EPT9 Berlin: Lundmark and O'Dwyer chasing bountiful Bendik for EPT Player of the Year title
There are just two EPT stops left in which to score Player of the Year points and Barcelona champion Kent Lundmark and back-to-back London final tablist Steve O'Dwyer are going to have to be firing on all cylinders if they're to catch up with Slovakia's number one, Jan Bendik.
Bendik has been consistently cashing in side events this season, winning two outright and making the final table of three others. A solitary Main Event cash has come this season at EPT London giving Bendik an additional 100 points but that's not to say he hasn't got Main Event staying power. He's made two final tables in the past; Bendik finished 5th at EPT8 Sanremo for €170,000 and 6th at EPT7 Prague for €100,000. So far this season he's notched up $218,320 in EPT winnings and on current form you'd expect him to win more in Berlin and Monaco.
EPT 9 Player of the Year
1. Jan Bendik, 2,645, Slovakia
2. Kent Lundmark, 1,660, Sweden
3. Steve O'Dwyer, 1,650, USA
4. Marc-Andre Ladouceur, 1,610, Canada
5. Ramzi Jelassi, 1,600, Sweden
6. Robert Haigh, 1,590, Germany
7. Christopher Frank, 1,580, Germany
8. Pawel Zawadowicz, 1,535, Poland
9. Bryn Kenney, 1,485, USA
10. Joni Jouhkimainen, 1,480, Finland
Bendik may well have close to a 1,000 point lead at this point but there's a host of top quality players on his tail. Lundmark and O'Dwyer are joined by the likes of Marc-Andre Ladouceur who has won a High Roller, finished 2nd in the €10,000 Heads-Up Championship and has three other top five finishes in small field side events.
Ramzi Jelassi won EPT Prague for €835,000 and scored a couple of 6th place finishes at the PCA. A deep, late rally for him would not be beyond the realms of belief. Robert Haigh is one of a group of grinders who have relocated from Germany to Brighton on the South Coast of England. It certainly seems to have helped to focus his game. Haigh has won two side events including a large 339-man field which he chopped for €70,790.
Lundmark, much like Bendik, has been on a tear this season. He's won three side events (although one was €400 so doesn't count towards POY points) and final tabled four others. The Swede has currently notched up $1,843,634 in live tournament winnings and may well have to break the $2m mark if he's to unseat Bendik from the EPT 9 Player of the Year throne. O'Dwyer, who is just a 10 points behind Lundmark, is yet to claim a red spade trophy this season but has been consistently making final tables, five of them in fact, one of which was the EPT London Main Event. He picked up $321,140 in cashes during Season 9, not bad for a man who prides himself on bringing the limp back.
We'll be paying keen attention to the points in Berlin and going into the Grand Final. The other leader boards; Omaha Player, Heads-Up Player, High Roller and Online Qualifier all also pick up awards and free entry into the first EPT Main Event for Season 10. Follow our coverage as it goes to the wire. You can check out the current standing in all of those here.
Rick Dacey staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.