Just when you think you’ve seen everyone in the tournament field, you notice that of the 22 players remaining half of them are complete strangers.
With a field of 912 it was inevitable that some new faces would emerge at the business end, but this week they really are out in force. Here’s our attempt to introduce a few of them to you.
First off is Dashgyn Aliev, who wears a moustache that could be a disguise. Aliev has kept out of trouble for the most part this week but has steadily amassed a stack of more than 3 million chips, good for second place. Not bad for a player yet to record a single live cash.
A delighted Dashgyn Aliev (in red)
Next up is Matias Juhani Kesanen. “Who?” I hear you ask. Good question. Up until a few minutes ago all I knew about Matias Juhani Kesanen was that you can drop the middle name.
Kesanen, who bears a striking similarity to Mickey Petersen in all but prize money, is another player not endowed with any live results (according to popular player databases), or at least not yet. Berlin will mark the start of his resume, watched for the most part today on EPT Live. But according to fellow Finns he is an excellent player, despite this being only his first EPT.
Kesanen is only here because his brother Jan won a seat. Seizing a chance to save on hotel bills Matias joined him and can now pick up the whole tab with a guaranteed €27,000.
Next up is Yasar Guden from Germany. Guden cashed at the WSOP in Melbourne earlier this year, and another in a small event in Hamburg in 2009. Other than that it’s one long learning experience in berlin, where he’s on course for his biggest career cash.
Julian Thomas has very little prize money to speak of but is destined to earn more money than he ever has before at the tournament table, another player setting personal records.
Finally, for now, is the archeologically named Roman Herold, a veteran when compared to the others with four cashes to his name, one of which came at Barcelona earlier this season (35th – €20,000). Herold, one of two Roman’s left in the field, is well placed in the top five right now as we close in on the penultimate day.
Will these five be able to hold their course to the final? Will the more experienced players gradually claw them back? Are there actually any experienced players left to do the clawing?
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.