The final 24 players of the PokerStars.net European Poker Tour Berlin returned Saturday for the penultimate day of play. The field was led by Daniel Pidun with 2.429 million, just ahead of Max Heinzelmann and PokerStars Online Qualifier Ben Wilinofsky. After about nine hours of play, however, Wilinofsky emerged with the chip lead and will be leading the final tablists on Sunday.
Wilinofsky made all the early running on the feature table winning a race with jacks against Gerado Muro's , and then never needed to look back. He then eliminated Markus Grewe, getting the German to move all-in on a flop of with when the Canadian youngster had flopped a set of nines. Without much trouble, Wilinofsky had almost doubled his stack in just one level and was the first player to surpass the 4 million mark.
Meanwhile on the other table, Team PokerStars Pro Henrique Pinho had an rough start, losing a chunk of his stack in the very first hand of the day, when he doubled up Jonas Gutteck with , no good against the German player's . Pinho was eliminated in 20th place, his best ever finish, when his came unstuck against Max Heinzelmann's in a pot worth about 1.2 million chips.
Heizelmann gradually began to dominate the outer table in a similar way to Wilinofsky's total control of the TV table. Heizelmann opened a lot of pots and it became hard for others, such as double EPT runner-up Martin Jacobson, and the end of Day 2 chip leader Fabrice Soulier, to get a foothold.
Konstantin Puchkov, who placed third at EPT Barcelona was eliminated in 17th place, when he ran pocket eights into Jonas Gutteck's pocket aces, while Jeffrey Hakim quickly followed him out of the door in 16th. Kristijonas Andrulis, who won two side events in Tallinn and another in Vilamoura, went out in 12th place after he lost a race to Martin Jacobson. Jacobson has managed to make his third final table of this EPT season alone, an incredible feat in its own right, but he must be thinking that this should be his time.
Just before the dinner break, Fabrice Soulier was knocked out in 11th. He committed his stack with on a flop against Vadzim Kursevich's but the board bricked out with the turn and river and a very disappointed Frenchman was sent to the rail.
Refreshed and rejuvenated after a 90-minute break, the final ten players returned to play. Ten minutes later, after Cuello Jorge Mariano's push with was called by Heinzelmann's and failed to spike, we were down to a single table.
The final table bubble can be a long and drawn out affair, lasting several hours as a dynamic sets in and players vie for control of the table.
Not this time.
It only took 15 minutes for Armin Mette to be dealt when former chip leader Daniel Pidun had picked up and the two didn't take long to put all the chips into the middle. Pidun was covered and it looked dead and buried when the flop came but it got very interesting on the turn. Pidun just needed the board to pair to complete a miraculous comeback but the river was the and the German was our final-table bubbler.
EPT Berlin Final Table
|4||Darren Kramer||2,235,000||South Africa|
|6||Joep Van den Bijgaart||1,060,000||Netherlands|
It's set to be an exiting climax Sunday. Can Wilinofsky make his first ever live cash an EPT victory? Could Martin Jacobson, on his third EPT final table this season, finally break his duck? For the answers to all these questions, tune into the Live Reporting page for the EPT Berlin final table coverage beginning at 12 p.m. CEST (0300 PDT).
Follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.