EPT Player of the Year race close at the finish line

ept-thumb-promo.jpgEPT Berlin saw the main contenders for EPT Player of the Year racing for points in the penultimate event of Season 8. British pro Roberto Romanello set everyone else on edge with a very early cash when he finished fifth in the €2k PLO Turbo event. This gave him 195 points, and put him within just 200 points of Czech pro Ondrej Vinklarek, who has been dominating the race since EPT Prague in December.

But the rest of the week progressed with no significant cashes for any of the leaders and a definite air of panic was beginning to set in. A big shake-up was in store in the €2k however. There was a massive 250-strong field for this event - meaning anyone who made the final would get at least 240 points. It was American Bryn Kenney who managed it though - finishing second for €75,000 and 540 Award points.

The American pro, who is dating Team PokerStars Pro Ana Marquez, was already thriving after an amazing time in Campione a few weeks earlier. Kenney cashed in three events in Italy for a total of 780 points. This had propelled him from 16th place to sixth, and his Berlin €2k result means he is now in third place, 520 points behind Vinklarek and only 95 points behind Romanello. EPT Berlin runner-up Andrew Chen from Canada who - prior to Berlin - had already cashed five times this season, with three final tables (including a runner-up finish in the PCA $10k Six Max for $191,000), has now jumped from 39th place to ninth with a total of 1,920 points. Vinklarek also managed to cashed at the very end of EPT Berlin, coming third in the €5k NL Turbo for €26,600 and 225 points.

With the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final already under way, there are still nearly 20 eligible (€1,000+) events remaining before the Awards Ceremony at Café Llorca at the end of the Grand Final Festival on May 1.


Ondrej Vinklarek

Online Qualifier of the Year

Martin Finger retains the lead with Team PokerStars Pro Pierre Neuville in second place and EPT Campione champion Jannick Wrang in third. After winning in Italy, Wrang said he is known as the "Satellite King" back home as he qualifies for every live event he plays. EPT Loutraki champion Zimnan Ziyard, EPT6 Berlin winner Kevin MacPhee and last season's EPT Qualifier of the Year Martin Jacobson are still contenders however. Martin Finger is also leading the race to be EPT Heads-Up Player of the Year.

Omaha Player of the Year

There were no significant changes to the top ten - although Finnish pro Juha Helppi has jumped to sixth with 465 points and is now within shouting distance of the leader Ori Miller from Israel.

Best Country

Bulgaria is still leading towards the Best Country title and there are no changes in the chasing countries USA and Russia. Denmark has significantly improved its percentage however due to outstanding performances from Danes at recent EPT Main Events. Ireland is now only one cash away from being eligible for this title so Bulgaria is facing attacks on many fronts!

See all the points on the EPT Awards page.

Mad Harper
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour