When the finale got started earlier this afternoon there was a trio of players bunched at the top of the chip counts. Hungary's Zoltan Toth, Romania's Ciprian Hrisca and Denmark's Albert Iverson all had more than $1 million in chips.
The local hopes were pinned on Zoltan Toth but the real story as we saw it was Johnny Lodden. I can't count the times Lodden has made it deep in EPT events only to fall short of the final eight. This time he did crack the final table but ended up being the first elimination of the day.
In a massive three-way all-in pot Lodden was denied a great opportunity to triple up and instead went broke. To make a long story short, J-Lo had pocket kings and got all-in on a flop of J♦ 8♣ 2♦. He was up against A♦ K♦ from Zoltan Toth and T♦ 7♦ from Martin Jacobson.
In the end the most unlikely hand won as the turn bricked and the river brought the 9♠, completing Jacobson's straight. Toth was crippled, Lodden was out and Jacobson was gifted a pot he must have long before kissed goodbye.
Next on the block was the hometown hero with the electrifying name, Zoltan Toth. He was left on life support from the aforementioned hand, forced into action minutes later when he found himself in the big blind. As two other players checked it down he was unable to show down the best hand and was consequently eliminated.
Gino Alacqua has had good results on the EPT and this wasn't his first final table. Today he made it to sixth before getting all-in against two of the big stacks. At showdown he had a whole lot of nothing, earning himself a healthy sum and a seat on the rail.
One player we didn't hear much from this entire event was Italy's Marino Serenelli. His tournament came to a very anticlimactic end as he got in a battle of the blinds with the eventual champion, Will Fry. The money went in on the turn with Serenelli drawing unsuccessfully to an open-ended straight. His chips went to Fry as he shook hands and bid the final table farewell.
As these players were busy busting, Albert Iverson was clinging to a short stack. When the blinds reached $15,000/$30,000 he had about 10 big blinds left. He shoved a few times, picking up the blinds and antes, before getting looked up by Will Fry, who held pocket eights. Iverson had 9♠ 7♠ and was unable to catch up.
Martin Jacobson got lucky a few times to build his stack at the final table, particularly in that three-way hand that eliminated Johnny Lodden. Not long into three-handed play, however, Jacobson's luck ran out.
He got into a big hand against Ciprian Hrisco and when the money went in he saw his two pair was crushed by Hrisco's made flush.
When heads-up play began it was clear to everyone it wouldn't take long to end. Both players were very aggressive with the majority of pots being raised and reraised.
After losing the chip lead for a short time Fry won a key coin flip to double up and get back to even. From then on he pummeled his opponent into submission before getting all the money in with the best hand.
Pocket jacks for Fry were in great shape against Hrisco's A♣ 6♦ and after the board ran Q♠ T♦ 6♣ K♣ Q♣ it was all over.
Ciprian Hrisco took second-place honors and €342,608, while Will Fry takes the trophy, the prestige and a whopping €595,839. Here are the full final-table results and payouts.
PokerListings had a chance to speak with the champ moments after his victory. Check out the interview we did with him before the final table. For a detailed record of the day's action peruse the live updates.
With that exhilarating conclusion we are done here in Budapest. Our gratitude goes to the tournament staff, the PokerStars crew for all their hard work. PL.com will be back on the EPT for each every stop the rest of the season so make sure to check out the Live Tournaments home and check in next time.