EPT Baden: The Final Table
EPT Baden Champion6:46pm--It's all over. Patrik Antonius flopped two pair on an 84x flop. Gunnar picked the wrong time to make a move with overcards and exited in second place. A full report will be out shortly.
6:41pm--Blinds are now 8000/16000
6:32pm-- Patrik has opened up his chip lead some more and is steadily chipping away at Gunnar's stack. We're on break for just a few minutes.
6:14pm--A few words on our two final players.
Gunnar finished his ecomomics degree last spring and is giving professional poker a try until he decides on his next career step. He makes a regular income from online cash games, but has never won a significant tournament before. Playing only his second EPT event, that could change soon here in Baden. But it is going to take some serious work against Patrik's massive stack and greater experience.
This has been a remarkable two months for Patrik. He won the Scandinavian Championship (70,000) in Stockholm in August, then made the final table at the Barcelona EPT, where he picked up £72,870 for third place. Now he is in his second EPT final table in three attempts. Patrik is the man in form.
6:10pm--The players are heads up. Patrik has about a 2-1 chip lead.
6:00pm--Abel Meijberg has been eliminated in third place cashing for 61,560. He doubled through once after being crippled, but called all in with A2s against Patrik's on the next hand. A student of industrial engineering from Groningen in Holland, Abel started playing poker around two years ago, mostly online. He has no superstitions and relies on his analytical skills to give him an edge. Abel has a refreshing attitude towards this final table: "I'm already a winner. This is the biggest prize money of my life, so any extra is just for fun."
5:57pm--I suppose no matter what language you speak, the term "chip-lead" is easily translated. Right now, I'm trying to find a goof Finnish translator, because Fin Atonius has the lead.
5:54pm--Trouble in Abel-ville. Abel has just been crippled after getting all-in pre-flop with AQ versus Patrik's AK. The board didn't help Abel one bit. Already, the crowd is murmuring about "a chip and a chair." Since Patrik had lost some chips in the last half an hour, Abel had him covered, but just barely.
5:49pm--Got quiet didn't it? Again, I have to appluad the structure here in Baden. Deep stack poker is good poker. We've had no massive hands since we returned from break. There has been some jousting and a couple showdowns, but nothing massive. These guys are playing pretty well.
5:14pm--Chip counts at break:
5:07pm--Abel just took a hit to the massive double-up benefit of Patrik Antonius. The players got all in pre-flop. Abel held AJ to Patrik's TT. The pair held up and this is going to be onoe helluva three-handed contest.
4:59pm--Christian Grundtvig has been eliminated in fourth place. He pushed all in with a pair of jacks. Gunnar called with AKs. The board brougt AKxQK and Christian exited the contest. In case you're not aware, Christian's favourite pastime used to be stamp collecting, and he still runs his own private dealership. Poker, however, has been his primary activity over the last two years, with lucrative results. Christian finished runner up to Edgar Skjervold in the 2004 WCOOP. He earns 47,880 for his efforts.
4:37pm--Do not, repeat do not, underestimate Abel. The media had lengthy discussions last night about a laydown Abel made yesterday. It was one of those pots that make or break you and I'm almost certain he was ahead when he mucked his hand. I'll admit, I spent too much time talking about how I wouldn't have made the same laydown. In retrospect, he made the right move. He came into today with the chip lead and has not looked back. He just called that all-in with pocket jacks (a lesser holding than he laid down yesterday). He knows when to gamble. This time, it paid off handsomely. He has a commanding chip lead right now. I estimate it is more than 2-1 over Gunnar in second place.
4:32pm--Ingemar Backman has just been busted out on a massive 650K+ pot. He pushed with AKs and got called by Abel who had pocket jacks. For fifth place he gets 41,040.
4:10pm--Play has resumed with the following blinds and chip counts.
G Osterbrod 471.5k
P Antonius 212k
I Backman 381k
C Grundtvig 133.5k
A Meijberg 608k
3:37pm--As the players finish up their lunch, I thought it might be a good time to tell you about snowboarding champ turned poker player Ingemar Backman. Ingemar is the last Swede standing out of the 20 or so who made the journey to Austria. He is at home in the mountains having been a professional snowboarder for 12 years, representing Sweden at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. He also is also a founding partner in the successful 'We' chain of street fashion wear. Poker has been a hobby for the last two years, and although he has never played at this level before, he looks relaxed among the pros.
No doubt he has a creative side. Check out his patriotic chip stack.
3:00pm-- The players have taken a one-hour break to grab a quick bite to eat. In the meantime, here are your chip counts and blinds heading into the next level.
G Osterbrod 471.5k
P Antonius 212k
I Backman 381k
C Grundtvig 133.5k
A Meijberg 608k
2:46pm--Peter Muhlbek is out in sixth place. KQ on a king-high board was no good against Abel's air of aces. Peter, who lives in Vienna with his wife and two kids, graduated with an MBA and had a job offer from international accountancy firm, but his poker earnings were such that he couldn't afford the pay cut. This 41,040 euro payday shouldn't hurt the cause.
