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EPT8 Berlin: Haunted Icaofano still knocking at the door

ept-thumb-promo.jpgIf Kevin Iacofano was a character in a horror film it would be hard to determine whether he'd end up as one of the survivors at the end, one shirt arm torn off and used as a tourniquet on a largely superficial wound sustained by the leading lady at the wrong end of a sickle/axe/rabid hound, or if he'd be an early faller, the handsome jock who'd made a somewhat immoral decision which had taken him down a path that would lead to a brutal death, the kind which involves a lot of those exploding fake blood packs.

In terms of his live tournament performances he keeping coming close, perhaps surviving for the first fifteen scenes before capitulating in the finale, a knife in the back as the real killer is revealed, probably the brunette cheerleader. Never trust someone who shakes pom poms for a living.


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Kevin Iacofano at EPT Berlin, today


Iacofano, originally hailing from Cleveland, USA, first popped up on our radar at EPT Copenhagen last year as he moved convincingly through a tough Scandi field to claim a deserved place at the final table. He finished in Denmark fourth for DKK1,000,000 ($183,580) behind John Eames, Per Linde and eventual winner Michael Tureniec, a bitterly tough final four. Since then five cashes at the World Series, a 6th place finish at EPT London and a deep 23rd place finish at last week's UKIPT Nottingham event have seen him score an additional $246,293 in live winning.

Iacofano, a respected online player who has won big in tournaments and $25/$50 mixed games, is yet to score a live victory so how tough does he find it to balance the confidence of consistently going deep versus the frustration of falling near the final hurdle?

The American let out a long breath and said: "It's tough because I've had a lot of dreams about being at the final table and some different result happening. I get haunted by it occasionally. In London I just really felt like it wasn't my day but I did the best I could. Copenhagen is the one that haunts the most because I made a call there that was bad. You don't want to make a mistake. When we were down to four in Copenhagen I felt like any one of us could win. Everyone was a very good player."


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Iacofano at EPT Copenhagen, last season


"It's been quite a ride being able to make final tables in Europe because I've only been able to make one in the US which is a few World Series' ago. I was close to a couple of others such as the six-max where I finished 12th. This was the most haunting one because I lost kings versus ace-king for three times the chips of second place with eleven left. That was the one that was the bad beat story rather than me making a mistake," he said honestly.

Iacofano moved to London in October, not the first the American to move to foreign climes, but it was made easier thanks to the fact that his girlfriend managed to get a job there so they could relocate.

"I live in Martylebone (Central London) and I really like it. It's the perfect spot. I run to the park before I play online. I've been trying to win my way cheap into these things and try to make something happen."

And he came incredibly close just last week finishing 23rd in the record breaking £700 UKIPT Nottingham main event which picked up an incredible 1,625 players. Iacofano collected £4,450 but that must have felt like a far cry from the £210,000 first place, particularly when the opposition could be considered somewhat softer than your average EPT. Despite that, Iacofano is surprisingly upbeat, refreshingly not disparaging.

"I really liked the Nottingham poker room. It was a really big tournament which I'm pretty happy about. It seemed like a lot of people satellite in as there didn't seem to be that many players from the EPT there so a lot of the people that got to the final table probably hadn't been to many big tournaments before," said Iacofano, proving to make a very astute observation.

The winner, Robert Baguley, had satellited in for £100 in a live tournament, which was some five times the amount of buy-in which he'd normally play.

"Good for him. That's really awesome, £210,000," said Iaconfano genuinely.

"I made a big call at the end which I'm not sure about. I had two pair with A7 on a KJ3A7 board. I thought it through for a while so I wasn't terribly unhappy about it because a lot of the hands that beat me I didn't think he had. The one I wasn't sure about was QT, which is what he (Scott van der Vliet, a $1 PokerStars qualifier) had. I keep knocking on the door and feel like I'm going to win one soon."

It's hard to doubt Iacofano's confidence, he's got the results and consistency to back it up. Berlin's been good to the North Americans with Kevin MacPhee (USA) and Ben Wilinofsky (Canada) the sole winners. Could Berlin be the movie where Iacofano finally survives until the end? It's too early to say but four scenes levels in, the American is still going strong.

Tournament snapshot
Level 4: blinds 100-200, ante 25
Players: 455 of 495
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