Take a trot down the Edgware Road in London, or even just a walk, and you’re likely to pass by people originating in a hundred countries across the globe. This is a cosmopolitan hub unrivalled on the planet and if tomorrow you were to stop by the Hilton Metropole Hotel, at the north end of the aforementioned street, you’d see all that multi-culture represented in microcosm around the EPT final table.
Today we successfully sliced our overnight field of 24 to the required eight for a final showdown. They represent eight countries from four continents, further indication of the game’s enduring global appeal. We welcome our first Taiwanese to an EPT final; likewise our first Moroccan. And from the country named “World Champion”, we have the Team PokerStars Pro Peter Eastgate. What a year this guy has had.
So yes, we are at our final table. The eight players listed below will appear tomorrow to play down to another new EPT champion — what they’re playing for (and who has won what to date) is over at the prizewinners page.
As you can see, top of the tree is Aaron Gustavson, from the United States. He’s been ruthless today and richly deserving of his overnight leader’s billing, which is about twice as much as anyone else. Americans, huh. Sure, they can play too.
Those final eight:
Aaron Gustavson, USA, 7,140,000
Peter Eastgate, Denmark, Team PokerStars Pro, 3,535,000
Martin Gudvangen, PokerStars Qualifier, Norway, 3,510,000
Nikolai Senninger, Germany, 2,165,000
Dominic Cullen, UK, 2,115,000
Raymond Wu, Taiwan, Team Pokerstars Pro, 1,535,000
Rui Milhomens, Portugal, 1,095,000
Karim Bennani, Morocco, 845,000
Although there are some big names in that list, today we bade farewell to a who’s who of European, international and internet poker: Annette Obrestad, Theo Tran, Kenneth Hicks, Adam York, Andrew Lichtenberger and Ivo Donev couldn’t make it to the final reckoning.
A word too about the November Niner Kevin Schaffel and our free-rolling friend Michael Berry. Schaffel won £17,000 on his EPT debut, and high fives all round for that. But he could be forgiven for keeping a lid on his excitement: next month he’ll return to Las Vegas in his PokerStars livery and play for $8m.
Berry’s spin up is mathematically even more impressive. He won a free-roll tournament, run by PokerStars in conjunction with the Daily Mirror newspaper, and took his zero pounds zero pence investment to the overnight chip lead. He was furious with himself for busting today in 15th spot, but 19,000 reasons says he shouldn’t be.
That, though, is all she wrote for today. It’s around this time tomorrow that the trophy engraver shall be getting his chisel out. Gustavson is the favourite, if only for that chip lead, but this is poker, and poker is anyone’s game — wherever you’re from.
Look back on today with any of the following level-by-level reports:
Or bash your head off a keyboard and come up with something like our German, Swedish or Italian colleagues have been agonising over all day. Televisual delights can be found at PokerStars.tv (like the interview with Kevin Schaffel at the end of this post) and when Mr and Mrs Stoddart gave their son the first name “(c)”, he was always going to grow into (c) Neil Stoddart with the photos.
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Kevin Schaffel on his bust out from EPT London: