The thirteen remaining players assembled at 3:30pm to start the final day's play. Day two had been a along one, and the players maybe got about 6 or 7 hours sleep if they were lucky.
No player could do worse than €20,750, and one person was going to walk out of this casino today €691,000 richer (about $875,000), so the atmosphere was tense, and the players were intense.
When cards went in the air, the chip counts were.
Jeffrey Lisandro 1,002,300
Bjorn Erik Glenne 955,400
Phil Ivey 827,800
David Daneshgar 397,100
David Gregory 245,800
Joakim Geigert 331,100
David Layani 218,600
Noah Boeken 190,600
Teemu Lahtinen 166,400
Robin Keston 152,200
Kristian Ulriksen 130,200
Jonathan Dull 113,000
Gusten Sjoberg 74,600
The discussion in the room was that of a seemingly inevitable Ivey/Lisandro showdown, with the only question being would the two clash with 12 left, or heads up. The two powerhouses were seated at different tables, so barring one of them moving, any Ivey/Lisandro fireworks would be saved for the final table.
The action started off right away with the very short stacked Gusten Sjoberg happily finding A Q on one of the first hands, and throwing his money in. David Daneshgar felt like his KQ was enough to call the small bet, so his chips went in. Daneshgar gave one of those resigned 'nice hand' looks to Sjoberg when the cards were exposed, but a K on the flop turned Daneshgar's look around. Another K on the turn ended Sjoberg's day, and the baby faced Scandinavian player made his way to the desk to collect his 20,000 plus Euro for his 13th place finisher.
The next player to go was Team PokerNews member Noah Boeken. Noah ran into some bad luck, and some 'creative' play on the part of Frenchman David Layani. In action between the two blinds, Layani opened from the small blind, Noah raised, and all the money wound up finding its way into the middle. A seven on the flop put Noah behind, and for the second elimination in a row, another 7 fell on the turn, and Noah had run into a brick wall. The young Dutchman took it in stride, and strode to the exit with over 25,000 Euro to keep him warm as he spends his fall here in Barcelona between poker tournament journeys.
Next to go was Frenchman David Layani. David had the wildest ride of any of these competitors, playing some really big pots yesterday (including getting relieved of most of his stack by Phil Ivey yesterday when Ivey flopped a set of Sixes against Layani's Aces. Indeed, it was Ivey again who did Layani in for good. On a flop with two sixes on it, Layani made a move at the pot, thinking his over cards were probably live with A Q. Unfortunately for David, Phil called in a flash, and showed 6 7 of diamonds. No miracles came for the Frenchman, and he walked away, having turned over a million chips into zero in two hands against Phil Ivey. David Layani, 11th place, €25,400.
Next to go was a desperately short stacked Teemu Lahtinen. Teemu had most of his chips in the big blind, so he was going to play this hand for all his money. He waited a while to toss his chips in, as the tournament was playing hand for hand, and he was going to wait for action to complete on the other table to make sure he couldn't squeak up one more place on the payouts.
No one went out on the other table, so Teemu tossed his last few chips in with resignation. He was behind when he showed K 3, as original raiser Bjorn Erik Glenne showed A 10. The flop came down all blanks, so Teemu was still live. But, the Ace of Spades on the turn sealed Teemu's eventual fate, and he was the last player not to make it to the TV table with his 10th place finish.
The players then re-drew for seats, and despite the fact that the 'official' final table was 8 players, nine people sat down at the TV table. When play began, these were the seat assignments, and chip counts.
Seat 1 - David Gregory (U.K.) - 550,000
Seat 2 - Kristian Ulriksen (Norway) - 116,000
Seat 3 - Jonathan Dull (U.S.) - 79,000
Seat 4 - Phil Ivey (US) - 1,323,000
Seat 5 - Bjorn-Erik Glenne (Norway) - 1,209,000
Seat 6 - Robin Keston (U.K.) - 81,000
Seat 7 - Jeff Lisandro (Italy) 888,000
Seat 8 - Joakim Geigert (Sweden) - 268,000
Seat 9 - David Daneshgar (US) - 275,000
It was Norway's Kristian Ulriksen who was the first to go, and technically took the role of TV table 'Bubble Boy', even though he did get a chance to play under the lights. David Gregory opened the pot with a raise, and Kristian moved all in. It was set up for Kristian to win a huge pot if he could take the hand down, as his all in was called by original raiser Gregory, and Bjorn-Erik Glenne. The flop came out K 2 3, and Gregory checked. Bjorn bet out 100,000, and Kristian's heart sank as Gregory folded, and Kristian flipped over his pocket jacks. Bjorn flipped over A K, and had caught his King on the flop. No help came for Kristian, and he was our 9th player finisher, picking up €46,100 for his troubles.
