Just 24 players came back for the penultimate day of a record-breaking tournament at the PokerStars.it European Poker Tour San Remo. Over the past five days, 1,216 players, the biggest field the EPT in Europe has ever seen, fell by the wayside, all with their hopes of the €1,250,000 first-place prize crushed. At the end of Day 5, things had changed in dramatic fashion: only two players who began the day in the top ten chip counts were still in the tournament. One of the two who did manage to survive, Swede Jakob Carlsson, will go into the final table as the chip leader. He will start with over 13 million of the approximate 37 million chips in play.
Carlsson amassed those chips in a massive pot against Alexey Rybin. Dmitry Stelmak had just been eliminated at the outer table in 10th place, but over on the feature table, one last hand was being dealt before the two tables were combined. Carlsson reraised preflop out of the blinds against Rybin who called in position. The flop was and Carlsson led out for 560,000 before Rybin reraised to a cool two million. The Swede then pushed for just two million more and was quickly called by his Russian opponent. The pot was nearly 11 million, the largest in the tournament and almost a third of the chips in play. Carlsson flipped over for a flopped set but Rybin held for the made straight! The on the turn was a blank for Carlsson, but the filled his boat, keeping his tournament dreams alive and making him the monster chip leader.
U.K. pro Liv Boeree successfully navigated her way through the day, knocking out both Per Linde and Luigi Pignataro. In separate encounters, Boeree found pocket kings which held successfully against jacks and ace-ten respectively. Michael Piper, who studied astrophysics with Boeree in Manchester, had been the chip leader for part of the day, but lost a big pot to Toni Pettersson. He eventually recovered, to find himself at the final table. The rest of the final table is made up of Pettersson, who is playing his first ever live tournament, the hyper-aggressive Russian, Alexey Rybin, Atanas Gueoguiev from Bulgaria, and Claudio Piceci and Giuseppe Diep, who hope to keep the title in Italy.
Allan Baekke started Day 5 with the chip lead. He also was one of the favorites to take the title and create a journalist’s dream of a “Baekke-to-Baekke” news headline. It was not to be, though, as the EPT Snowfest winner lost a crucial coin flip to Claudio Piceci with fives against ace-king. This left the Dane short, and he was dispatched soon after by Rybin in 12th place, tantalizingly close to another final table but still €50,000 better off.
The other former EPT champion still in the field, Thang Duc Nguyen, was also knocked out before reaching the final eight, and William Thorson’s younger brother, Jens Thorson, was similarly denied earlier on in the day, having lost most of his stack to Michael Piper’s jack-eight when Piper flopped jacks full.
Claudio Rinaldi will probably feel most disappointed when he heads home, however ― he was the unlucky final table bubble. The Swiss pro was all-in with against Carlsson’s but managed to miss a multitude of outs on a board, which means he will have to wait until the EPT Grand Final next week in Monte Carlo for another chance at a title.
The rest of the players will return at noon local time where we will watch them battle to become the EPT San Remo champion and victor over the largest field in EPT history. Please join us at the PokerNews Live Reporting page for all the final table reports, news, and videos.
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