Eight hours ago their tournament hopes were alive. Now, the dream of EPT glory lies in ruins for 32 of 40 players who returned to Casino Copenhagen this afternoon for the business end of another great EPT event.
That we bring this news on the cocktail side of midnight is some indication as to how fast this day flew by. Finals here in Denmark have produced memorable moments; today will hopefully be just a forerunner to what’s in store tomorrow – a frenetic and merciless scrap for every last chip by some of the game’s best.
Today marked the latest example of Nordics renewing their claim to be the best and most fearless players of the thoroughbred poker breed – with seven of the eight finalists hailing from Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish shores; an unsurprising surge of local poker brilliance, alongside some EPT loyalists, trigger-happy young guns and the odd legend thrown in.
Anders Langset has the honour of leading the overnight chip list with 1.1 million after a solid day in the saddle. With an ever-expanding block of attack chips Langset, who has been playing poker for only three weeks, seemed unstoppable, able to toss in calls without the fear of crippling loss others had to endure – like the Frenchman Eric Larcheveque, today’s miracle man, who never seemed to advance beyond 20 big blinds but finds himself with 205,000 tonight, enough for a guaranteed €80,364.
A welcome sight in his second final is Peter Hedlund, a chatty EPT stalwart, who entertains at the table whether opponents like it or not. He lines up alongside Jonas Klausen who has narrowly missed two previous finals (12th in San Remo, 11th in Barcelona) and makes his first appearance seventh in chips.
Spare a thought for Mikael Lundell. He now knows how Klausen feels after departing in ninth place today, one place off the final for a second time, after being inflicted with the same cruel fate in the season five opener in Spain. Klausen has chance to put his demons to bed tomorrow, but Lundell’s nightmares will go on.
Here’s who’ll be back:
Anders Langset, Norway, 1,119,000
Rasmus Nielsen, Denmark, 1,031,000
Jussi Nevanlinna, Finland, 894,000
Petter Petersson, Sweden, 407,000
Peter Hedlund, Sweden, 367,000
Jens Kyllonen, Finland, 366,000
Jonas Klausen, Denmark, PokerStars qualifier, 262,000
Eric Lachavaque, France, 221,000
But we lost a lot of good men out there.
If your fetish is for record breaking you no doubt had your eye on the Norwegian player Andreas Hoivold today. The winner in Dortmund on season three was on course for a potential second title, and would have taken a giant step closer had it not been for the seven-four (yep, seven-four) of Rasmus Nielsen, crushing Hoivold’s five-three (yep, five-three).
The legions of PokerStars were great in number and in talent. Tony Mallandain, one of six qualifiers who made the money, busted in 21st place, €16,371 to the good, having won his seat in a freeroll. The steps qualifier Michael Aston, who pledged 5% of his winnings to Friends of Eastgate — the charity set up by World Champion Peter — was the unlucky 13th place victim of a poker mugging, his A-Q outdrawn by the K-J of Mikael Lundell.
Elsewhere Andrea Benelli missed out on a third EPT final of the season, exiting in 32nd place; while one of poker’s elder statesmen, Thor Hansen, fell short of his first EPT final, departing in 17th place.
But that’s all behind us, now onto the final. We’ve witnessed a 4am finish (season 2), a come from behind upset (season 3) and a white knuckle four hour heads-up monster (season 4). This is the place of legend – you’d be mad to miss what surprises are in store for season 5.
Until then you wouldn’t have thought it possible, but thousands and thousands of words of coverage from today’s tournament can be unleashed by clicking on these innocent-looking hyperlinks.
Day three introduction
Michael Aston: chips and beer
Wrecking ball: Anders Langset
As flies to wanton boys
Andrea Benelli downed
Thor Hansen handing out the lessons
Level 17 updates
Level 18 updates
Level 19 updates
Level 20 updates
Level 21 updates
Today was also a big day for some very worthy causes. The Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem has asked his friends in the poker community to help the plight of the some of his Australian countrymen and women, suffering as a result of the horrific bush-fires that have swept through his homeland. And by “friends in the poker community” he means YOU! Click here to read Hachem’s open letter and learn about a terrific charity tournament on PokerStars, where you can play against Team PokerStars Pro and help the worth cause at the same time.
The World Champion and friend of PokerStars Peter Eastgate has also recently launched a new charity venture, called “Friends of Eastgate”. Claus Nielsen, the President and CEO of the charity, told Kara Scott all about it.
Watch EPT Copenhagen S5: Eastagte’s new charity on PokerStars.tv
And that, folks, is that. We’ll be back tomorrow for the final.