On Saturday, the 2013 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final Main Event continued with the fifth and penultimate day, and the final 16 players were whittled down to an official final table of eight. Leading the final table was Steve O’Dwyer, who was also the chip leader of the EPT London Main Event final table. O'Dwyer bagged 4,452,000, right behind him is Matchbook CEO Andrew Pantling with 4,180,000, and joining them at the final table are Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu, Jake Cody, Jason Mercier and Johnny Lodden, then Noah Schwartz and Grant Levy.
Combined, the eight players have over $39 million in career live tournament earnings, and the only player without a million dollars is Pantling, who was once a feared member of the online nosebleeds.
With a win, Mercier or Cody would become the first player to win two EPT Main Events, and Negreanu could become the newest member of the Triple Crown club.
Day 5 began with back-to-back brutal eliminations. Dutchman Mateusz Moolhuizen was eliminated in 16th place when he three-bet shoved over a raise and a call with two kings. Levy, who called the initial raise, called the all in with ace-jack, and flopped a pair of aces. A few hands later on the same table, O’Dwyer five-bet shoved into Goran Mandic, who snap-called with two jacks. O’Dwyer was very far behind with two threes, but flopped a backdoor straight draw and went perfect-perfect to make said straight.
Both Moolhuizen and Mandic earned €37,000, while O’Dwyer ascended into the chip lead with 2,370,000.
American Andrew Lichtenberger was the next player to exit. Lichtenberger check-raised all in on a very connected, three-club board against Negreanu, who tank-called with the nut-straight. Lichtenberger turned over two black aces, and was unable to make a flush on the river. He was eliminated in 14th place, earning €47,000.
Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin couldn’t get much going on the feature table, and was eventually eliminated in 13th place. He open-shoved from early position with two black nines, only to be called by Schwartz who had two kings. Schwartz made quads for kicks and giggles, and Ramdin was off to the cage to collect €60,000.
Clyde Tjauw Foe also struggled to get things going on the feature table, and eventually jammed from under the gun with four-three off suit. Negreanu called with ace-king in the cutoff, held, and eliminated Foe in 12th place (€60,000).
John Juanda took a hit in Level 23 when Levy doubled through him with ace-king against Juanda’s kings, and in Level 25 the Indonesian five-time World Series of Bracelet winner was eliminated. Juanda four-bet shoved for 1.1 million with ace-king, and O’Dwyer called with two red tens. The tens held, and Juanda was out in 11th place, earning €60,000.
After Juanda’s elimination, O’Dwyer, Lodden, and Vasili Firsau played without a doubt the most remarkable pot of the tournament. With the blinds at 15,000/30,000/4,000, Firsau opened to 125,000 in the cutoff, leaving about 60,000 behind. Lodden moved all in for around 800,000 from the small blind, O’Dwyer called, and Firsau committed his remaining chips.
The dealer fanned , and Mercier jumped out of his chair to tell the feature table that there had been a double bust-out on the secondary table. Little did he know that the turn and river would come , respectively, giving both Lodden and Firsau the wheel.
“Oh my God! Is that real?” Mercier said. “I’m a percentage guy, when I see ninety-nine percent I just think that’s going to win.”
Firsau was unable to parlay his one-percent survival into a deeper run, however, and exited in tenth place. The Belarusian moved all in with king-queen from the small blind and Levy called in the big blind with ace-nine. Levy flopped a pair of aces, and faded a gut-shot straight draw to send Firsau to the rail in 10th place (€76,000).
At that point, the unofficial final table was set, and it didn’t take long to burst the official final table bubble. Freddy Deeb open-shoved his last nine big blinds with king-queen, and Pantling called in the big blind with jack-ten of spades. Pantling flopped a pair of tens, the turn and river both bricked, and Deeb was off to collect €76,000 for his ninth-place finish.
The final table will begin on Sunday at 13:00 CET, but the coverage will not begin until 14:00 CET because the action is being streamed with hole cards. Be sure to follow the PokerNews Live Reporting Team as they bring you all of the updates from one of the most anticipated EPT final tables of all time.