The PokerStars.com European Poker Tour today released the names of the five finalists in the 'Best Performance' category, one of seven honors awarded as part of its upcoming EPT Awards ceremony in Barcelona on September 9th. The 'Best Performance' category honors the greatest individual performance during EPT's Season IV, and each of the five nominees was a champion in one of the EPT Season IV events.
The five nominees in this category are:
● Jason Mercier — Jason Mercier's rise to glory at EPT San Remo was the unlikeliest tale among the five nominees in this category. While each of the other four nominees had achieved a noted level of live or online success, Mercier turned an online qualifier's seat into a €869,000 payday. Mercier topped a formidable lineup, too, with French star Antony Lellouche the runner-up and young Italian force (and local favorite) Dario Minieri in third. William Thorson, Dag Palovic and Johannes Strassmann were also seated at one of the best finals of EPT Season IV.
● Julian Thew — Young British star Julian Thew has been a regular on the European Poker Tour since its inception, and his efforts were rewarded in October, 2007 with a victory at the EPT Baden Classic. Thew's triumphant turn in Austria was worth €670,800 and came over one of the toughest final tables of the entire EPT Season IV; besides runner-up Denes Kalo (one of two such showings for Kalo on the year), the final nine also included Thierry van den Berg and Gunnar Rabe. Thew's previous best showing was a fourth-place effort at the 2005 EPT Scandinavian Open for DKr (Danish kroner) 173,442.
● Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier — Former online StarCraft gamer Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier's switch to poker was a financial success long before he captured the $2,000,000 first prize in the 2008 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, but the win over a talented final table cemented his status as an emerging poker force, and contributed to his being signed to the elite Team PokerStars Pro lineup. ElkY's biggest-ever win came at the expense of Hafiz Khan ($1,094,976), with Kris Kuykendall and David "The Dragon" Pham in the next two spots.
● Glen Chorny — Canadian Glen Chorny captured the biggest prize of all during the EPT's fourth season when he topped a star-packed field to win the € 10,000 EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final in April. Chorny' had notched three previous paydays of approximately $75,000 each in other live events, including a 13th-place showing in the 2008 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, but burst through to a gigantic €2,020,000 win in Monte Carlo. Chorny topped a final table including Denes Kalo, Isaac Baron and Michael Martin, succeeding Gavin Griffin in this event at the top of the EPT's honor roll.
● Mike McDonald – Canadian online star Mike "timex" McDonald quickly proved that he possessed a level of poker skill far beyond his tender years when he dominated the final table at the EPT German Open in Dortmund. Barely old enough to compete, McDonald emerged from the event €933,600 richer and with the first major live title of what promises to be an outstanding career. McDonald has quickly established himself as a proverbial force to be reckoned with at major EPT events.
The EPT's panel of four expert judges will select the winner in this category. Those four judges are Victoria Cohen, PokerNews' own John Caldwell, Lee Jones and John Duthie. PokerNews is the official media partner of the PokerStars.com EPT Awards.
Editors note: Want more EPT Awards info? If so, check out our EPT Awards Page complete with exclusive video and news on the upcoming awards show.