Each morning the press receive the updated player list which gets shorter and shorter each day. So you get used to seeing the names, even if you can’t apply them to faces. With only 17 left a closer look is warranted to see who is overachieving, and who should be among the favouites with two days of play to go.
In terms of prize money one player is well out front. Olivier Busquet has more than $3.2 million in prize money from a career playing around the globe. If it’s all about the money Busquet is the clear favourite.
Behind him is Khiem Nguyen from Germany, who has $837,000, ahead of Kevin Stani, a former EPT winner and the last hope of a double winner this week, with $721,471.
Former EPT winner Kevin Stani
At the bottom end of that list four players are poised to make their first ever live cash finishes. One of them is Dashgyn Aliev, from Russia, second in chips and about to win more money at a poker table than he ever has. The same can be said for Matias Kesanen, Lesse Christiansen and Pascal Vos. Above them, just, is Julian Thomas, with $2,617. Regardless of how today pans out, it will be a memorable one for each of them.
In terms of silverware only three players know how it feels to be the last man standing. Busquet won WPT Borgata in 2009 while Stani won EPT Tallinn three seasons ago. Robert Auer, from Germany, won the Masters Finale in Dortmund last year, worth €102,000. The others have no idea what’s expected of them in a winner’s photo.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.