David Malka Wins High Roller Event For $658,000

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood
$25,000 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Total Entries: 94
Prizepool: $2,350,000

David Malka
David Malka

David Malka is the champion of the $25,000 High Roller event, outlasting a field of 94 entries to win the $658,000 top prize. Malka also collected the glass trophy for this event, one of the last pieces of hardware to be awarded during this series.

This event began on Tuesday evening with just a few tables in play, but the field ballooned to nearly 100 entries by the time registration closed. Among the elite field were a couple WSOP Main Event Champions — Joe Hachem and Joe McKeehen — along with former WPT Players of the Year Darren Elias, Faraz Jaka, and Mukul Pauja. None of them were able to finish in the money, however.

The same can be said for defending champion of this event, Jason Mercier. The Florida pro was eliminated by Malka on the direct money bubble, shoving his short stack with Qh7c into Malka’s As9s. Mercier flopped a flush draw on the Jh5h4h, but that’s as close as he’d get to salvation. The turn and river bricked off, and Mercier’s elimination left the final 13 players in the money.

That knockout signaled the end of a long Day 1 around 5:00 a.m., and the survivors returned to play for the title on Wednesday, beginning at 4:00 p.m. Local high-stakes player Brian Benderoff was the chip leader when Day 2 began, and he rode his big stack to a seventh-place finish, good for more than $80,000.

When the final six players broke for dinner, Nick Petrangelo was the chip leader. Things went sour for him in the levels after the break, though, and he was eliminated on a cooler in fourth place, holding an overpair and a straight draw against Malka’s flopped straight. The turn and river failed to keep Petrangelo afloat, and his knockout gave Malka more than 60% of the chips in play with three remaining.

The champ continued his late domination of the final table, whittling Tim West down to less than 10 big blinds before Sylvain Loosli eliminated him in third place. Despite his opponent scoring the penultimate knockout, Malka still entered the heads-up duel with a 4:1 chip lead over the 2013 WSOP November Niner.

The battle lasted about a half hour before a coin flip decided the match. On the final hand, Malka shoved with ace-ten, and Loosli called all in with pocket sixes. The first four cards kept the Frenchman in the lead, and he was one card from drawing nearly even in the match. The river was the Ah, though, giving Malka the pot, the knockout, and the title.

Malka is a 28-year-old pro from Los Angeles. Although he’s been playing poker since he was 19, he’s only recently started to dabble in tournaments, citing the desire to travel and the thrill of tournament poker as his motivations. Things seem to be going well so far. This most recent victory is the largest of his young career, and it brings his total earnings to just over $1 million.

Here are the full results:

1st: David Malka – $658,000
2nd: Sylvain Loosli – 481,750
3rd: Tim West – $298,450
4th: Nick Petrangelo – $206,800
5th: Nick Yunis – $133,950
6th: Yevgeniy Timoshenko – $101,050
7th: Brian Benderoff – $82,250
8th: Steffen Sontheimer – $70,500
9th: Lazaro Hernandez – $68,150
10th: Jake Schindler – $65,800
11th: John Dolan – $63,450
12th: Dan Shak – $61,100
13th: Fedor Holz – $58,750

High Roller Final Results

The above results reflect corrected finishing positions for 11th and 12th places.

High Roller: David Malka ($658,000) Defeats Sylvain Loosli ($481,750)

$25,000 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 23: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante
Players Remaining: 1 of 94

David Malka
David Malka

David Malka opened to 135,000 on the button, and Sylvain Loosli three-bet to 345,000 in the big blind. Malka moved all in with the covering stack, and Loosli called all in for just over 2,000,000, putting himself at risk. It was a race:

Malka: AsTh
Loosli: 6d6c

The board ran out 4s4d2d8cAh, and the ace on the river gave Malka the pot and the title. Loosli was eliminated as the runner-up.

Sylvain Loosli
Sylvain Loosli

Malka posed for winner’s photos with his shiny new trophy, and he was handed a payout ticket for $658,000, by far the largest score of his tournament career. A recap of his victory will be published shortly.

High Roller: Tim West – 3rd Place ($298,450)

$25,000 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 23: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 94

Tim West
Tim West

Tim West moved all in for 565,000 in the small blind, and Sylvain Loosli called in the big to put him at risk.

West: Ks4d
Loosli: Ad7d

The board ran out Qd7c2d6d2s, and West was drawing dead on the turn. Loosli won the pot with the nut flush, sending West to the rain in third place.

David Malka and Sylvain Loosli are now heads up for the title, the trophy, and the $658,000 top prize.

David Malka – 7,415,000 (124 bb)
Sylvain Loosli – 1,985,000 (33 bb)
Tim West – Eliminated

High Roller: David Malka Crosses the 7 Million Mark

$25,000 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 23: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 94

David Malka raised to 135,000 on the button and Sylvain Loosli three-bet to 345,000 out of the big blind. Malka took a few moments in the tank and then put in a four-bet to 655,000 and Loosli tossed his hand into the muck.

A few hands later, Sylvain Loosli raised to 150,000 out of the small blind and David Malka defended his big blind. The flop was 6h4s3s and Loosli bet 125,000. Malka raised to 315,000 and Loosli folded.

Malka dragged the pot and extended his already massive chip lead, crossing over the 7 million chip mark.

David Malka – 7,200,000
Sylvanil Loosli – 1,275,000

High Roller: Nick Petrangelo – 4th Place ($206,800)

$25,000 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 23: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 94

Nick Petrangelo
Nick Petrangelo

On a flop of 7d6d4c, Nick Petrangelo checked from the small blind and David Malka bet 235,000 from the big blind. Sylvain Loosli called on the button and Petrangelo went into the tank for a minute.

Petrangelo eventually moved all in for about 2,000,000 and Malka hesitates for a few moments before moving all in for about 3,500,000. Loosli quickly folded and the cards were tabled.

Malka showed 8h5c, good for the nut straight and had Petrangelo drawing to runners with his 8s8d. The turn was the 7h, giving Petrangelo some outs, but the river was the 9s and Petrangelo hit the rail in fourth place.

Petrangelo took home $206,800 for his finish and Malka takes a massive chip lead into three-handed play.

David Malka – 5,750,000 (95 bb)
Nick Petrangelo – Eliminated