When the final three tables returned for the penultimate day of the 2011 PokerStars European Poker Tour Copenhagen, Sweden dominated the field. Three of the top four — Per Linde, Joel Nordkvist and Michael Tureniec — were flying the yellow cross on the blue background, with only Team PokerStars Pro Florian Langmann breaking up the Swedish party. There was a markedly uneven chip distribution at the start of the day, with the five biggest stacks in the room — the only five over a million — all seated at one table, meaning that the potential for a single monster stack to emerge was huge. By the end of the day, that uber-stack was in the hands of Linde — at 4.98 million. He goes into the final table with over a third of the chips in play.
Perhaps the most notable name in the field started with the smallest stack, but it was all change within minutes of the shuffle-up-and-deal. Juha Helppi's mighty shoving hand came good against Lars Krogh who had reshoved after a call from Pernille Ravn with . Helppi continued his upward movement in the chip counts and made it to the final table with 1.47 million in chips.
The first casualty of the day was the last woman standing, Ravn. The lady failed to spike a lady and her lost out to Helppi's . She was swiftly followed out the door by EPT Tallinn finalist Dmitry Vitkind ( into ) in 23rd place, Mikhail Lakhitov in 22nd, British poker veteran Surinder Sunar in 21st and Irish online qualifier Charles "Alan" McIntyre in 20th.
Langmann began the day in second place but suffered a steady decline throughout his brief Day 4 run. Eventually, reduced to 650,000, he got it in with against Linde's . Langmann hit nothing, Linde rivered a set, and the last Team PokerStars Pro busted in 19th place for DKK 85,000.
Next to go were Danish nationals Jan Sørensen and Helge Rahbek in 18th and 17th place, respectively, and the sole Venezuelan in the field Ivan Freitez was right on their heels in 16th place. Daniel Johansson ran his into Johnny Jensen's , thus proving that Swedes were not completely indestructable in this tournament. He took home DKK 105,000 for 15th place.
In 14th place, the home country Denmark suffered another loss in the form of Krogh — and the assassin was once again a Swede. Krogh got his stack in with , but was most unfortunate to smack into Per Linde's . Linde had a third of the chips in play at the end of that hand; Krogh meanwhile had just happy memories and DKK 130,000 to console himself with.
Another Dane, Jensen, was next to go in 13th place, and the last Norwegian standing, Simen Johannessen, went out in 12th. The demise of Jens Lauridsen in 11th place ( into Nikolas Liakos' ) and Simon Hanninger in 10th ( into Nordkvist's ) reduced the tournament to a single, nine-handed table.
The pace slowed considerably once the official final table was in sight, and it was an hour and a half before Nordkvist struck a blow to Sweden's domination plan and exited in ninth place. Nordkvist's mistake was four-betting Helppi all in with . Helppi called with pocket and held; he will go into the final table in decent shape. Just a few hands into the next level, Nordkvist pushed from the small blind with and John Eames called with . The board came down , and we were down to our official eight-handed final.
When the players return tomorrow, the final table will look like so:
|1||Andrea Dalle Molle||417,000|
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