EPT Copenhagen: De Vivo snatches lead at end of Guldhammer's day in the sun
Poker strategies change like the wind, from the "fold everything but aces" of the old school to the "five bet with air" of the new guard. But whatever the fashion, one truism will endure: if you're on a heater, you should ride it.
Morten Guldhammer has been on the mother of all heaters over the past couple of months. He won a $1 qualifying satellite on PokerStars, arranged in conjunction with Denmark's Ekstra Bladet newspaper, to earn his passage to the EPT Copenhagen field. He beat something like 1,500 players over two rounds even to get to the casino this week - but the story doesn't end there.
Guldhammer tore through days one, two and three, always comfortable and always enjoying every minute of his (all but) freeroll. But that proved to be nothing compared with his heroics of day four, when he went from the middle of the pack to become this tournament's dominant force in a matter of a couple of hours.
"Massive chip leader!" Guldhammer declared as he cracked Damien Fouquet's pocket kings with his jack ten, shortly after making his debut on the featured tabled. By that point, he had already knocked out at least three other players to give him the funds to foil Fouquet.
He kept up this dramatic show throughout a further three hours, always willing to set his chips to work. He doubled up a couple of short stacks when they were down to nine, but Guldhammer was the undisputed story of the day - reaching a high water mark of more than 3.5 million, before finishing with 2,033,000. "No one can beat me!" he claimed. We will see.
Of the nine players returning tomorrow for the final table, Guldhammer is the most unpredictable, the most entertaining and the one having the most fun. He is not, however, the chip leader.
Nine-handed play lasted for more than two hours - long enough for tournament officials to agree to play tomorrow's final with the extra man, instead of the EPT's usual eight. That passage of play actually allowed Italy's Francesco De Vivo to stand firm with his stack of 2,073,000 and take a slender lead into tomorrow's final.
De Vivo's day four can be defined by two major hands: one a terrific call with a pair of aces, for his tournament life, to pick off Roberto Romanello's bluff. He then eliminated Mads Wissing with flopped trip nines. That gave him the stack to sit tight.
The full line up for tomorrow is as follows:
Francesco De Vivo, Italy, 2,073,000
Morten Guldhammer, Denmark, PokerStars qualifier, 2,033,000
Roberto Romanello, UK, 1,551,000
Richard Loth, Denmark, 1,436,000
Anton Wigg, Sweden, PokerStars qualifier, 1,412,000
Yorane Kerignard, France, PokerStars qualifier, 1,164,000
Magnus Hansen, Denmark, 1,164,000
Jesper Petersen, Denmark, PokerStars player, 968,000
Morten Klein, Norway, 748,000
Those nine form an almost perfect microcosm of the full 423 starting field. Loth, Petersen and Hansen join Guldhammer as representatives of the strong local contingent, while the rest of Scandinavia has Wigg (Sweden) and Klein (Norway) to get behind. De Vivo obviously continues Italy's fine showing at EPT events over the past couple of seasons, and Kerignard is there from France.
The British player Romanello has already laid one particular hoodoo to rest in making it to the final table. So far during this tournament, no overnight chip leader has made it through the next day. But Romanello has.