Baltic Festival: It's final day
Good afternoon, good morning, good everything and welcome to the final chapter in the first book of the PokerStars Baltic Poker Festival.
It's the last day of what has been a terrific week: 307 players parted with €1,000 apiece (or the online qualification equivalent) to take their place in the Main Event in Tallinn, and now only 17 remain. Today we will play to a winner, who will earn €76,750 from their Estonian sojourn, and will become the inaugural Baltic Festival champion. Wowsers.
Let's start with a run through of your runners and riders, listed in order of chips:
James Keys, UK, 442,000
Michael Fardan, Denmark , 373,000
Thomas Partridge, UK, 350,000
Andrius Tapinas, Lithuania, 262,000
Johan Nilsson, Sweden, 222,500
Antti Karkkainen, Finland, 198,500
Claus Bek Nielsen, Denmark, 170,000
Imre Leibold, Estonia, 157,000
Kenneth Danielsen, Norway, 152,500
Einar Olafsson, Iceland, 125,500
Patrik Kaltrud, Norway, 123,000
Yet San Wong, Netherlands, 111,500
Petri Heinanen , Finland, 110,000
Priit Plakk Estonia, 88,000
Peeter Grunthal, Estonia, 76,000
Natasha Ellis, UK, 71,000
Matias Knaapinen, Finland, 53,500
Even the least observant is going to notice a considerable northern European flavour to that line-up. Anyone from further afield has been sent packing, leaving the Brits to scrap it out with the Nordics, and a decent smattering of local players.
On the first day here, Imre Leibold was mentioned as being the hottest prospect in Estonian poker, and he's lived up to the billing, cruising to the final day. Meanwhile Andrius Tapinas is widely considered to be the best Lithuanian tournament player. He is a television presenter by day (poker shows, obviously) and a poker player by night (PokerStars, obviously, where he is a SuperNova) and he has steadily and stealthily worked his way to the top handful too.
We will start today at the beginning of level 17, where the blinds are 2,500-5,000 (500 ante) meaning that there's still plenty of play, even if it's going to be frantic stuff for the shorter stacks. We'll keep track of all the major pots and eliminations on the main blog pages, the prizewinners will be on the prizewinners' page, and the full official chip counts will be on the chip count page, updated in full every two levels.
Ordinarily at major poker tournaments, we say something like: "The only place to follow all the action is right here on PokerStars blog", and there's something slightly metaphorical about the claim. But here in the Baltics, PokerStars blog is quite literally the only place you can follow the action. So stand by.