Steve O’Dwyer is basically a high-roller table regular at this point, with championships in Cyprus, Georgia, the Bahamas and Prague all within the last year. He added to that resume in Panama last week when he scored first place and $240,452 at the PokerStars Championship Panama $10,300 High Roller.
Stephen Chidwick and Ben Tollerene were Panama’s other high-roller champions in the $50,000 Super High Roller and $25,000 single-day event, but O’Dwyer scored the last win after three days of rigorous play.
The top 15 players finished in the money and the final table of eight was determined on day two, but it would be the final five that returned on day three that would bring the drama. It was a quick start – Brazilian Felipe Ramos was the first to go almost as soon as play began. The PokerStars Pro took a well-set pair of kings and ran them into the aces of Francois Billard for a fifth place finish and $80K.
After Ramos hit the rail, the others weren’t going down without a fight. It took four more hours of battle before Chris Hunichen would show weakness when his pocket eights weren’t as strong as they thought they’d be. He put most of his money in on the pair but was called by Billard, whose A,Q managed to pair on the river. Hunichen was left with chump change after the loss and busted two hands later.
Billard was responsible for all the day’s eliminations up to that point but it wasn’t enough to save the Canadian when he put an A,Q against the pocket 10s of O’Dwyer. He wasn’t able to pair at all on the board and it was down to heads-up play between O’Dwyer and Sam Greenwood.
The eventual winner had more than three times the chip count of his Canadian challenger, but Greenwood was able to double up quickly on a pair of pocket fours and even the playing field. It was then that the pair struck a deal – agreeing to a chop that gave the winner about $17,000 more than the runner up.
O’Dwyer secured his championship less than 10 hands after striking the deal.
Final table results:
Photo credit: PokerStars
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