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Sam Grafton Wins the Coin Rivet Invitational for $5.5 million

Sam Grafton Wins the Coin Rivet Invitational for $5.5 million

Sam Grafton had a day to remember as he navigated through a star-studded final table including defeating nosebleed cash game crusher Linus Loeliger heads-up to win the $200,000 buy-in Coin Rivet Invitational for a whopping $5.5 million.

Grafton is known as 'SamSquid' to many in the poker community and also at PokerStars, where he was announced as an ambassador more than a year ago along with Andre Coimbra and Parker Talbot.

While the 42-years-old Grafton has been a big name in the poker world for a while, the victory was easily the highlight of his poker resume with his second biggest cash prize. His previous biggest cash prize came in another no-limit hold'em event after he took runner-up to Sergei Reixach in the 2019 EPT Barcelona Event #15: 100,000 No Limit Hold'em - Super High Roller for €1,303,950 ($1,453,517).

The victory also nearly doubled Grafton's live total haul to $12.2 million and catapulted him from eighth to fourth place on The Hendon Mob England All Time Money List ahead of the likes of Charlie Carrel ($9.6 million), Talal Shakerchi ($8.7 million), Jack Salter ($8.6 million), and Toby Lewis ($8.2 million).

The event was unique as it was an invite-only affair with businessmen and others known outside the poker world able to select one poker player. The field was initially split between the the professional players and the recreational players before they merged later in the event.

“It was so much fun,” Grafton said to Triton Poker after his career day. “Playing against some of the most remarkable entrepreneurs and businesspeople in the world…It was played with a special spirit. On the day the two lanes merged, players were smiling like it was Christmas or their birthday. Everyone had a skip in their steps. Tournament poker is just amazing. Playing this format is very special.”

2022 $200,000 Coin Rivet Invitational Final Table Results

PlacePlayerCountryPrize
1Sam GraftonUnited Kingdom€5,500,000
2Linus LoeligerSwitzerland€3,900,000
3Karl Chappe-GatienFrance€2,600,000
4Fedor HolzGermany€2,100,000
5Ebony KenneyUnited States€1,700,000
6Aleksejs PonakovsLatvia€1,350,000
7Elias TalvitieFinland€1,050,000
8Seth DaviesUnited States€770,000
9Tom VogelsangNetherlands€620,000

The $200,000 Coin Rivet Invitational attracted 115 entries including 25 re-entries to generate a mouth-watering $5.5 million prize pool. The prestigious Triton Super High Roller Series Cyprus event paid the top 17 players at least a min-cash of $380,000 with the prizes growing quickly from there.

2022 Coin Rivet Invitational Final Table
2022 Coin Rivet Invitational Final Table

Final Table Action

A total of 16 hopefuls returned for the third and final day of the Coin Rivet Invitational with the eventual winner Grafton in the lead.

The final table was set after Antanas 'Tony G.' Guoga, Vadzim Godzdanker, Dan Cates, Theis Vad Hennebjerre, Horace Wei, Leon Tsoukernik, and Dave Nicholson all hit the rail. At this point, Grafton dropped to the middle of the pack and the only player that wasn't a poker pro in French businessman Karl Chappe-Gatien entering the final table action as the table captain.

Chappe-Gatien was hot out of the gate and extended his chip lead by eliminating a trio of poker pros in Seth Davies, Tom Vogelsang, and Elias Talvitie in quick fashion.

Latvian poker beast Aleksejs Ponakovs was celebrating his 31st birthday in a way we can only dream of at the final table of a nosebleed buy-in event. However, all good things came to an end at the hands of PokerCode founder and GGPoker Ambassador Fedor Holz. First Holz doubled through Ponakovs when his ace-queen was good against king-ten suited before taking the rest of Ponakovs' stack when his ace-jack held against king-nine.

Ebony Kenney nearly made history in taking home the single largest cash by a female poker player in a poker event. This honor will still belong to Norway's Annette Obrestad, who won the WSOP Europe £10,350 Main Event for a cool £1,000,000 ($2,013,733). Kenny needed to ladder up just one spot to pass Obrestad to become the leader and was just one card away from being in a prime position to do so.

It was looking good for Kenney when she got it in good with jacks against Chappe-Gatien's nines. However, a nine spiked the river and the dream was over. This was still by far the biggest win for Kenney, who came in with $630,000 in live tournament cashes and had a film crew with her for an upcoming documentary.

Ebony Kenney
Ebony Kenney

Chappe-Gatien was back delivering another bad beat. This time, it prevented Holz from reaching the podium when his ace-jack suited was unable to hold against ace-ten.

Luck ran out for Chappe-Gatien. He first doubled up Loeliger when his queen-nine suited didn't have enough gas against ace-queen before also doubling Grafton when his big slick didn't win a race against tens. Chappe-Gatien was then on the rail when his queen-deuce suited proved to not be enough to beat Grafton's big slick to leave just two players remaining.

Grafton began heads-up play with nearly a 5:1 chip advantage over Loeliger. This doesn't mean heads-up play went smoothly for Grafton as it was quite the opposite at first as he doubled Loeliger twice before finally sealing the deal for the victory when his ace-seven held against king-six.

A huge congrats to Grafton on winning the Coin Rivet Invitational for $5.5 million and best of luck the rest of the way at the Triton Super High Roller Series Cyprus.

*Images courtesy of Triton Poker

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