Next, we had a double elimination that was anything but Dull. Jon Dull moved in from early position for his last 101k. Bjorn Erik called. Then, Robin Keston looked at his cards in the small blind, and slammed his remaining chips on to the table with enough force to knock over Bjorn's stack of chips that he called with.
The two all in players stood up, and the following hands were revealed.
Jon Dull A 9
Robin Keston 9 9
Bjorn Erik Glenne Q Q
The chances for a double elimination were really high, as Robin was actually drawing to only one out. The flop, turn and river never brought any help, or any draws for either of the all in players, and we were very suddenly down to six players. Because Robin started the hand with fewer chips, he was named the 8th place finisher, and Dull the 7th place fnisher. Robin Keston took home €69,100, and €92,200 went home to California with Jon Dull.
The inevitable showdown between Ivey and Lisandro happened, though probably a little earlier than most would expect. Phil made a standard raise from the button, and Jeffrey called from the big blind. The flop came 10 9 5. Jeffrey checked, and Phil made an 80,000 bet. Lisandro moved all in, and Ivey called him in a heartbeat, having flopped his second set foe a massive pot in as many day. Ivey showed 99, and Lisandro turned over 10 9 for top 2 pair. No miracle 10 came for Jeffrey, and he was surprisingly out in 6th place.
This gave Ivey a dominating chip lead, and you got the sense that it was only a matter of when, not if before Ivey captured his first EPT tournament. Jeffrey Lisandro, 6th place - 115,200 Euro.
A somber mood fell over the table at this point, as it became crystal clear that Ivey had the weapons, and certainly had the game to take this thing home.
Next to go was Joakim Geigert. Joakim had been down to very few chips, and was able to dodge some trouble, and get a little lucky (the 22 vs QQ hand he doubled up on yesterday comes to mind), but his luck ran out against Bjorn-Erik Glenne.
Bjorn-Erik opened the pot for 50,000. Joakim decided to re-raise from the button to 150,000. Bjorn took a long time, but decided to call. The flop came 9 2 4, and Joakim moved all in. Bjorn called fairly quickly, and showed K 9 for top pair. Joakim was on a move with A 3, and got caught. The turn and river blanked out, and Bjorn Erik Glenne's nines held up. Joakim Geigert, 5th place, €138,200.
It was getting to critical time for David Daneshgar. David was down to his last 150,000 or so when he moved in from the small blind with Q 8. David Gregory paused for a minute, and said 'These worked really well for Phil yesterday' gesturing to Ivey, and said 'I call'. David Gregory flipped over two sixes, and we had a race situation on our hands. The door card was a queen, soliciting a loud shout from Daneshgar's large local following, but the next card exposed was a 6. Daneshgar was drawing super thin, and he knew it. He was shaking hands before the last card fell, and had pulled a respectable 4th place finish worth € 161,300.
Now down to three, the chip counts were
Phil Ivey 2.2 million
Bjorn-Erik Glenne 1.7 million
David Gregory 900,000
A funny thing happened on the way to Ivey's victory parade. Bjorn-Erik Glenne. The unassuming player from Norway just simply wouldn't be denied. Every time Ivey & Bjorn would play a big pot, Bjorn simply muscled him out of the pot, or had the goods. It was shockingly more the former of those two than the latter. We were three handed for a good 90 minutes, and during that time, Bjorn really put on a clinic in power poker. There were no huge suckouts that got him there, no big hand over big hand that vaulted Glenne into the lead. Nope, it was great poker, played by a man who by the look of him, would be the least likely you would think to be a poker player at the table.
