Things looked shaky at times, but after a big run at the end of Day 5 at EPT London Steve O’Dwyer reclaimed the lead and then distanced himself from the rest of the field by scoring the final elimination of the evening.
Friday’s session began with O’Dwyer holding the narrowest of leads, and he fell as far back as fifth with nine players left at the unofficial final table of nine. A full house against Mantas Visockis in a pot worth over 2 million put O’Dwyer comfortably back on top, though, and his A K was enough to eliminate Bassel Moussa in ninth place as the A in the window crushed Moussa’s 55 and sent the remaining eight players on to the final day of the tournament.
O’Dwyer is in search of his first EPT title (as well as over $1 million) and hopes to cap an impressive back-to-back performance in London by adding a win to his runner-up finish from 2011. He’ll have his hands full, however, as his seven remaining opponents have some impressive results of their own. That group includes Theo Jorgensen, who tripled up just prior to the end of the day with K K to go from the short stack to a very playable fifth place stack when play resumes Saturday.
Chris Moorman is one of two Brits to make the final table, but he and Tamer Kamel will have an uphill battle as they start in seventh and eighth places, respectively. Dutch pro Ruben Visser is O’Dwyer’s closest competition in second place, and he’s no slouch either. His largest career cash was for just over $200,000 for a second place finish in the 2012 EPT Deauville High Roller, with a deep run at the 2011 WSOP Main Event and a final table appearance at the 2012 PCA also to his credit.
Of the remaining three competitors, Christopher Frank is the only one with over $100,000 in lifetime tournament earnings. Visockis, who rode the Day 2 chiplead all the way to a spot at the final table, and Olof Haglund of Sweden each have around $10,000 in career earnings, which will be increased significantly as all eight players are now guaranteed at least £57,000 ($86,258).
Day 5 began with 15 players jockeying for those last eight spots, though it took far longer to eliminate seven players Friday than it did to lose several times that many on previous days. After almost two hours, Day 3 chipleader Pasi Sormunen was the first to go, followed by Mikhail Korotkikh and Daniel Erlandsson. The last remaining EPT champion in the field, Nicolas Chouity, fell short of another final table, as did Niall Farrell and, eventually, Moussa.
Play will resume Saturday afternoon at 12 pm local time from the Grosvenor Victoria Casino. Here are the chip counts for the eight players at the final table of the 2013 PokerStars European Poker Tour London Main Event.
- Steve O’Dwyer – 5,270,000
- Ruben Visser – 3,640,000
- Olof Haglund – 2,755,000
- Christopher Frank – 2,570,000
- Theo Jorgensen – 1,550,000
- Mantas Visockis – 1,510,000
- Chris Moorman – 1,075,000
- Tamer Kamel – 960,000
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