It took just over seven and a half hours on the penultimate day to whittle down 72 survivors out of a field of 1,304 entries to the final nine and set the final table of the 2020 PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) Online $5,200 Main Event.
Contenders from nine different countries are vying to earn the first-ever title of the popular live flagship event in the virtual arena and will battle for the lion's share of the $6,520,000 prize pool. All finalists have $78,797 locked up thus far but all eyes are set on the top prize of $1,019,082.
A late surge and double elimination on the final table bubble propelled Finland's "tikidiii" to the top of the leaderboard with a stack of 60,602,479. They have plenty of MTT results on PokerStars to their name including an outright victory in the $215 Sunday Million from back in 2018 for a top prize of $163,574. Right behind them is Sweden's "WhatIfGod" with a stack of 59,560,859 and Viacheslav "VbV1990" Buldygin rounds up the overnight podium with a stack of 54,038,702.
Canadian High Roller regular Timothy "Tim0thee" Adams boasts the fourth-biggest stack of 49,204,980 and the trio of Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou (26,582,982), David "MissOracle" Yan (24,927,164), and Jon "apestyles" Van Fleet (20,733,422) all know what it takes to compete for a major title.
It would also not be a major final table on PokerStars without any player from Brazil and Enio "Bozzano JNR" Bozzano made it through with 16,577,500, while "vip25459" from Kazakhstan completes the line-up with a stack of 13,772,912.
The Nine Finalists of the 2020 PokerStars EPT Online $5,200 Main Event
|Position||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|3||Viacheslav "VbV1990" Buldygin||Russia||54,038,702||90|
|4||Timothy "Tim0thee" Adams||Canada||49,203,980||82|
|5||Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou||Cyprus||26,582,982||44|
|6||David "MissOracle" Yan||New Zealand||24,927,164||42|
|7||Jon "apestyles" Van Fleet||United States||20,733,422||35|
|8||Enio "Bozzano JNR" Bozzano||Brazil||16,577,500||28|
For each of the known finalists, it would be a maiden EPT Main Event title. The last former champion Rob "batoelrob" Hollink fell in 14th place, the former runner-ups Gleb "Ti0373" Tremzin (23rd place) and Marton "noirduck" Czuczor (13th place) also came close at having another shot at the elusive title.
Ramon "RamonColillas" Colillas was the sole PokerStars ambassador who reached Day 3 and was sent to the rail in 53rd place for $22,167.
The Action of the Day
By the time the first scheduled break was underway, only 53 players remained and notable names such as Laszlo "omaha4rollz" Bujtas, Simon "C. Darwin2" Mattsson, Dante "dantegoyaF" Goya, and Pieter "XMorphineX" Aerts were already on the rail. Finland's "tikidiii" emerged as one of the chip leaders after scoring a big double through "TTWIST".
The first casualty after the break was then PokerStars ambassador Ramon "RamonColillas" Colillas. Left short after paying off a straight by Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit, Colillas was soon after involved in a three-way all-in with ace-queen suited versus ace-king and pocket kings to run out of chips.
It was a sign of things to come as the pace of eliminations never slowed down and Antoine "A. Saout" Saout followed right after when he lost all chips within two hands.
What followed was a dry spell for several players from Brazil, who saw their hopes vanish into thin air. Rafael "GM_VALTER" Moraes ran with queens into kings, while Rodrigo "seijistar" Seiji and Will "hellzito" Arruda had their pocket kings cracked by pocket tens.
Start-of-the-day chip leader Toby "sadface11" Joyce lost a flip with ace-king against the pocket treys of Jon "apestyles" Van Fleet, which propelled the American online poker stalwart into a prime position he maintained until the final two tables.
Only 28 players were still in contention during the third scheduled break and Benjamin "bencb789" Rolle was the next to fall after losing a chunk to Gleb "Ti0373" Tremzin to then run into aces. For Tremzin, it was all over in 23rd place when Marton "noirduck" Czuczor made tens full in a battle of former runner-ups. Christopher "Apotheosis92" Kruk also sent his chips to Czuczor, who took over the lead with 18 players remaining.
From there on, Van Fleet assumed a commanding lead but suffered a major setback when he doubled "WhatIfGod". Liviu "0Human0" Ignat couldn't get there with ace-queen suited against pocket queens and the only former EPT champion in contention, Rob "batoelrob" Hollink, had their aces cracked to bow out a few hands later.
Czuczor was unable to keep up the momentum, doubled Timothy "Tim0thee" Adams and David "MissOracle" Yan before succumbing with ace-king versus pocket kings. In the meanwhile, Adams doubled once more to get back into contention and in the blink of an eye, the field was down to the final table.
After the exit of Nuno "BrigaDatada" Capucho with ace-king suited versus ace-jack, Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit and "PANIC.PLAYER" came up short with their pocket pairs and the double-elimination wrapped up the day.
The final table resumes on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020, at 1.05 p.m. EST with blinds at 300,000/600,000 and a running ante of 75,000. The action will be broadcasted with cards-up coverage and commentary on a 30-minute delay on the PokerStars YouTube and Twitch channel and the PokerNews updates will be published accordingly. You can also check out the entire feature coverage of all 2020 PokerStars EPT Online festival events by clicking right here.