EPT London: Martins Adeniya the big stack, final table tomorrow
Martins Adeniya heads to the EPT London party at the exclusive Kensington Roof Gardens looking to start his celebrations a day early. The 26-year-old Brit is well stacked with 4,736,000, some way ahead of his chief rivals Mattias Bergstrom (3,620,000) and Benny Spindler (3,435,000). One player will tomorrow win £750,000.
Adeniya's lively style of play was always going to see his stack moving up and down but at the end it soared: 1,600,000 up to his chip leading 4,746,000 during the final level of a day.
The final building block came with his ejection of Adria Balaguer, who was knocked out in ninth place for £45,000 to set up our EPT eight-handed final table where a new champion will be crowned (Joao Barbosa, our last remaining double candidate departed in 17th). A flopped full house versus trips with an ace kicker saw the Spaniard sent to the rail wishing he'd just passed pre-flop. Someone had to go, nine too many, eight the magic EPT final table number.
Tomorrow's final table, which starts at midday, will feature a mix of players, a melange of tournament experience and victories, ranging from Spindler (nine final tables, $1,962,683 live winnings) and O'Dwyer (15 final tables, $1,114,167 live winnings) to Miroslav Benes (one final table, $5,513 live winnings) and Mattias Bergstrom (one final table, $39,740 live winnings).
Seat 1: Miroslav Benes, PokerStars online qualifier, 370,000
Seat 2: Andre Klebanov, 2,30,000
Seat 3: Stephen O'Dwyer, 1,250,000
Seat 4: Juan Manuel Pastor, Team PokerStars Pro, 1,915,000
Seat 5: Benny Spindler, PokerStars player, 3,435,000
Seat 6: Kevin Iacofano, 2,685,000
Seat 7: Martins Adeniya, 4,736,000
Seat 8: Mattias Bergstrom, 3,620,000
Bergstrom may not have tonnes of live experience but he did start the day as chip leader and within minutes he was stretching out further, turning pocket tens into a full house on a K♦3♥K♠T♦2♦ board against the A♠K♥ of Basile Yaiche. That all but knocked out the Frenchman and put Bergstrom up to 2,850,000. Two hours later he won another large pot, this time against the languorous American Steve O'Dwyer, pushing the Swede towards four million when his closest rival held just half that.
Then the inevitable slowdown and catch-up, O'Dwyer key in that occurrence after check-raising top trips on the turn and firing the river into the unbelieving Swede. All this happened on the outer table, away from the merry carnage that always seems to weave around Benny Spindler at the feature TV table.
Spindler has featured in every night's wrap of the action and that's not down to preferential treatment from our end, the German will barely speak to the press. Spindler's talents place him at the centre of any tournament in which he amasses a stack, it's gravitational pull too much for us to ignore. His stack appears denser, its mass like a blackhole, sucking in everything in its path as Hugo Loureiro found out getting A♥5♥ in pre-flop against Spindler's 8♥9♥, flopping an ace and still losing to straight.
That said, Spindler may count himself lucky that he didn't have Martins Adeniya on his table until the very end. When the pair met at the final table today the young Brit five-bet shoved on him for a couple of million. Adeniya, you feel, is a player that has his fear switch flicked to the 'off' position when at the poker table. Much like Spindler. It should prove to be an interesting match-up tomorrow with Adeniya holding position and percentage over the German.
Okay, you may always want aces but they're not always going to win and today variance took a downturn on those bullets. Four times we reported them cracked, a terrible three times for Pascal Hartmann who bust in 15th (£22,000) and once for a huge 2,400,000 pot to knock out Anatoly Gurtovoy in 14th (£27,000). Balaguer was the lucky recipient in that later coup, his pocket queens caught a two-outer on the turn, much to the delight of his loud Spanish rail.
A special mention goes out to Juan Manuel Pastor who scored his deepest EPT run, beating his 17th place finish in Warsaw back in Season 5, and as the sole survivor of Team PokerStars Pro he can also add a debut final table to his poker resume. Pastor who has played the role of an Aikido master to beneficial effect, allowing the aggressive young men around him to come charging at him before turning and twisting their energy back on them, most noticeably when flopping bottom set against Andre Klebanov. The young German held A♦9♦ for a pair and the nut flush draw on a 5♠4♦J♦9♠ board. Pastor sidestepped the eight clean flush outs to rake in a pot worth well in excess of 2,000,000.
To catch up with all the action from the day click on the links below and if you'd like to see all the bust out positions then click here.
Thanks to Neil Stoddart who has been capturing souls in his flashy-snappy-box all day. Credit his pictures with his name, he owns the copyright.