Top US poker pro Vanessa Rousso earned herself a cool Euro 720 000 for an investment of a Euro 25 000 buy-in Sunday when she defeated fellow American Randy Dorfman in an exciting heads up to decide the winner of the PokerStars.com EPT Monte Carlo High Roller Championship in Monaco.
It's the second big finish for Rousso in as many months – she was recently runner-up in the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship.
Facing a field of 78 that included some of the toughest and most competitive players in the business, Rousso prevailed to enter a final table comprised of Dorfman, TonyG of Lithuania, Florian Langmann from Germany, Australians David Eldar and David Steicke, the UK's Andrew Feldman and William Thorsen of Sweden.
The final game was off to a flying start, with Steicke sent to the rail in only a few hands, and Feldman following barely 20 minutes later after a clash with the redoubtable TonyG. Both Eldar and Thorson followed soon after following a run-in with Dorfman, which left the American in the chip lead on a suddenly much depleted final table.
Langmann was next to go, clearing the way for Rousso, Dorfman and TonyG to battle it out for the heads up honours, a struggle that took several levels to decide but ended when Dorfman saw off TonyG in third place for Euro 257 000.
Heads up, Dorfman had a 600 000 chip lead on Rousso, holding 2.4 million in chips. He used it to good effect, whittling away at Rousso's chipstack for the next hour or more. Then Rousso gained the ascendency with a series of all-ins and double ups which brought the pair to an even footing, from whence Rousso steadily took control with disciplined and skilled poker playing over the next 40 minutes until she eliminated Dorfman after a total final table playing time of just over 11 hours.
Dorfman's reward for a hard-fought second place was Euro 434 000.
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