After more than 13 hours on the final day, the United Kingdom's Glen Gaines defeated local Estonian Igor Pihela Sr. heads-up to win the Tallinn Summer Showdown €1,100 Main Event for €62,400 at Olympic Park Casino and the adjoining Hilton Tallinn Park.
It was a back-and-forth affair during the entire final table and Gaines needed to come back from a huge heads-up deficit en route to the title. Gaines shared with PokerListings that this was just his second 1K event and he has made the most of it with the biggest Tallinn Summer showdown Main Event prize, eclipsing the €56,500 won by Finland's Kristian Zitting, who won last year's Main Event for €56,500.
"I'm chuffed," shared Gaines after the win to PokerListings. "It will take a while to sink it. I wasn't expecting to go deep considering it was my second 1K event."
During the final table, Gaines realized that a win was within his grasp.
"I felt good four-handed," Gaines said. I did take a knock when my tens didn't hold from fives and thought it might slip away from me before I came back to win."
|1||Glen Gaines||United Kingdom||€62,400|
|2||Igor Pihela Sr.||Estonia||€42,300|
|5||Victor Prior Fernandez Amat||Spain||€15,800|
The 2022 Tallinn Summer Showdown Event was another success story for Olympic Park Casino with 285 entrants coming out in full force to generate a €267,900 prize pool. This was just one entry shy of the record 286 entrants attracted during last year's Tallinn Summer Showdown Main Event.
A total of 34 players got paid at least a €2,100 min-cash for nearly double the €1,100 buy-in.
The final day began with Spain's Victor Prior Fernandez Amat in the lead closely followed by Pihela Sr. The action started slow with 17 players looking to make it to the final table with local Estonian poker legend Ranno Sootla the only player to hit the rail within the first hour. Less than three hours after it began the action was down to a final table of nine players after Fernandez Amat sent the short-stacked Janne Nevalainen from Finland to the rail in 10th place.
Fernandez Amat still had the chip lead to start the final table with Pihela Sr. and Gaines closest on his tail. Gaines snagged the lead on the very first hand of play when his tens held against the sixes held by Finland's Kaspar Laursoo to eliminate his opponent in ninth place.
Pihela Sr. then snagged the lead while also sending Finland's Seppo Parkkinen with the money getting in on the river with Pihela Sr. holding the better two pair.
Next, it was Lithuania's Paulius Jucys to become the table captain. Last year's Tallinn Summer Showdown Main Event runner-up Thomas Jakobsen from Norway ran into a cooler to go out in seventh place when he ran his big slick into Jucys' rockets.
Finland's Mikael Andersson then ran his ace-three suited into Gaines' sevens to hit the rail and give Gaines the lead once again.
The action slowed down significantly during five-handed play, during which time the chip lead bounced around like a hot potato. About three hours later, the final day chip leader Fernandez Amat hit the rail on a flip when his nines proved to be no good against the ace-ten held by Latvia's Juris Hlibovs.
Pihela Sr. had the chip lead at this point, but Gaines regained control after eliminating Hlibovs in fourth place when his big slick improved to two pair against his opponent's sevens.
The three-handed play took more than four hours with each of the three holding the chip lead at one time or another. Jucys was the first out on the podium when his ace-ten didn't get there against Pihela's ace-queen.
Pihela Sr. began the heads-up action with a nearly 4:1 chip advantage. But the tables quickly turned and Gaines gained a significant lead before the final hand took place. Pihela Sr. got it in with ace-ten and was up against what Gaines described as the "Reading Nuts" with king-queen. The "Reading Surprise" proved to be the winning hand with a king coming on the board and Pihela Sr. had to settle for the runner-up prize of €42,300.
Meanwhile, a massive congrats to Glen Gaines for winning the 2022 Tallinn Summer Showdown Main Event for €62,400.
*Photos courtesy of Tallinn Summer Showdown photographer Elena Kask.