European Poker Tour Barcelona Day 4: Carter Phillips Leads The Final Table
With the field reduced to 23 (five of them former PokerStars EPT champions) before play even began after two players managed to knock themselves out simultaneously on Day 3, Day 4 was always going to be action-packed. When you factor in that only four players had above-average stacks, it actually took a surprisingly long time for the field to whittle down to a final table — it would be, as it turned out, around ten hours of play before we were down to eight.
Chip leader going into the day was young Greek Georgios Kapalas, but he was not the most active player initially. That honor went to French poker veteran Patrick Bueno who had been in third place in chips overnight, but his unbridled aggression soon saw him in trouble. Also in trouble was Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, although he admittedly started the day with a below-average 520,000. After calling all in with K-J, "ElkY" was sent to the rail by Ukrainian Oleksandr Vaserfirer holding an equally nonpremium A-3 — neither player hit anything on the board and the debatably stylish Frenchman busted in 19th place. In fact, it was a bad day all round for the French because next to go was "ElkY's" fellow countryman Jan Boubli in 18th place, followed by the now fully imploded Patrick Bueno.
British players had a mixed day with triple-crown winner Roland de Wolfe busting out in 15th place, followed by Israeli Ari Kolpanitzki in 14th, and Eastenders actor Michael Greco finishing in 13th. A good day was had by Marc Goodwin, though. After starting the day in second place, he slipped into the lead fairly early on and at one point had nearly double the stack of his nearest rival, going on to finish the day in second place. Fellow countryman Asa Smith, after a few close shaves, eventually amassed a sizable stack after catching Matt Lapossie on a couple of massive bluffs and finished up making the final table with almost 1.4 million in chips.
Indeed, it was Lapossie who provided some of the most creative and audacious plays of the day. Effortlessly pulling off double check-raise bluffs and four-betting opponents only to insta-fold to a five-bet, causing much mirth around the feature table, his stack went up and down but he gave his tablemates a run for their money and finished up with almost three million in chips to go into the final table in third place.
Carter Phillips was a late-emerging chip leader, carefully and patiently amassing chips all day and then eventually leaping to the top of the leaderboard after eliminating EPT Copenhagen champion Jens Kyllonen in 12th place with pocket kings against Kyllonen's pocket jacks in what was the biggest pot of the tournament at that point. The dinner break did nothing to calm him down and not long after returning from the dinner break with 11 players remaining, Phillips knocked out EPT Dortmund winner Mike "Timex" McDonald in 11th place when his pocket sixes held up against McDonald's K-Q, and his massive chip lead was cemented.
Phillips still had the lead when they went to a nine-handed unofficial final table following the elimination of Cornel Cimpan, but the title of chip leader changed hands several times during play to make tomorrow's final eight. Nevertheless, the lead was back in Phillips' hands when last Dutchman standing Julien Nuijten got his A-K cruelly outdrawn by Marc Goodwin's A-Q and hit the rail in ninth place.
The official final table looks as follows:
Carter Phillips: 4,377,000
Marc Goodwin: 3,072,000
Matt Lapossie: 2,938,000
Asa Smith: 1,376,000
Georgios Kapalas: 818,000
Toni Ojala: 750,000
Santiago Terrazas Ambite: 542,000
Mihai Manole: 406,000