EPT9 London Day 3: Looking at the contenders
Yesterday the first murmurs of the same old story began. Then today EPT Live presenters James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton talked about it a little more. The subject was the number of notable players, among them former EPT winners, still in the running at EPT London, and what that could lead to.
I jokingly said that such good news usually meant that you could cast your eye down the seat draw, pick out the eight players you'd never heard of before, and guarantee that they would make up the final table on Saturday. But I only half meant it. Even I dares to believe that at least some of the champions, and their equally talented champions-elect would see it through.
But now, several hours later, those hopes are increasingly crestfallen and the main event is beginning to take on a different story.
That story will have to come from one of several corners. Look to the future, not the past, I say. But without wishing to sound like a killjoy, we want big names at the final table.
Looking back London has usually delivered: Marcel Luske in season one, Kiril Gerasimov in season two, Vicky Coren and Chad Brown in season three, Anthony Lellouche in season four, Michael Martin, Michael Tureniec and Lellouche again in season five, Peter Eastgate in season six, John Juanda in season seven and Benny Spindler in season eight. As an event it has a rich pedigree of finalists.
But now hopes of a similarly captivating final depends on certain players in the field. Players like Annette Obrestad and Mike McDonald, Viktor Blom and Chris Moorman, and a slection of others that you can see for yourself on the diminishing list of players still in.
Obrestad maintains her poise going deeper into the money, McDonald always looks a threat, while Blom looks neither a threat or a pushover, but people treat him as the former nonetheless.
Out front, however, are Pasi Sormunen and Christopher Frank, who along with former winner Nicolas Chouity make up the three players with more than a million chips.
We know Chouity as the winner of the Grand Final in Season six. As for the others we will likely grow familiar with them in the coming days.
Million man: Nicolas Chouity
Pasi Sormunen is no slouch. The Finn won the Helsinki freezeout last January, although has been absent from the pay-out desks ever since. Christopher Frank meanwhile is less shy. He won a turbo event at this year's PCA and only this week has cashed in two side events, both tenth place finishes which may prove useful warm-ups.
NOTE: Blom is now out.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter