Rainer Kempe might have been one of the least celebrated players in the field when the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl began on Sunday, but the German poker pro now leads the seven-handed final and could be in line for a $5,000,000 score Wednesday night.
Kempe finished Day 3 with 5,545,000 chips and the overnight chip lead thanks to a collision with Dan Smith late on Day 3. The final table bubble might go down as one of the most memorable of all time. After Jason Mercier was eliminated in ninth place, the remaining eight players combined to one table. About 30 minutes later Kempe and Smith found themselves playing the biggest hand of the tournament so far.
Kempe raised to 110,000 from the cutoff, Smith called from the small blind and Fedor Holz folded the big blind. Smith then checked the flop allowing Kempe to bet 165,000. Smith check-raised to 475,000 and after using one of his time extensions, Kempe moved all in and Smith called. Kempe tabled for middle set while Smith showed for bottom set. The turn and river changed nothing and Smith was left with just 175,000 while Kempe moved into the lead for the first time.
Smith was eliminated just 40 minutes later.
Thanks for the (mostly) well wishes. Feeling surprisingly chipper, pleased with how I played. The tori and Uni is helping
— Dan Smith (@DanSmithHolla) June 1, 2016
Right behind Kempe is fellow German Holz, who bagged up 2,190,000. The former #1 ranked online poker player in the world is just five months removed from winning the $100,000 Alpha8 event at Bellagio and four months from winning the WPT Triton Super High Roller.
While the young German contingent sits on top of the chip counts, two members of Poker’s Hall of Fame anchor the bottom. Erik Seidel sits sixth with 1,120,000 while Phil Hellmuth made it through the bubble with the shortest stack, 905,000.
Sandwiched in between the Germans and the Hall of Famers is Bryn Kenney (2,085,000), Dan Shak (1,650,000) and the player who started Day 3 with the chip lead, Matt Berkey (1,205,000). All remaining players are guaranteed at least $600,000 with the eventual champion walking away with $5,000,000.
The Smith and Mercier eliminations were the two most high-profile of Day 3, but they weren’t the only players sent to the rail. Tom Marchese, Dan Perper, Phil Galfond, Bill Perkins, Phil Laak, Ben Lamb and Andrew Robl also saw their run end on Day 3.
Final Table Schedule
A special ‘Road to the Final Table’ show airs on Twitch.com/PokerCentral at 6 PM ET with the final table being broadcast live on CBS Sports Network beginning at 7 PM ET.
Final Table Chip Counts
- Rainer Kempe – 5,545,000
- Fedor Holz – 2,190,000
- Bryn Kenney – 2,085,000
- Dan Shak – 1,650,000
- Matt Berkey – 1,205,000
- Erik Seidel – 1,120,000
- Phil Hellmuth – 905,000