While Bjorn-Erik is not a known player in the U.S., he is a well known player in Europe, and in fact was the Norwegian Poker Champion in 2005. Some of the Norwegian media here have told me they consider him one of, if not the best shorthanded player in the country. According to their statistics, he has made 13 final tables in Norway this year, and won 12 of those 13 tournaments. So, this guy that was beating up on Phil Ivey was not exactly an internet qualifier in his first live tournament.
The pro Bjorn crowd was experiencing a mix of shock and glee. Every time Bjorn took down a pot, the cheers grew a little louder, and the lines on Ivey's forehead grew deeper and deeper. No one was more shocked than the assembled poker media, some of whom had their 'Ivey Wins' headlines up on their computers, only to slowly see those headlines fall victim to the backspace button.
At one point, Tournament Director Thomas Kremser announced the following chip counts.
David Gregory 555, 000
Phil Ivey 386,000
Bjorn-Erik Glenne 3.9 million
Less than 90 seconds after that announcement, David Gregory's night came to a close. With Bjorn playing the big stack, and raising most opportunities, David chose K 10 as his hand to take a stand with when Bjorn made it 120,000 to go from the small blind. Gregory moved in, and Phil Ivey (who had limped from the button) folded. Bjorn took a while, but called, and showed A 5 of hearts.
The flop gave both players hope – K 5 7. The turn was a 5, and David was drawing super thin. The river was no help, and we were down to heads up. David Gregory, 3rd place, 184,000 Euro.
Heads up, the chip count was daunting. Bjorn had about a 12 to one chip lead, and all the momentum. It didn't feel like it would take long, and it didn't.
On the fifth or sixth hand of heads up play, Bjorn limped in from the button, and Phil Ivey moved in. Bjorn called immediately, and showed pocket tens. Those flopped sets that had been so good to Ivey over the past two days came back to bite him at the worst time, as a ten came on the flop, and Ivey was drawing dead by the turn.
The European crowd cheered their champion, who had taken the American challenger, and simply handed him defeat. It was one of the more improbable things I have seen in three years of covering tournament poker, and also in a way incredibly refreshing. Ivey played a terrific three days of poker, only to run into a guy who couldn't be stopped. See you in London.
Phil Ivey runner up €371,000.
Bjorn-Erik Glenne – Champion - €691,000
A complete list of cash finishers is below.
1 Bjorn-Erik Glenne Norway 691,000
2 Phil Ivey US 371,000
3 Dave Gregory UK 184,300
4 David Daneshgar United States 161,300
5 Joakim Geigert Sweden 138,200
6 Jeff Lisandro Italy 115,200
7 Jon Dull US 92,200
8 Robin Keston UK 69,100
9 Kristian Ulriksen Norway 46,100
10 Teemu Lahtinen Finland 25,400
11 David Layani France 25,400
12 Noah Boeken Holland 25,400
13 Gusten Sjoberg Sweden 20,750
14 Johnny Lodden Norway 20,750
15 Petri Pietila Finland 20,750
16 Ian Woodley UK 16,250
17 Abel Meijberg Holland 16,250
18 Julian Gardner UK 16,250
19 Margarita Gonzalez Spain 11,500
20 Roland de Wolfe UK 11,500
21 Mark Boudewijn Holland 11,500
22 Angel Puras Blanco Spain 11,500
23 Michael Keiner Germany 11,500
24 JP Kelly UK 11,500
25 Javed Abrahams UK 11,500
26 Paul Parker UK 11,500
27 Mark Pickette US 11,500
28 Per Strom Sweden 9,200
29 Leslie Kerrigan UK 9,200
30 Ilari Sahamies Finland 9,200
31 Seval Hegeland Norway 9,200
32 Andreas Hagen Sweden 9,200
33 Andreas Karkus Hungary 9,200
34 Johan Nord Sweden 9,200
35 Dan Pedersen Denmark 9,200
36 Peter Bertelsen Sweden 9,200
37 Jorgen Kierkol Norway 6,900
38 David Plastik US 6,900
39 Joel Forsberg Sweden 6,900
40 Stephen Pearce UK 6,900
41 Nic Szeremeta UK 6,900
42 Brice van der Volgen US 6,900
43 Ryan Fronda UK 6,900
44 Ross Johnson Ireland 6,900
45 Mikael Lindbaeck Sweden 6,900