2:35pm-- Torstein Iverson has just departed in seventh place. He got all in with an over-pair of sixes on a baby board with two hearts. Gunnar had the heart flush draw and got there on the river. Iverson cashes for 27,360. Father-of-two Torstein has been playing cards from a young age and has always believed he had a special skill. He's been supporting his young family from Oslo as a poker pro for the last two years, mixing live and online action.
2:29pm-- Gunnar just took a 250K pot off Christian. All-in pre-flop, Gunnar had AK vs. Christian's TT. That loss moved Christian down to the short stack...looking to be arous 100K, maybe a little more.
2:17pm-- Peter just took a very nice pot off Patrik. Peter pushed all in on a ten-high flop and Patrik called with JT. Peter showed pocket queens and took down a nice pot.
2:04pm--The play is starting to get a bit more aggressive here after the break. Abel has re-raised Patrik pre-flop and forced him to lay down his hand. Gunnar just re-raised Ingemar all-in pre-flop to get him to lay down his hand as well. A conversation with some of the other folks in the room has the early money on Patrik and Torstein getting heads up. Other bettors have Abel and Peter in the mix as well. I'm not willing to put my money down on this one. Patrik's aggressive style has earned him a lot of chips over the past couple of days, but it seems the players have decided to not back down as much. At the same time, it seems Patrik might be dialing back his aggression just a bit. I wouldn't be suprised to see him work a good trap here eventually. Torstein is in a good rhythm and seems to be picking his spots well. Peter is not getting involved too much, but when he does, he seems to have the goods. Ingemar is playing a lot of pots. Abel and Christian are staying out of the way in most hands, but are playing the hands they are in strongly.
1:51pm--A nice scrap just now between Gunnar and Patrik. After some none-too-light betting, both players checked the river. Gunnar showed...six high to Patrik's pair of nines. From the crowd came the immistakable voice of Noah Boeken: "Six high no good?"
1:42pm-- After a break, we have returned to play.
1:10pm--Edgar Skjevold has been eliminated in eighth place. He made a stand with AQ and ran into Patrik Antonius' pair of jacks. Edgar got all in pre-flop and the board didn't help him out. He cashes for 20,520. A former financial analyst from Oslo, Edgar burst onto the poker scene last year when he won $425,000 in the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker. After a quiet year following that success he placed well in the WSOP main event this summer (winning more than $100,000). Nice job, Edgar.
1:03pm--As is pretty normal for a televised EPT final table, the action is not very big. The psychology is always such that no one wants to be the first knocked off. What's more, the structure here in Baden has been fantastic. The players have loved the deep stack play. The shortest stack at the table started with 15 big blinds. We're actually getting so see some poker played among the final nine. It's rather refreshing. In other refreshing news, a trip to the bar for an orange juice has turned into a quandry. Upon my return to Blog HQ, I've found the orange juice has been spiked and I've actually picked up a Mimosa. That better explains why the juice was being served in a flute. It does not better explain why I've chosen to keep the drink and sip it like a lady.
12:53pm--Things just got a little fun. If you missed the 12:44 time stamp, check out the relationship between Edgar and Christian. Just now, they tangled, both getting all in preflop. Christian held AK. Edgar held a monster...AK. The board didn't flush either of them up, so play continues after the split pot.
12:44pm--My, my. We've seen a showdown. Ingemar Backman and Edgar Skjevold tangled on a king-high board. Both had queens, but Edgar had the king. Incidentally, if you didn't already know, Edgar is know as RAGDE on PokerStars. He won the 2004 World Championship of Online Poker. In other news, Christian Grundtvig is als sitting at this final table. Why is that relevant? As it happens, Christian came in second place in the 2004 WCOOP. That means we have a chance of seeing a repeat heads-up match between the two big guns from the 2004 WCOOP.
12:39pm--Alright, here's a hyopthetical for you. You're sitting in a televised poker tournament. Someone's cell phone rings. It sounds like yours, but you're pretty sure it is not. Shortly thereafter, a wild siren screams through the room and an Austrian voice speaking in a foreign language announces something over a loudspeaker. Two TV producers look at each other and run at a dead sprint out of the room. What do you do?
12:34pm--As usual the action is pretty tight in the first level. A raise is taking down most pots pre-flop. The only confrontation we've seen so far was Abel coming in for a raise, Patrik re-raising, and Abel folding. This happened a little bit yesterday as well. As the two starting chip leaders, Abel predicted he and Patrik would clash. Their styles are noticably different, however. Abel is a reserved (and I can confirm, very careful) player. Patrik is the antithesis of that. We'll see how it turns out.
12:25pm--Blinds will be 3000/6000/500.
12:22pm--The players are being introduced. That usually indicates we're about to get started.
The final table here in Baden is about to begin. The latest updates will be at the top of the page. Click here for a look at the final table players. Chip counts and payouts are below.
Seat 1: Gunnar Osterbrod (NOR) 184,300
Seat 2: Patrick Antonius (FIN) 308,400
Seat 3: Torstein Iverson (NOR) 179,500
Seat 4: Edgar Skjevold (NOR) 90,400
Seat 5: Peter Muhlbeck (Austria) 247,700
Seat 6: Ingemar Backman (SWE) 294,500
Seat 7: Christian Grundtvig (DEN) 180,000
Seat 8: Abel Meijberg (NL) 315,100