The final 24 players returned to the Alpine Palace on Thursday to battle it out on day four of the PokerStars.net EPT Snowfest. It took about seven hours, but the final table was reached, setting the stage for Friday. Allan Baekke came into day four with the chip lead and never gave it up, heading into the final table at the top of the counts.
Baekke's hot run leading up to day three was certainly on display in the early going on day four. After three-betting Nasr El Nasr, Baekke was happy to see his opponent four-bet all in with . Baekke called with and it held up to boost his stack to over 3,000,000. He did come back to earth when losing with pocket aces to pocket fours all in preflop, but it did not faze him. He called a Marcel Koller raise from the big blind with and when he made the nut straight on the turn, Koller shoved drawing dead and further added to Baekke's leading stack.
Making the biggest jump of the day was Russell "rdcrsn" Carson. He began with 495,000 and won several huge pots to end the day with 3,463,000. It started when he picked up pocket aces and three-bet all in against Jim Collopy, who made the call with . Carson's rockets held and he was on his way. Later, he won a race with against Brent Wheeler's when an ace hit the flop, moving Carson to 1.7 million. He vaulted to about 3 million when he eliminated EPT Kyiv Champion Max Lykov. Carson had and got it on a flop against Lykov's . His set held and Carson heads into the final table second in chips.
Brent Wheeler heads into the final table third in chips with 3,096,000 after eliminating Huub Verdonschot on the TV final table bubble. Team PokerStars Pro Johannes Strassmann sits in fourth place with 2,034,000. He began the day with just over a million and steadily increased his stack in solid shape for the final table.
Along those falling short of the final table were Max Lykov (13th), Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toth (17th) Jim Collopy (18th), and Nasr El Nasr (24th).
Be sure to join us at 2 p.m. local time for the final table. Our Live Reporting Team will be back on the floor to keep you up-to-date on everything that happens as it happens. And, of course, you can follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and updates as well.