EPT10 Deauville: Berende charging up the leaderboard

Making our final rounds late last night, we noticed Dutch player Paul Berende smiling and joking with his tablemates. We eyed his stack to end the day as well -- 80,400 -- which was comfortably ahead of the average and thus adequate-seeming reason to inspire a jovial end-of-day mood.

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Chips 'n grins

The first two levels today have given Berende even more reason to smile. Thanks in large part to a hand in which a large preflop all-in confrontation between Berende's pocket tens and Sergio Aido's A♣K♣ went the Dutch player's way, as he reported to his Twitter followers:

Berende returns from the first Day 2 break having catapulted all of the way up to 180,000, good enough for a spot inside the top five with about 270 players remaining.

Berende is here in Deauville also looking to climb another leaderboard, the EPT10 Player of the Year Rankings currently headed by Ole Schemion. With points assigned according to the Global Poker Index ranking system, here's the up-to-the-minute top 10 in the EPT10 POY race:

1. Ole Schemion (Germany) -- 781.39 pts.
2. Vanessa Selbst (United States) -- 736.22 pts.
3. Thomas Muhlocker (Austria) -- 594.30 pts.
4. Georgios Karakousis (Greece) -- 512.31 pts.
5. Mike McDonald (Canada) -- 490.74 pts.
6. Jonathan Little (United States) -- 480.01 pts.
7. Kenny Hallaert (Belgium) -- 416.60 pts.
8. Andrew Chen (Canada) -- 414.18 pts.
9. Max Silver (United Kingdom) -- 412.50 pts.
10. Jeffrey Rossiter (Australia) -- 408.43 pts.

The point differences between players narrow considerably through spots #11-#20, with Berende currently in 20th with 350.86 pts. A especially deep run here, then, would move him up into the top 10.

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"Let's go!"

Besides a couple of side event final tables at EPT London in October, Berende played well into the week in the Main Events at both London (34th) and the PCA (59th) to add to his stack of Season 10 POY points.

Berende has been collecting cashes regularly for the past five years all over Europe in a career kicked off by various online successes, a win at the Master Classics of Poker in Amsterdam in 2009, and a High Roller final table at the EPT6 Grand Final in Monte Carlo a year later where he took fifth.

Following his hot Day 2 start, our own Laura Cornelius spoke with Berende at the day's first break about his poker career thus far. Watch and get to know -- and share some grins -- with the friendly Berende.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in European Poker Tour