EPT10 Vienna: Anthony Ghamrawi carries home hopes and chip lead into final

Whatever else you might say about Season 10 of the European Poker Tour, you can't accuse it of dragging its feet. There may have been the occasional late night on final table day, but the middle stages have invariably whizzed by.

Today in Vienna we reconvened with 17 players and knew we needed to reduce them to eight. Back a few years, this could have taken a full shift to get through, but at Season 10 pace, it was done by afternoon tea.

You needed either a big stack or a few big hands to survive the terrifying rapidity of all this and Anthony Ghamrawi, the lone Austrian in the remaining field, found one of the biggest holdings--kings--when Gavin O'Rourke found queens. It resulted in the biggest pot of the tournament so far, and catapulted Ghamrawi into the chip lead.

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Anthony Ghamrawi: first Austrian champ?

O'Rourke was crippled by the encounter and went out in ninth, on the final table bubble. It was 3.40pm as O'Rourke bade farewell and the tournament officials declared the day to be done.

There has never been an Austrian champion on the EPT, so Ghamrawi will carry home hopes and 5,150,000 chips into the final tomorrow. That will be 128 big blinds. Frei Dilling, who applied the finishing touches to O'Rouke's hopes, is second in chips. The Danish player has 4,230,000.

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Frei Dilling: Dane responsible for finishing Day 5

Perhaps even more famous than Austria's EPT blank is the continued struggle of Spain to spawn a champion. Some great players have tried and failed to claim the title for the Spanish, including hordes every season in Barcelona. But they will have one of their best chances here in Vienna as Pablo Gordillo continues his spectacular showing in what is his first visit to the EPT.

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Pablo Gordillo: To reign for Spain?

Gordillo will go into the final in third place, bagging 4,075,000 tonight this afternoon. He led almost all of yesterday and the day before and has proved to be a safe pair of hands at the tiller of a big stack.

Only Timo Pfützenreuter had more chips at the start of the day than Gordillo and he too kept things steady today to cruise into the final.

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Timo Pfutzenreuter: Kept it nice and steady

The full line-up for tomorrow's shebang is as follows, and what they stand to win is below.

Final table line-up at EPT10 Vienna

Seat 1 - Oleksii Khoroshenin, Ukraine, 2,150,000
Seat 2 - Anthony Ghamrawi, Austria, 5,150,000
Seat 3 - Marko Neumann, Germany, 1,585,000
Seat 4 - Simeon Naydenov, Bulgaria, 3,550,000
Seat 5 - Frei Dilling, Denmark, 4,230,000
Seat 6 - Rumen Nanev, Bulgaria, 2,765,000
Seat 7 - Pablo Gordillo, Spain, 4,075,000
Seat 8 - Timo Pfutzenreuter, Germany, 3,740,000

EPT10 Vienna final table payouts

1st - €816,000
2nd - €497,900
3rd - €349,100
4th - €262,150
5th - €203,900
6th - €151,000
7th - €108,100
8th - €77,000

There may not be any household names among that final eight, but that's probably only because you are not Bulgarian. Simeon Naydenov and Rumen Nanev are two of the best known players in the land that has already given us Dimitar Danchev, a former PCA champ. Naydenov is actually now seeking the second jewel in a potential triple crown, having won his first World Series bracelet in Las Vegas last summer.

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Simeon Naydenov: He's got a bracelet. Have you?

The short stack sits in front of Marko Neumann, but he is the only player of the eight with final table experience. He finished seventh in EPT Berlin in 2010 and also came third in a Bounty Shootout tournament at the PCA.

Meanwhile Oleksii Khoroshenin is our lone Ukranian going into the final table. Earlier in the week, Eugene Katchalov filled a similar role heading into the final of the Eureka High Roller. And we know how that ended.

The short version, therefore, is that this is anyone's game. The longer take on how things went down today can be read in the panel at the top of the main EPT Vienna page, which goes through it blow by blow.

Other articles from today include the recasting of Timo Pfützenreuter as Der Wolf von Mauerstrasse, and a look at the departure of the last Team PokerStars Pro, Johnny Lodden. (There were also some suspicions raised over the identity of Main Event players.)

The High Roller plays on, intent on reaching its final table some time today. All the coverage from that is on the High Roller page. The good folks at EPT Live are offering some bonus coverage of that.

Final table play begins at 12 noon in the Hofburg Palace but our coverage will commence at 1pm, in accordance with the one-hour delay demanded by EPT Live's cards-up coverage. Join us then.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour