Igor Kurganov Finishes Runner-Up ($222,250)

Just when the last two players had decided on a "new, fun, mandatory check" rule (we gather that meant one free go at making the opponent check the flop, turn or river), it was all over before that could be witnessed for the first time! Igor Kurganov limped his button with

If It Goes Back and Forth, It Can Last a While

So says Igor Kurganov, and he's quite right.  Another million or so chips went his way after he flopped two pair on a [ks9hkc] board, having defended his big blind with [ad9c].  He check-raised Kahle Burns (325,000 to 975,000), who'd bet his [Jh5h]; call.  The hand went no further than

Kurganov Undaunted, Wins Some Back

Igor Kurganov made it 600,000 on the button with [9s8c] and Kahle Burns made the call with [ts9d], seeing a [6d3d5s] flop.  Check, check.  On the [8h] turn, Burns bet 900,000 and Kurganov called.  The [Jd] fell on the river, and Burns bet 2,000,000 into a 3,000,000 pot; he was

Burns Turns Tables on Kurganov

In the course of two hands, the chip positions of the final two players have changed round, illustrating the heartbreaking (and fun to watch) drama of high stakes no limit hold'em. Igor Kurganov raised his button, understandably, with [qsqh] (to 650,000), called by Kahle Burns in the big blind with [Kd9h]. 

Burns Bluffs with Big River Shove

A dramatic end to a hand just now could have seen an end to this tournament as a whole.  Starting with a button raise from Igor Kurganov with [4d4s], called by Kahle Burns with [Jdts], the [7d5c2d] flop elicited no bets, but the [3d] turn brought a bet from Burns

Heads Up Play Begins with Back and Forth

Not much change in the stacks after the first 15 minutes of heads up play.  No river showdowns, just quick-fire button raises and many flops seen (without big pots growing subsequently), but the net result was, for a while, a slow climb further ahead by Igor Kurganov. Then a good-sized pot

Ben Heath Eliminated in 3rd Place ($150,000)

Ben Heath did not have any sort of heater period today, but has finished his run at the $25,500 Super High Roller with a podium finish worth $150,000.  His final hand saw him face yet another Igor Kurganov small-to-big blind shove.  This time he considered his [Jc9s], his remaining 3,450,000

Three In a Row for Kurganov

With more than 22,000,000 chips, the first two pots were taken down by Igor Kurganov with all-in preflop moves (with [Ac9c] then [Jh8h]) that put his opponents to a simple yes/no test for their stacks (the answer was no, in both cases).  The third hand, Kurganov opened with [Jd9c], defended