British player Matthew Frankland holds the chip lead going into his first major final table at the English Poker Open (EPO) in London. Joining him at the £3500 + £250 no-limit hold'em final table are German pro Fabian Quoss and Team PartyPoker member Felipe Ramos. Liv Boeree and Phil Laak made it into the money but fell short of the final table. The top nine will return to Mayfair's Palm Beach Casino on Tuesday to play for the top prize of £220,650.
The EPO started on Saturday, the day after the real action at the welcome party at London's trendy Movida nightclub. The Palm Beach Casino has been home to plenty of excitement over the last several weeks. The casino also hosted the World Poker Tour's first U.K. stop and the PartyPoker World Open.
The EPO drew 193 runners, most of whom opted to play on Day 1a. Day 1b, a Sunday full of online tournaments only saw 55 entrants. On Day 1a, 138 players were whittled to 69 during eight levels. Quoss and American Joe Serock finished in the top 10 at day's end. Steve Sung and Peter Jetten topped the list after Day 1b, but all but Quoss were felted before the field hit the money at 18.
The 93 players who survived the first day returned on Monday for Day 2 and didn't quit until there were only nine still standing. Plenty of pros joined Serock, Sung, and Jetten on the rail as the day wore on. Neil Channing ran sixes into sevens to meet his demise. Brandon Cantu, Frank Kassela, David "Viffer" Peat, and Chris Bjorin were all eliminated on Day 2, as well.
Young British phenomenon Jake Cody tried to steal a pot with nine-high but ran his bluff into a set to hit the rail early on Day 2. That meant he could take the afternoon off before getting back to work at the World Series of Poker Europe on Tuesday. Cody has a shot at poker's triple crown after winning both WPT and EPT main events this year.
Phil Laak tripled up with aces as soon as the day began to add some life to his stack. He rode those chips all the way into the money, but the Unibomber was first to head to the cashier's desk in 18th place after Philip Oehmke's elimination in 19th burst the money bubble. Laak's cash was good for £6,800.
Liv Boeree put on a good show for her home crowd, running her short-stack up to one of the room's biggest and putting her in contention for a Day 3 appearance. But the British rocker beauty couldn't make it all the way to the final table. Much to the sadness of the railbirds and those watching the live stream online, she was eliminated in 12th place for £9,500. Theo Steimer and Soap Song finished in 11th and 10th to set the final table with Frankland in the lead.
Here are the chip counts to start the final table:
Matthew Frankland - 668,000
Sebastian Crul - 583,500
Fabian Quoss - 559,000
Andrew Brennan - 336,000
Mark Norman - 224,500
Felipe Ramos - 196,500
Steve Chemilski - 191,000
Brent Lehring - 94,500
Salman Behbehani - 72,000
Action resumes at the Palm Beach Casino at 3:00 p.m. local time. Watch it live at www.EnglishPokerOpen.com and follow PokerNews Live Reporting team for up-to-the-minute action from the World Series of Poker Europe.