Today is the end of the beginning.
It is 13 days since the first EPT festival of season nine began at Casino Barcelona and we have now reached the final hurdle. And what a grandstand finale we have lined up: two final tables, a combined prize pool of more than six million euros to chop up, and a cast of world champions, bracelet winners, Team PokerStars Pros – plus Ilari Sahamies.
It should be much more than a cameo from Sahamies as well. He is the chip leader of the last eight in the main event, where they are chasing a first prize of €1,007,550. That might be less than a couple of night’s work at the online tables for the man known as Ziigmund or Ilari_FIN, but the way he has played this week reveals a new focus and determination in the live game.
He made the final table of the Super High Roller, has battled through five days in the main event, and has not allowed a single drop of booze to pass his lips. His brow may be furrowed by the self-imposed abstinence (and you should probably nail down anything movable if you live in the north east of Spain tonight, when the shackles will be removed) but sober Sahamies is one hell of a poker player. Keep an eye on EPT Live and PokerStars Blog from 2pm CET to see how he gets on.
Here is the full final table line up, in chip-count order. And check out the full player profiles on the player profile page.
Ilari Sahamies, Finland, 7,885,000
Samuel Rodriguez, Spain, 6,450,000
Anaras Alekberovas, Lithuania, 4,430,000
Mikalai Pobal, Belarus, 4,410,000
Antonin Duda, Czech Republic, 3,445,000
Sinel Anton, Romania, 2,355,000
John Juanda, United States, 1,890,000
Joni Jouhkimainen, Finland, 1,510,000
Across the tournament room, another final will also be playing out. That is the €10,000 High Roller event, which is entering its third day and playing to a close.
That attracted 101 entrants and ten €10,000 reloads, which generated a prize pool of more than a million euros.
There were 12 players left when they wrapped up last night, and an amazing array of talent there too. Tobias Reinkemeier, who is many commentators’ pick as the best German player in the game at the moment, leads the way, from Alex Bilokur, the PCA High Roller Champion.
Jonathan Duhamel and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier represent Team PokerStars Pro in the glittering line-up.
Tobias Reinkemeier, Germany, 714,000
Alex Bilokur, Russia, 673,000
Laurent Polito, France, 647,000
Jean-Noel Thorel, France, 615,000
Kristijonas Andrulis, Lithuania, 495,000
Stanislav Labutkin, Russia, 494,000
Bertrand Grospellier, France, 468,000
Andrew Lichtenberger, United States, 352,000
Jonathan Duhamel, Canada, 335,000
Carlos Mora, Mexico, 300,000
Joao Vieira, Portugal, 245,000
Gurgen Melkonyan, Russia, 213,000
You can follow blow-by-blow coverage of the High Roller on the High Roller page. It kicks off there at 1pm CET. You should also take a look at the full list of results from the side events from this festival, and check out the wrap of the €10,000 heads up, which finished late last night.
Allow ElkY to get you in the mood: “Time to #shipit and go for record-breaking 4th EPT HR Title ! GOGOGO”
And here’s an intro to the main event final table: