EPT8 Monaco: Finger bursts the bubble and pulls out of PoY race

ept-thumb-promo.jpgThe knockout of EPT Prague winner Martin Finger has burst the bubble here in a double elimination. Finger had opened from the hijack to 10,000 and Jesse Martin three-bet to 29,500 out of the small blind. Finger responded by moving his stack, all 189,500 of it, across the line to pile the pressure back onto Martin.

The American didn't look happy. There was no snap-call but no insta-muck either. Martin had Finger covered but a loss here would leave him short on the bubble. He eventually, grudgingly, made the call. It was Finger's turn to look unhappy. In fact, he looked gutted. The action was hand for hand, elsewhere two other players were all-in for their tournament lives; Andrew Badecker and Gaelle Baumann.

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Martin Finger in happier times, with Natalie Hof

Baumann was up first. She doubled through with aces through nine-five. Then it was Finger's turn. He showed his hand: J♠J♥, significantly better than you'd be led to believe by the look of disappointment on his face when Martin had called. He was up against two over cards; A♦Q♥. Eric Seidel stood a few feet away talking to David Sands who was up and away from his seat at the next table along. Pierre Neuville watched on with interest, his short stack looking to earn a €15,000 pay jump if things went against Finger.

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Trapped Finger

The 9♣A♠K♥ flop gave Martin the lead and Finger looked to the roof, eyes rolling. The turn and river blanked out with the 9♠ and 7♦. The frustration of that failed flip was clear to see. Now he waited, hands in pockets, for that third all-in.

Badecker had called off his 145,000 stack with A♣9♠ against Mikhail's K♦6♠ three-bet shove. Petrov caught a king which was enough to take the pot and send Badecker to the rail.

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Badecker busting

That double elimination sent two players to the rail in a shared bubble/min-cash exit. Finger managing to briefly find some solace in cashing for €7,500 before tugging the hood of his jumper up over his head and face, the shape of his nose and eye sockets showing as he pulled downwards.

That also ends the German's attempts to steal the EPT Player of the Year title away from Ondrej Vinklarek. A podium finish would have done that, a big ask for anyone. The players went on a 20 minute break straight after.

Tournament snapshot
Level 17: blinds 2,500-5,000, ante 500
Players: 95 of 665
Average stack: 210,000
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Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour