pool of $4.3 million which was paid out among the top 23 finishers. By the time the final table of nine was set, Finnish poker pro Joni Jouhkimainen had climbed into the chip lead, with Davies sitting as the shortest stack with just 16 big blinds. Davies kicked off his comeback effort by doubling up three times in the early going.
Artur Martirosian was the first fall, running A-Q suited into the A-K suited of Astedt and failing to come from behind. The Russian earned $95,644 as the ninth-place finisher. Davies secured his first knockout of the day in a similar fashion, calling the shove of Super High Roller Bowl V champion Isaac Haxton with AK and finding himself in a dominant position against AQ. Davies flopped a king and held from there to eliminate Haxton in eighth place ($127,543) and climb into second place on the leaderboard.
Joao Vieira won a Spring Championship of Online Poker high roller event on Apr. 15 for $469,987. The World Series of Poker bracelet winner from Portugal’s run in this event came to an end when his pocket sevens lost a race against the Q-J suited of Sami Kelopuro. He earned $170,082 after Kelopuro made a winning pair of jacks, adding to his lead in the all-time online tournament earnings race.
Joni Jouhkimainen ran pocket eights into the pocket kings of Astedt to hit the virtual rail in sixth place ($226,808). Astedt overtook the lead as a result, but he was soon surpassed. Hungary’s Andras Nemeth got his last chips in ahead with A-K against the A-Q suited of Davies, but the board brought a queen to eliminate him in fifth place ($302,453).
Niklas Astedt fell to the bottom of the chip counts during four-handed action, only to mount a furious comeback that saw him move into second chip position behind Davies. After that roller-coaster ride, the two big stacks clashed in a massive pot that resulted in Astedt finishing fourth ($403,327). Astedt had opened to 320,000 on the button with pocket tens and Davies called the min-raise with A3 from the big blind. The J76 flop saw Davies bet out 240000 with his flush draw. Astedt called and the 4 hit the turn. Davies bet 640,000 and Astedt called. The 10 on the river completed Davies’ flush and he bet 5,168,000, enough to put Astedt all-in. Astedt was in a tough spot with his rivered set, but he ultimately made the call and got the bad news.
With the elimination of Astedt, Davies held more than a 9:1 lead over the next largest stack, belonging to Sami Kelopuro. Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Elio Fox was the shortest stack. He got all-in not long after that with A3 and Davies called with Q10. Davies turned a winning pair of queens to send the American home with $537,846 for his third-place showing.
It didn’t take long for Davies to convert his 10:1 heads-up lead into a victory. Seth Davies limped in from the button on the first hand dealt, and Sami Kelopuro shoved for around 10 big blinds with 95. Davies called with J8 and the board ran out 8635J to give Davies two pair, the pot, and the title. Kelopuro earned $717,228 as the runner-up, helping him close the gap on Viera in the previously mentioned online earnings race.
Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table: