EPT Copenhagen: Final table, level 24 (cont.) & 25 updates (blinds 20,000-40,000, 4,000 ante)

February 26, 2011


2.50pm: Break time
That’s the end of the level. Players are now taking a 15 minute break.

2.46pm: Three to the flop
John Eames opened from the button for 85,000 which Michael Tureniec called from the small blind. Per Linde also called from the big blind. The flop came 10♠8♠K♦ which all three checked. The turn came 10♦ and Tureniec bet another 150,000. Linde raised to 425,000 which then was good to take the pot. – SB

2.40pm: Chip counts
John Eames — 6,955,000
Michael Tureniec — 4,203,000
Per Linde — 2,157,000

2.30pm: Eames retakes chip lead
John Eames just won a three million pot off Michael Tureniec to jump back into the lead with 6,900,000. He completed from the small blind and called when Tureiec bumped it up from the big blind.

Eames went into check-call mode as Tureniec fired 125,000, 300,000 and 1,000,000 on each street. The final board read J♣4♠K♥9♣8♠. Tureniec tabled K♣10♣ for top pair but he lost out to the Brit’s J♦9♠ for two-pair. Tureniec is down to around 4,200,000 chips. — MC

2.25pm: Iacofano out, three left
All of a sudden we’re three handed. Michael Tureniec raised to 85,000 pre-flop which Iacofano called from the big blind for a flop of 10♠10♣7♥. Iacofano then began a series of check-calls after Tureniec bet 100,000 on the flop and 200,000 on the 5♥ turn. On the 2♦ river Iacafano checked again. Tureniec then shoved for 3,602,000 making it all-in to call. Suddenly Iacofano did call, turning over A♣7♠. But Tureniec showed 8♠10♥ for trips, sending Iacofano out. Tureniec moved up to 5,580,000.

Iacofano was visibly disappointed in his post-match interview. “My gut was telling me to call,” he said. “But we all know heroes die.” — SB

2.18pm: He’s only got kings again
John Eames just found pocket kings for the fourth time this final table to double-up to 5,644,000 and claim the chip lead. He raised to 85,000 from first position before Per Linde three-bet to 250,000 from the small blind. Eames came back at him with a four-bet to 500,000. Linde quickly went all-in for and Eames almost beat him into the pot.


John Eames with Michael Tureniec (foreground)

Eames: K♦K♥
Linde: A♠2♠

The board ran 6♠5♥5♦J♥K♠ to make Eames a full house. Linde dropped down to 2,167,000. — MC

2.07pm: Iacofano gets lucky to double
Kevin Iacofano moved all-in for 1,055,000 from the big blind after a Michael Tureniec button opening raise. Tureniec made the call and found he was an 80 percent favourite.

Iacofano: 4♣4♦
Tureniec: 6♥6♣

The board ran 10♠2♥4♠K♣8♠. Iacofano made a set on the flop that held through to the end. He’s up to 2,146,000 and Tureniec is down to 3,512,000. — MC

1.59pm: Liakos out in fifth place
PokerStars player Nikolas Liakos departs in fifth place. Michael Tureniec opened for 85,000 and Per Linde called before Liakos shoved for 1,104,000. Linde passed but Tureniec called showing 7♥7♠. Liakos showed A♠8♣ for a classic race situation.


Nikolas Liakos

The board ran 3♣Q♦K♥9♦K♠ to send Liakos to the rail. Tureniec up to 4,567,000. — SB

1.50pm: Liakos doubles-up
Nikolas Liakos is up to 1,160,000 after doubling-up through PokerStars qualifier Kevin Iacofano. He found a really good spot – shoving with A♦K♦ from the button. Iacofano was in the small blind with K♥J♠ and called off a third of his stack.

The board ran 5♣4♦10♦2♠2♥ to miss both players. The American dropped to 991,000 after the hand and is now the short stack. — MC

1.45pm: Leaving it to Iacofano
Kevin Iacofano wins a pot, four-bet shoving for 1,185,000 to force out John Eames, who opened, and Per Linde who three-bet. Neither fancied it. — SB

1:40pm: Eames involved with kings again
John Eames has benefitted from pocket kings three times today but he’s just suffered their wrath as Michael Tureniec picked them up to double through. The action folded to Eames in the small blind and he raised to 110,000. Tureniec defended from the big blind to see the 3♦10♠4♠ flop. Eames continued for 125,000. Call.

The turn came Q♦ and Eames fired again, for 275,000, only to see the Swede move all-in for 1,340,000. Eames seemed surprised by the move but made the call after some thought.

Tureniec tabled K♥K♠, ahead of Eames’ Q♥6♥. The river came J♠ and Eames is down to 2,796,000. Tureniec leap-frogged him up to 3,190,000 chips. — MC

1.34pm: Cards in the air
Play restarts in level 25 with blinds of 20,000-40,000 with a 4,000 ante. That’s only the second four-chip ante. — SB

1.25pm: At the break
Gloria Balding reports from the tournament floor at the first break…

1.20pm: Chip counts
Per Linde, Sweden – 5,596,000 chips
John Eames, United Kingdom – 4,349,000 chips
Michael Tureniec, Sweden – 1,593,000
Kevin Iacofano, United States, PokerStars qualifier, 1,145,000
Nikolas Liakos, Sweden – 634,000 chips

1.16pm: Break time
Players are now taking a 15 minute break. — SB

1.15pm: Tureniec on the river
In the hand before the break the board was reading Q♥9♥3♠9♠Q♦ when Kevin Iacofano bet 160,000 form the big blind. Michael Tureniec was considering his options, looked to be folding and then called, showing K♦7♠ to top Iacofano’s pocket eights that were counterfeited on the river. Tureniec up to 1,500,000 while Iacofano drops to 1,100,000. — SB

1.10pm: Big stacks clash small
John Eames raised to 60,000 from under-the-gun and was called by Per Linde on the button. The flop came down Q♥9♣2♥ and Eames checked to face a 80,000 bet from Linde. Eames decided to fold rather than continue to play the hand out of position versus his biggest threat. — MC

1.05pm: Tureniec and Linde go head to head
Michael Tureniec opened for 63,000 from the button which Per Linde called from the small blind for a flop of K♣2♦A♥. Both checked that for a 4♠ which Linde bet at, 75,000 total. Tureniec called for a Q♠ on the river. Both checked. Tureniec asked Linde is he had a king. He didn’t, but he did have 10♥Q♥ to win the hand. — SB


Michael Tureniec

1pm: Mudassa Khan eliminated in sixth place
The two of the short stacks just went to war and it resulted in a sixth place exit for Mudassar Khan. Michael Tureniec was his opponent and he acted first by open shoving from early position. Khan was sitting in the small blind and made a quick call to create a pre-flop show down.

Tureniec: 5♣5♦
Khan: A♣J♠

The board came K♦9♣10♣K♥7♥. Tureniec managed to fade a ton of outs to take the last remaining Danish scalp and move up to 1,330,000 chips. — MC

12.55pm: Taking on Linde
Kevin Iacofano opened for 70,000 in early position which Michael Tureniec, quite up to now, raised to 160,000. The action reached Per Linde who then four-bet to 2,015,000, effectively putting any caller all-in. Iacofano passed, as did Tureniec. Linde up to 5,339,000. — SB

12.50pm: Bring back the all-ins
Michael Tureneic opened from under-the-gun, making it 63,000, and picks up the blinds. — SB

12.45pm: More all-ins
Nikolas Liakos all in again, but once more gets no takers. — SB

12.36pm: Molle falls in seventh, to John Eames with kings again
Andrea Dalle Molle takes home DKK 450,000 (€60,357) for finishing in seventh place. It was John Eames who did the damage again after he found pocket kings for the third time in 15 hands. Molle open shoved for 483,000 with Q♣J♣ and Eames called with K♠K♦ from the big blind.


Andrea Dalle Molle

Eames seemed embarrassed by his riches and Per Linde was laughing. The board came 8♦4♥5♦J♠7♠. EPT Copenhagen is now a 6-max tournament. — MC

12.30pm: Shove over
More open shoves, from Andrea Dalle Molle and then Nikolas Liakos. Neither got any takers. — SB

12.24pm: Liakos all-in
Nikolas Liakos was left short after that John Eames hand and has only one move with the blinds being so high. He just moved all-in two hands in-a-row. Firstly from second position and then from under-the-gun. Both moves got through and he added 123,000 chips or nearly 25% to his stack. — MC

12.15pm: Juha Helppi out in eighth place
As the first hand changed everything the third hand sent Juha Helppi to the rail and again, it’s John Eames doing the damage.

Eames opened for 63,000 from the cut off which Helppi three-bet to 190,000 from the small blind. After pausing for a few moments Eames four-bet, making it 365,000 before Helppi moved all-in. Eames called in a flash showing K♥K♦ (again), to Helppi’s Q♠Q♥.
The board put an end to Helppi’s day immediately, running K♠2♦J♦7♥Q♣. Helppi out in eighth place, Eames moves from sixth place to second place, up now to 3,700,000. – SB

12.10pm: Eames doubles on the first hand
British player John Eames is up to 2,200,000 after doubling up through Nikolas Liakos. Liakos raised to 60,000 from the hijack and was called Kevin Iacofano on the button before Eames three-bet to 190,000. Liakos must have thought that Emaes was squeezing as he moved all-in. Iacofano folded but Eames snap called.


John Eames

Eames: K♠K♥
Liakos: Q♣J♦

The board ran 10♣4♦Q♠A♥5♥. Eames is now the second biggest stack at the table whereas Liakos dropped to less that half a million. — MC

12.01pm: Camera, action…
Gloria Balding welcomes in the final day…

12pm: About to start
Players are taking their seats ready to start. We have one hour of Level 24 left to play. — SB


The finalists

11.55pm: Final table day
Welcome to the final table of the EPT Copenhagen Main Event, the culmination of a week of play that has reduced a field of 449 players down to just eight.

At the start of this week we promised some degree of originality, in fact EPT Copenhagen’s originality is its only predictable trait. So what looks like an ordinary final table on the surface, will, if past incarnations are anything to go by, no doubt turn into a night long glitch in the matrix that will end sometime in the next 24 hours. Ish.

What we can promise, without any suggestion of hyperbole, is one of the best final tables in recent EPT history. Headed by chip leader Per Linde; the likes of Juha Helppi, Michael Tureniec and John Eames, each have resume’s that sparkle with previous spoils, the type that could make this final table a regular on future highlight reels.

So who else will be playing today? I’m glad you asked…

Seat 1: Andrea Dalle Molle, 27, Rome, Italy – 417,000 chips
Dalle Molle has been playing poker for around six years, turning pro three years ago. Dalle Molle is from Rome and is friends with Team PokerStars Pros Dario Minieri and Salvatore Bonavena, as well as 2010 WSOP finalist Filipo Candio. Dalle Molle’s best live result before now was third place in the Campionato Nazionale Main Event in Nova Gorica, last September, for €19,900.


Andrea Dalle Molle

Dalle Molle said that making the final of the EPT Copenhagen, which will net him at least DKK 296,400 (€39,755), is “the dream of every poker player”. He has played at least nine EPTs but says Copenhagen is the toughest after London. “I’m the short stack,” he said. “But I’m in a push/ fold situation and if I double up, I’m in a good position.”

Seat 2: Per Linde, 22, Motala, Sweden – 4,980,000 chips
Linde made more than $400,000 in live events last year, the bulk of which was thanks to making the final of the €10,000 WPT Paris event. Team PokerStars Pro Theo Jorgensen won that event, with Linde picking up €234,780 for third place.


Per Linde

The Paris result has been the best of his career but Linde has had several EPT cashes before now including 13th place at San Remo last season, where he earned €40,000. He also cashed in Barcelona in November, earning €15,000.

Seat 3: Nikolas Liakos, 24, Sweden – 1,493,000 chips
Liakos has been playing poker for six years and, after some years as a pro, he is now studying maths with the intention of becoming a teacher, and will graduate in about two years. Liakos mainly plays online cash games up to $10/$20 limits (full ring, shorthanded and heads-up) and is also a sports bettor.


Nikolas Liakos

In 2007 he finished EPT Prague in 12th place for €27,800 and also had two big scores in 2008, winning the EPT San Remo €2,000 side event worth €176,200 and finishing fourth at the Master Classics Main Event in Amsterdam, for a further €132,600. Having been focusing on his studies lately Liakos hasn’t played any major live events since.

Seat 4: Mudassar Khan, 38, Denmark – 823,000 chips
Khan is the last remaining Danish player and also a home town boy, hailing from Copenhagen. Khan plays for fun as he normally helps run the family restaurant business.


Mudassar Khan

This hasn’t stopped him achieving some great results though; Khan’s biggest result in that seven-year period coming at the Swedish Open Poker Championships, in 2006, where he won the title and $134,539. Khan has one previous EPT cash in Dortmund, in Season 3.

Seat 5: Kevin Iacofano, 25, Chicago, USA – 1,844,000 chips
Cleveland-born Kevin Iacofano qualified for the EPT Copenhagen for just €215 on PokerStars and is now set for the biggest win of his career. Iacofano is an online pro who makes his living grinding tournaments and is also a regular in the $25/$50 mixed cash games over the last six months. No slouch on the live scene either, Iacofano has $197,542 in live tournament cashes and finished third in a WSOP $1,500 PLO event back in 2009 earning $96,128. The only American at the final table, Iacofano had heard that EPT Copenhagen was a hard nut to crack.


Kevin Iacofano

“Even the weaker players make it tough for you,” he said. “It would mean a lot to win an EPT title here.”.

Iacofano also pulled off what he described as the “biggest bluff of my life” on day four, against Sweden’s Nikolas Liakos (who has also made the final). Liakos had led into him on a Kh, 3h, 4c, Qh, Ts board and Iacofano had quickly moved all-in for his tournament life with Ah 8s. Liakos tanked, then folded.

Seat 6: John Eames, 22, Southport, UK – 1,060,000 chips
Eames is a well-known British player who many pros predict will be a future winner of a major event. Eames turned pro nearly four years ago and originally played mainly online, although he has now switched his focus almost entirely to live tournaments.


John Eames

Eames has had a great Season 7 so far – winning the EPT Vienna €2k event in October for €123,500, and chopping the EPT Barcelona €2k event with fellow finalist Michael Tureniec in November, earning €78,300. Despite playing around 13-14 EPTs, however, this is his first Main Event cash. “I was pretty short around the bubble and thought a min-cash was likely but it picked up,” he said. “It’s great to make a final. All I do now is live events… I like the atmosphere and there’s more prestige if you win. “

Seat 7: Michael Tureniec, 25, Stockholm, Sweden – 1,310,000 chips
Michael Tureniec first rose to fame back in 2008 when he finished runner-up at the Season 5 EPT London event, earning £525,314. That finish is still his best ever live result although his total lifetime live tournament winnings now amount to nearly $2 million.


Michael Tureniec

Last November he chopped the EPT Barcelona €2k side event with fellow Copenhagen finalist John Eames, earning €140,000. Michael has only had one job in his life – working as a supermarket cashier – a job he abandoned to become a professional poker player more than six years ago.

Seat 8: Juha Helppi, 33, Helsinki, Finland – 1,470,000 chips
Helppi was originally a poker dealer but made a name for himself when he eliminated several top pros to take a WPT title in Aruba in 2002. He has since made dozens of other final tables, his best performance being runner-up in a 2006 WSOP $1k NLHE tourney for $331,000. Overall Helppi has had five cashes worth more than $200,000 and more than a dozen first place finishes.


Juha Helppi

This is Helppi’s third EPT cash but he has won the €20,000 EPT Deauville high roller event back in Season 6, for €192,000. He was also runner-up in the EPT Barcelona €10k event in November, for a further €127,500, and winner of a €1k side event in San Remo last season earning €84,000. Helppi’s career winnings already amount to more than $3 million and Helppi is ranked Finland’s #1 on the All Time Money List. Outside of poker, Helppi is a high level paintball player and was captain of the Finnish National Paintball Champions in 1997, 2003, 2007 and 2008.

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Copenhagen (in order of how we match up against James Hartigan’s when talk turns to films): Marc Convey (“Ingmar Bergman? Wasn’t she in ‘Casablanca’?”) and Stephen Bartley (“I like musicals”).


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