EPT London High Roller: Erik Cajelais steam-rolls to final table chip lead

October 01, 2009

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At a “normal” EPT Main Event, the penultimate day usually begins with 24 players and the target of reaching a final eight before everyone turns into pumpkins. We usually make it but it can take a while. We’ve lost damn good men to the fruit bowl.

On day two of this three-day High Roller event, costing £20,000 each for the 75 players, we still had to be down to eight at day’s close. But since we started with 31 and they had even more chips than usual, we were anticipating a long night ahead.

But hell, yet again we’ve been proven wrong. And us Cinderellas shall go to the PokerStars EPT Welcome Party at London’s Cafe de Paris ball. It’s now barely 8.30pm and we’ve made it to the final table. High rollers can boom and bust just like the best of them.

At noon tomorrow, this lot will reconvene to play to a winner.

Seat 1: Eugene Katchalov, USA, 530,000
Seat 2: Shane Reihill, Ireland, 236,000
Seat 3: Matt Glantz, USA, 647,500
Seat 4: Dennis Phillips, USA, 218,500
Seat 5: Ilari Sahamies, Finland, 311,000
Seat 6: Leo Fernandez, Argentina, 460,000
Seat 7: Adolfo Vaeza, Uruguay, 468,000
Seat 8: Erik Cajelais, Canada, 893,500

The more observant among you will notice there the three players who have dominated proceedings throughout each of our 17 levels of play.

The Uruguayan Adolfo Vaeza, who had the chip lead for all but five minutes of yesterday, has sailed into the final reckoning. Likewise Ilari Sahamies, who snatched the chip lead in the final few minutes last night, and has ridden a roller coaster today. But Ziigmund will be there tomorrow.

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Adolfo Vaeza

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Ilari Sahamies

Today’s wrecking ball was Erik Cajelais, the Canadian player fresh from a bracelet win at the World Series of Poker Europe last week. Cajelais destroyed all before him this afternoon, passing a million chips and then being pegged back to a “mere” 850,000 at bagging time, good for the chip lead.

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Erik Cajelais

Followers of Team PokerStars Pro — and there are none keener than this corner of the internet — also have reason for delight. Although Alex Kravchenko, Humberto Brenes, Joe Hachem, William Thorson, Dario Minieri and, right at the death, Vicky Coren didn’t make it, Dennis Phillips and Leo Fernandez did.

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Humberto Brenes, fallen

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Vicky Coren, fallen


Phillips is no stranger to major tournament final tables: he will always be an original November Niner. And Fernandez too has got form. The Argentinian came sixth on home turf in Buenos Aires in April on the first LAPT event to be held there. He’s now mixing it with the European High Rollers.

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Leo Fernandez

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Dennis Phillips

That, then, leaves us with a terrifically cosmopolitan final table, featuring players from three continents, six countries, and with representatives from the Nordics, from Latin America, from North America and all the overlaps.

Join us tomorrow at noon for the start of the High Roller final table, at which point the traffic in the room will have reached its peak with the start of day 1a of the £5,000 Main Event. It’s going to be a very, very busy day.

Take a look back on the one just lived:

Level 11 updates
Level 12 updates
Level 13 updates
Level 14 updates
Level 15 updates
Level 16 updates
Level 17 updates

And you can read it all in Swedish if that takes your fancy.

We’ll be back tomorrow with the added visual assistance of EPT Live to complement this blistering prose and the photographic majesty of (c) Neil Stoddart’s lens.

Ta-ta.

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