And so Rumen Nanev is out, the first player to take the fall from what is promising to be a very, very long final table here in Vienna. Nanev came into the final with a stack of nearly 3 million (69 big blinds), and although it was the third shortest of the eight remaining players, it still represented plenty of play.
However, Nanev couldn’t get anything going, even when he picked up pocket tens back-to-back, and watched his stack slip helplessly down to shove-or-fold size. He was, it’s true, also bullied off some pots pre-flop, but this really wasn’t his day. Even when he picked up a legitimate hand — A♣K♥ — it turned out to be his last. Oleksii Khoroshenin had queens and they got it all in, with Nanev covered.
The rail of Bulgarians stood up to watch Nanev’s fate dealt out, loudly coughing out their wishes for either an ace or a king. (My Bulgarian is not great, and these words sounded like a caveman’s guttural chant.) The flop brought a queen, however, which was greeted by groans. But then there was another upturn in excitement, and a shift up in pitch, when the 10♥ on the turn gave Nanev some outs.
The silence on the A♦ river was deafening, though. That was the end of that.
Nanev wandered around the table, shaking hands one-by-one. Anthony Ghamrawi followed him off the stage to offer even more personal commiserations. Nanev then accepted the congratu-dolences of the Bulgarians on the rail and headed to the payouts desk.
Antonio Matias, the former EPT Vilamoura champion, also came over to shake Nanev’s hand. Although Bulgarian by birth, Nanev has lived in the Algarve resort for the past two years, where he has developed a strong following from his Portuguese neighbours. Matias, essentially representing Portugal here, exchanged fond words with Nanev before yielding him back to the Bulgarians.
“Obviously I’m disappointed,” Nanev said. “I’m happy that I made the final table, but I’m disappointed I couldn’t go further.”
Nanev has become something of a PokerStars Blog favourite over the past few seasons as he set about dominating the side events. He first won in Sanremo but then added to his collection in Prague. He brought his small gathering of chunky silver spades up to three in London, and added another at the Grand Final.
Sarah Grant, of PokerStars.tv, also talked to Nanev about this side event success earlier this week in Vienna.
Let’s take a look at Rumen Nanev in numbers:
EPT Vienna Main Event finishing place: 8
Prize: €77,000 ($105,000 approx)
Time of elimination (real world): 3:48pm
Time of elimination (EPT live clock): 4:48pm
Total career earnings: $595,700
EPT side event titles: 4
Post-elimination interviews: 1
Hands shaken: 14 (approx)
Man hugs received: 4
Man hugs returned: fewer
Number of EPT Champions offering congratulations: 2 (Matias and Danchev)
Friends offering opinions on final table play within five minutes of elimination: 4
Friends’ opinions listened to with any great interest: 0 (estimate)
Probability of returning at Sanremo and Monaco: 100%
Check out who is winning all the side events here in Vienna on the side events results page.