EPT9 Berlin Day 5: Cutting the field in half to fill a final table

Hello everyone and welcome back to the German capital for day five of EPT Berlin. The European Poker Tour has never been quite so completely in the thrall of one nation as it has this week, where eight of the final 17 players are playing on their home turf.

Not only that, but German talent occupies eight of the top nine places in the chip-count list, including our leader Roman Herold. It defies all probabilities; Germany is crushing this event.


Roman Herold: leading a nation

Herold was the dominant force yesterday as we sliced a field of 55 down to the final 17 in only five levels. Today the target is the final table, around which there are eight seats. In other words, nine players need to bust before we bag up once again.

Here's how they line up today, in table/seat order. When one player busts, there will likely be another re-draw for the final two tables, so this won't remain relevant for very long.

Table draw for final 17 players
Table, seat, name, country, chips

1 1 Yasar Guden Germany 1,619,000
1 2 Roman Korenev Russia 1,186,000
1 3 Philippe Barouk France 531,000
1 4 Lasse Christiansen Denmark 678,000
1 5 Olivier Busquet USA 736,000
1 6 Alexander Helbig Germany 2,040,000

2 1 Julian Thomas Germany 1,400,000
2 2 Calvin Anderson USA 561,000
2 3 Khiem Nguyen Germany 2,788,000
2 4 Pascal Vos Netherlands 1,130,000
2 5 Dashgyn Aliev Russia 3,931,000
2 6 Matias Kesanen Finland 1,082,000

3 1 Robert Haigh Germany 1,659,000
3 2 Robert Auer Germany 1,380,000
3 3 Kevin Stani Norway 862,000
3 4 Roman Herold Germany 4,485,000
3 5 Daniel-Gai Pidun Germany 1,191,000

The principal threats to German dominance come in four forms: Olivier Busquet, Calvin Anderson, Kevin Stani and Dashgyn Aliev.

The first of those, Busquet, is among the greatest contemporary thinkers about poker in the world, and his exceptional string of live results show that he is not just an armchair philosopher. He goes out and practices what he preaches.

The second, Anderson, is currently ranked No1 in the world in online poker and is clearly an extraordinarily talented tournament poker player, set for a grandstanding breakout performance in the live European environment. Anderson is, simply, a beast.


Calvin Anderson: quite good

The third is the last remaining former EPT champion in the field. After winning in Tallinn during season seven, Stani took a brief hiatus from poker. But he is back now and is the last hope in this, the penultimate stop of season nine, to become the first two-time champion.


Kevin Stani: a face in the crowd

The latter is almost completely unknown. He has no tournament cashes to his name and, I can confirm in true PokerStars Blog fashion, that does not speak any English. My question this morning "Do you speak English?" was greeted by the kind of confused expression, and then a shake of the head, that you really can't fake. However, he has 3,931,000 chips, second overall, and those chips can do some talking.


Dashgyn Aliev: a lone Russian hope

Here's how the video team set up the day:

Don't forget the way to follow our main event coverage. There's hand-by-hand stuff, including chip counts, in the panel at the top of the main EPT Berlin page. There will be feature pieces below that panel, including updates from the side events. EPT Live is now live.

Meanwhile, High Roller coverage is on the High Roller page. And everything to do with the European Poker Tour is on the European Poker Tour site.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour