EPT10 Barcelona: On Kresten the Killer and Other Qualifiers

Earlier in the week we were noting the preponderance of players who qualified for their EPT10 Barcelona Main Event seats online at PokerStars, following the fortunes of a couple in particular, Harley Stoffmaker (who made Day 2) and Tom Gallagher (who cashed).

The rise and continued success of the UK's Tom Middleton -- another online qualifier -- who led to end both Days 3 and 4, got us thinking again about how qualifiers were faring.

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Tom Middleton

Middleton was joined by four others here on Day 5 who got here via the online satellite route. Three of those five qualifiers have survived early action today. Updating each...

One qualifier, Lukas Berglund, came into today's Day 5 with some considerable past success in Barcelona, having won the WPT Spanish Championship here in 2011 for a career-high €231,500 cash.

Alas for the Swede, his EPT10 Barcelona Main Event run would end early today with a 22nd-place finish after losing the last of his below average stack to Andreas Christoforou of Cyprus.

Berglund's final hand saw him raising from middle position and it folding to Christoforou who asked "How much?" from the big blind. Learning Berglund had about 750,000 left, Christoforou defended with a call, then proceeded to check-raise Berglund twice after the 2♠8♦K♦ flop and 5♥ turn. The second check-raise was an all-in push, and after thinking just a couple of seconds Berglund called.

Berglund had K♣J♦, but Christoforou had him out-kicked with K♥Q♦, and after the A♠ river Berglund's run had ended with a €34,950 cash.

Chantiez Sergei of the Russian Federation also won his Main Event seat online. Sergei started with a just-below-average stack of 1,472,000 today and after battling through the first level found himself all in before the flop and at risk at the start of the day's second level in a hand versus Niall Farrell.

Sergie had A♦9♣ and appeared in good shape versus Farrell's A♥4♦, especially after the first four cards came 6♣2♠[10d]J♥. But the 4♠ fell on the river to pair Farrell, and Sergie left with a 20th-place finish and cash of €40,940.

A third qualifier, Stefan Kolossow began the day with a stack of just over 1.5 million, right at the average to start the day. The German held steady through the first 90-minute level today to remain in the middle of the pack.

Kolossow has a handful of cashes around Europe and in the U.S. to his credit, the largest thus far being an €18,150 score for a fifth-place finish at an event in Vienna in 2010. Thus wherever he lands here at EPT Barcelona he'll be recording a career-high tourney cash.

Denmark's Kresten Nielsen began today with one of the shortest stacks of the remaining players, and he was able to nurse his way through the first level at the feature table. As they've been discussing on the EPTLive webcast, this marks the first significant cash of his poker career.

While the gold-cap wearing Kresten has no big scores to his credit, he has played a few EPTs before with his first in Copenhagen being the most memorable. There he managed to knock out a string of players on Day 1 to gain a lot of attention. A local daily newsletter -- Acemag -- who did some reports for PokerStars/EPT at the time dubbed him "Kresten the Killer," and the name has stuck ever since.

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Kresten "the Killer" Nielsen

By contrast with Nielsen, chip leader Middleton both entered today flush with chips and with an impressive catalogue of cashes over the last five years totaling nearly $1 million. Still, this marks his first EPT cash altogether outside of a PCA Main Event cash two years ago.

Known as "hitthehole" on PokerStars, Middleton has numerous big online scores and thus it's no surprise to see him turning getting here via qualifying online. Middleton continues to lead as the field shrinks under 20 players.

Click through to live coverage of the EPT Barcelona Main Event or the EPT Barcelona High Roller. Check out all the festival results here or take a look at what happened in the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller. Follow the @PokerStarsBlog Twitter account to keep up-to-date with all the EPT action and check out the EPTLive webcast.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in European Poker Tour