We're cut and wrapped here in Italy after the conclusion of a memorable final table at the PokerStars.it EPT San Remo. When this Main Event kicked off a week ago, there were 25.11 million chips spread around among the 837 starting players. Today was the decisive day, though, and now it's Andrey Pateychuck holding all those chips, €680,000, and the title of EPT champion!
The day began with Kevin MacPhee on the shortest stack, and it's fair to say the majority of the poker world was rooting for him. The EPT certainly was. They've been waiting eight long seasons to try and crown a double winner, and the EPT6 Berlin champion was not to be counted out today, even despite his chip deficit. He fell first, though, sitting still for 34 hands before shoving on the 35th. Barny Boatman made a strong call with , and MacPhee's could not catch up.
Seven-handed play dragged on for a while, but the procession to the payout desk soon picked up pace. Italy's Rocco Palumbo cleared out the theater when he exited in seventh, and Jan Bendik and Yorane Kerignard dropped out soon thereafter. Barny Boatmen fell next in fourth place, and the reeling start-of-day chip leader, Daniel Neilson, could not make it past third.
That left the Bulgarian and the Russian heads up for the title, and the two men traded huge pots back and forth with Dimitar Danchev sneaking into a momentary lead. Over the course of the first level or so of heads-up play, the momentum seemed to be really pushing in his direction. In fact, he was one card away from the title just a few short minutes ago, but it seems the stars were aligned for Pateychuk today. By virtue of that jaw-dropping runner-runner straight, he all but ended this thing, and victory was achieved just three hands later.
So then, Russia has crowned its second EPT champion, and the nation of Bulgaria is left wanting once again. Andrey Pateychuk will be the toast of the town in San Remo tonight, and he's got €680,000 reasons to celebrate. Pateychuck is just a couple years removed from a life grinding €1 Sit-n-Gos online, and now in the last six months, he's added well over $1 million to his bankroll. Pateychuk's story is a fantastic lesson in dedication and perseverance to all the micro-grinders out there who aspire to attain EPT glory.
That's all we've got for tonight, except for the sending of a few well-deserved congratulations to Andrey Pateychuk, the EPT's newest champion!
We'll see you in Loutraki!