This week in San Remo has been all about compression – how to squeeze the largest ever EPT field into not the largest EPT tournament room, how to run three impossibly-popular side events alongside it, and how to keep everyone happy even as most of them are going to leave empty handed.
Today we face the final squeeze. There are 32 players remaining on day four of the main event and only eight seats around the EPT final table. They begin at 2pm today and if the past few days are anything to go by, it’s going to be breakneck and cutthroat. Dragan Galic heads the field, as he has done ever since day 1a, but the chasers will be probing for any chinks in his armour. Complacency could be his greatest foe.
The young American Steven Silverman, known as “Zugwat” online, leads the chasing pack, and will be aiming to go a couple of spots better than his third-placed finish at the LAPT event in Costa Rica last year. That earned him $106,000, which is small fry compared with the €1,508,000 first place here.
David Eldar’s long trip to Europe from Australia will be considered wholly successful if he can consolidate on his position near the top of the tree. He is third at the moment, with more than 800,000. Similarly Constant Rijkenberg, who has been Galic’s closest competitor for the longest periods of this tournament, and will be looking to regain some momentum after losing a huge pot late yesterday to drop him to fifth in the field.
Lurking slightly further down in the pack are the German duo Ben Kang and Malte Strothmann. Kang, a PokerStars.de Shooting Star, is always a threat in a tournament of any size; Strothmann is a World Cup of Poker winner, and a regular casher in the major online tournaments.
We could go on. And we will. For probably about six hours today until those final eight are decided.
You can watch the action from the featured table on EPT Live throughout the day. The starting line-up for the full television action is:
Constant Rijkenberg, Holland, 814,000
Rasmus Akerblom, Sweden, 499,000
Benjamin Kang, Germany, 363,000
Doron Tourgman, Germany, 341,000
Gustav Sundell, Sweden, 308,000
Massimiliano Trifoglio, Italy, 267,000
Danilo D’Ettoris, Italy, 259,000
Matias Knaapinen, Finland, 126,000
The starting day chip counts are on the official chip count page and will be updated at the end of every other level, approximately every two hours. The selected counts page will be updated with approximate stacks throughout the action.