Michael McDonald Reigns Supreme at EPT Dortmund

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CasinoThe final table of the European Poker Tour’s Dortmund event has drawn to conclusion, with Canadian Michael McDonald taking our Andreas Gülünay of Germany in heads-up play. Six hours after play began, including a dinner break, seven of the eight players at the final table had been eliminated, leaving only Michael McDonald Standing.

Michael McDonald is a young 18-year old from Canada. In his first major live tournament appearance, he was eliminated on Day 1b of the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event. That was the day he turned eighteen. McDonald still wears braces and bears the moniker “Timex,” as when he was creating a screenname for online play he looked at his watch and chose the name printed on it. He has earned a reputation as a highly skilled online player, and has done very well in live tournaments, cashing four times in major tournaments in the five weeks prior to EPT Dortmund.

The first elimination of the final table was American Christian Harder, who moved all-in with A-K. Unfortunately for him, Michael McDonald was there, holding pocket aces. A king came on the flop, but no more help came for Harder who would walk away in eighth place with €85,500.

Frenchman Thibaut Durand, who was the short stack when play began, finished in seventh place. Durand moved all-in withA-4 and was called by Johannes Strassmann and his pocket eights. A four fell on a flop of K-Q-4, but the eight on the turn gave Strassmann a set and spelled Durand’s doom. Durand would earn €120,200 for his seventh place finish.

Johannes Strassmann of Germany, who started the day in a close second place behind McDonald, watched his stack diminish slightly over the course of play. Strassmann came over the top of a McDonald raise by moving all-in. Once again, McDonald held a monster hand to call an all-in raise, this time holding pocket kings. McDonald made his set on the flop and Strassmann was gone in sixth place, €152,000 richer.

Switzerland’s Claudio Rinaldi found himself in a coin flip situation when he moved all-in, his A-9 facing Andreas Gülünay’s pocket sevens. The sevens held up and Rinaldi was out in fifth place, earning €193,000 for his four days of play in Dortmund.

Shortly after Rinaldi was sent to the rail, Spaniard Diego Perez found the rail himself. The Spaniard had reraised McDonald all-in, after thinking for a very long time, McDonald made the call, holding only pocket twos. Perez only held J-10, which received no help from the board, and Perez’s chip stack was absorbed into McDonald’s dominating stack. Perez was reward for his fourth place finish with €234,200.

Germany’s Torsten Haase was the third place finisher. Haase had moved all-in on a flop of Q-5-3 while holding A-5. McDonald held K-Q for a better pair and made the call. The turn and the river were no help to the German, who left the table richer by €307,000.

Heads-up play began between Michael McDonald and the last of the three Germans at the final table, Andreas Gülünay. The heads-up match would last for about half an hour. On the final hand, Andreas checked the flop of K-J-7 before raising Michael’s bet. Michael called and the turn was another K. Andreas bet and Michael simply called. The river card was a 2 and Andreas moved all-in only to be called and eliminated by Michael McDonald, who was holding A-K for a set of kings. McDonald was the champion of the EPT Dortmund event, winning €933,600 for his efforts. Andreas would go home with the runner-up prize of €528,500

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