EPT9 Berlin Day 2: I can confirm that potential PoY winner Jan Bendik does not speak English
Jan Bendik seems to have the EPT Season 9 Player of the Year award wrapped up. Points wise he's a full main event win ahead of everyone else. He must be delighted. It's just that nobody seemed to have any idea how to find out. So I asked him: Jan, you're clear at the top of the PoY standings, you must be delighted. He smiled back at me in agreement. "I don't speak English," he replied, so I patted him on the arm and decided to make up the rest.
You'd think it would be easy to say that Bendik has turned a few heads with his remarkable progress this season, but he hasn't. Primarily it's because his achievements have come away from main events, in the side events instead, which only a few hard core relatives stick around to watch. In fact, he's had just one main event cash this season. The rest have come in side events. It's a wonder he's wasting his time playing Day 2. His best option is obviously to ditch his chips as quickly as possible and jump into whatever is going on next door.
Certainly not a man who looks delighted: Jan Bendik
Side events, while lucrative, get little of the glory that the main event players receive, save for a short blog post congratulating them. None of which seems to bother Bendik who I sensed, merely from his ambivalent shrug, feels no longing for media attention.
So Bendik plays on, as he should, given that he returned to day with 138,000 chips.
Looking through his results there's an obvious pattern to his game. If the colour red features in the flag of the host country Bendik seems to clean up. I mentioned this to colleagues who were in admiration. They also pointed out that every flag on the EPT, except that of the Bahamas, has red in it. Ergo, it's fairly obvious why he's doing so well.
It's some record. Starting in Barcelona he finished fifth in a €1,000 event then finished third in a turbo in Sanremo, before scoring ninth place in another a few days later.
In Prague in December, Bendik notched up three side event cashes, including a second place finish in a €2,000 turbo. Then in Deauville he topped all that, wining a €1,000 side event worth €61,560 before winning a second in London a month later.
Bendik's lead is now practically insurmountable, given that whatever happens in the main event he's likely to continue his rampage on the under-card. Those chasing include Kent Lundmark and Steve O'Dwyer, who can only look on, perhaps wondering whether Bendik is actually delighted. I guess we'll never know.
A full list of the current standings in the Player of the Year Award is available on the EPT website.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter