EPT London: Michael Berry freerolls to final 24

October 05, 2009


If Wall Street fortunes changed as quickly as EPT London’s Day 3, there would not be enough Prozac in the world to save the traders from themselves.

No sooner had we identified a chip leader than every one of the chips would be gone. No sooner had we written off a player’s chances of ever seeing a final table than he would have enough chips to pour them in a bath and roll around in their magnificence. It got so that we considered for a moment simply reporting lies and innuendo. We stood just as good a chance of being accurate with that strategy as we would reporting the truth and having it change before we’d hit the “publish” button.

So, it’s this lying in the jetwash of a day that left our heads spinning that has us feeling no small amount of joy for a moment of respite. We can sit back and say unequivocally that the EPT London Main Event chip leader going into Day 4 is…

[Please hold, our reporters are verifying information that was true five seconds ago but may have changed due to the vagaries of chip counting vis a vis the absolute carnage and spewing they witnessed during the day. Your call is important to us. Please remain on the line and the next available…]

The EPT London Main Event chip leader going into Day 4 is…

Michael Berry.


It was just a few weeks back that Berry had no real plans to be here. It took winning a 5,771-player Mirror EPT Challenge on PokerStars. That win took him to a 290-player qualifier and first place there earned him his seat in London’s Main Event.

He considered anything after the money today as just another freeroll. Every money jump was just more money than he invested nothing but time to earn. It was with that in mind that he earned the attention of everyone in the room when he came in for a raise, was re-raised by the small blind, min-raised that raise, and finally faced an all-in bet. At the time he had a much better than average stack and calling all-in pre-flop would be difficult for him. Even though he had…pocket kings.

A crowd formed. Camera shutters clicked. Berry relentlessly chatted up his opponent.

“Are we racing? Do you have queens? Big pair then? Ace-king? Ah, it’s the bullets, isn’t it? Will you show me? I’m going to have to call if you won’t show me.”

Everyone who stood behind Berry–and there were lots of folks–knew he had kings. He held them in front for anyone except his opponent to see. Finally, Berry leaned forward and pushed his chips across the line. The crowd held its breath.

In front of him, Martin Gudvangen turned over A♠Q♠.

“He should have slowrolled me and just turned over the ace,” Berry said later.

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Hand of the day

The kings held up and suddenly had more than 1.8 million in front of him. Tonight, his chips are worth at least £17,000 and have the potential to get him to the final table where he could be up for a first place £850,000 payday.

He’ll be fighting against some of the other top stacks in the field. Here’s everybody who has more than one million chips.

  • Michael Berry — PokerStars qualifier — 1,837,000
  • Rodrigo Caprioli — PokerStars qualifier — 1,647,000
  • Nikolai Senninger — 1,587,000
  • Tobias Reinkemeier — 1,291,000
  • Josef Samanek — 1,215,000
  • Vivek Rajkumar — 1,196,000
  • Raymond Wu — Team Pokerstars Pro Asia — 1,115,000
  • Benjamin Spindler — PokerStars player –1,110,000
  • Also surviving until tomorrow is PokerStars-sponsored 2009 WSOP November Nine player Kevin Schaffel. Schaffel’s survival to this point is something you might see on a Hallmark After School Special. Beaten down to just 7,000 chips yesterday, Schaffel doubled enough times on Sunday and today to at one point have 900,000 sitting in front of him. He didn’t have as many when he finished tonight, but he still has chips to play for the final table. He’s got 377,000 to work with tomorrow.

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    Kevin Schaffel

    Speaking of people who have spent some time among the November Nine, we’d be remiss to not mention reigning champion Team PokerStars Pro Peter Eastgate. The 2008 WSOP champion played the role of short stack ninja all day and managed to make it to Day 4. A key double up with ace-king versus ace-jack in the last level gave him the chips he needs to do some damage tomorrow. With Chris Ferguson’s Day 3 exit, that leaves Eastgate as the only WSOP champion left in the field.

    _MG_5392_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Peter Eastgate

    Raymond Wu, the Team PokerStars Pro Asia player remaining in the field, has been quietly collecting chips all day long and is looking for one of his first really big finishes. This trip to London is proving to be profitable for one of the newest Team Pro members. Want to learn more about him? Check out this video blog.

    Watch EPT 6 London Day 3: Raymond Wu on PokerStars.tv

    You can get a full accounting of the final 24 players’ chip counts on our EPT London chip counts page.

    Though our focus at this hour is obviously on the people who still have a chance of winning this thing, our mothers raised us to honor the fallen. It’s with that in mind, we’d like to recognize just a few of the people we lost today (please imagine the sound of Taps or Last Post being played in the background as you read).

  • Arnaud Mattern — 97th place
  • Teddy Sheringham — 49th place
  • Maria “maridu” Mayrinck — 43rd place
  • Darus Suharto — 36th place
  • _MG_5195_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Darus Suharto

    We could continue, but frankly, we’re already in counselling for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and to do this for the 80 people we lost today could well trigger a relapse. None of us wants that. So, please see the honor roll on our EPT London winners page.

    With that, we must return to the business at hand and steel ourselves what is sure to be another brutal day of carnage tomorrow.

    If you care to see coverage from the very happy countrymen of our chip leader, the very quiet blogger from Italy, or someone who can tell you what the “Swedish Course” is, check out the work of our colleagues from Sweden, Germany or Italy. And, if you care to see some of the best behind-the-scenes video from the EPT (including some pretty impressive voice work from our own Simon Young) head on over to PokerStars.tv.

    Play resumes at noon local time Tuesday. We’ll be here with full live blog coverage. Join us then. Or better yet, join us here! We’ll take you out for fish, chips, and Prozac.

    In the meantime, if you’d like to take a look back at all the live coverage from Day 3, we’ve got it all right here.

    Level 16 updates
    Level 17 updates
    Level 18 updates
    Level 19 updates
    Level 20 updates
    Level 21 updates
    Level 22 updates

    Ladies Only
    Berry nice indeed

    All photos © Neil Stoddart


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