€5,300 Main Event

Three Champions Looking to Make Poker History

MarcC • Level 25: 15,000-30,000, 4,000 ante
Fedor Holz

There are some fascinating stories that could emerge over the next two days in the Main Event. Three players have already left their mark on the poker world but, after tasting success, are hungry for more of the same.

Dominik Panka turns 24 today and will want to make it a birthday to remember. The PokerStars Sponsored player took down one of world’s “majors” when he defeated Mike "Timex" McDonald in an epic heads-up battle at the 2014 PCA to win more than $1.4 million.

One of his birthday wishes today might’ve been to secure an early double up, and he’s managed just that, increasing his stack by more than 375,000 already, before dropping back a little.

Panka is not the only former EPT champion in the field today. Robin Ylitalo took down EPT London in Season 10 for more than $900,000 and would love to be the first man to do an EPT double. He spoke to PokerNews before play this morning.

“It would mean a lot and would be pretty big to win again. Pretty boring that I can’t be the first overall double champion but it would be cool to be the first man to do the double.

“My plan for the day is to wait a bit and get a feel for how it starts off and see what happens. I only have 30 big blinds so there’s not that much play left, but I’ll see what the other guys do and then maybe I’ll start to loosen up a bit.”

Ylitalo, being Swedish, couldn’t help but get involved early on. He doubled up Bart Kuiper before making a recovery to more than a million chips, partly due to eliminating his countryman, Bjorn Lundgren.

Another major story that could emerge is that of German starlet, Fedor Holz. The 21 year-old is already an online legend after he took down the 2014 WCCOP Main Event on PokerStars for $1,820,700 and he’s just returned to the #1 spot in the world in the PocketFives Online Poker Rankings.

PokerNews asked him what it would feel like to add a major live title and his transition from online to live play.

“It would mean a lot more actually. I’m so excited right now as live play is so much more intense with more emotions. I think a lot of it is to do with the longer time period.

“I actually enjoy live poker more than online. I like both quite a lot, but live gives me the opportunity to think about hands in a more in-depth way. Overall I found the transition from online quite easy.

“My plan for today is to just try and play my best game. I want to play good and take each situation on as it arises and see what happens!”

The Main Event is down to its last two tables and all three players are still in the hunt and aiming to make poker history.

Tags: PokerNews Live Blog FeatureDominik PankaFedor HolzRobin Ylitalo