Entering the final day of a major poker tournament with a big chiplead is an enviable position to say the least, but that distinct and advantageous honor also carries the pressure of completing the task at hand by utilizing that stack to win.
Romanian Dany Parlafes is in just such a situation after Day 5 of the 2015 EPT Deauville Main Event. Parlafes built his stack steadily over the course of the day and knocked out three of the nine players eliminated over the course of play Friday afternoon – including two once the field combined to a single table. All told, Parlafes holds 7,580,000 of the 17,760,000 chips in play going into the final day of the tournament, and he’s set for the biggest cash of his career in this event. His previous best saw Parlafes finish fourth in a 2,000 player field in Austria in October 2012 for $144,979 after a five-way deal
He’s followed by Frenchman Benjamin Buhr, who clashed with Parlafes for the chiplead through much of the early stages of Day 5 before falling back to the pack a bit and finishing with 3,405,000. Both he and Parlafes qualified for this tournament through an online satellite on PokerStars, meaning they’re both on track for a massive return on their investments regardless of how the final day plays out. Buhr is one of three French players holding on to the hope of capturing an EPT title on home soil.
The other two are Benjamin Pollak (1,670,000) and Joseph Carlino (875,000), who will start the final day of this tournament in fifth and sixth, respectively. Pollak enters this final table with the most accomplished tournament resume of the six, carrying over $1.8 million in career earnings and final table appearances in an EPT Barcelona High Roller and two WPT events, along with a deep run in the 2013 WSOP Main Event. Carlino has been a gregarious presence in the Deauville Main Event field over the last few days, but he’ll have to come back from the short stack to end his week of celebration in the same fashion.
Ognyan Dimov of Bulgaria (2,575,000) and Andrius Bielskis (1,680,000) of Lithuania round out this all-European final table. After narrowly missing his first career EPT final table early this season in London with an 11th place finish, Dimov locked that distinction up late in Day 5 and positioned himself for even greater success on Saturday afternoon. Bielski’s previous best was a 39th place finish for $12,908 in the Little One for One Drop at the 2014 WSOP.
Those six are all that remains from a group of 15 that started play Friday afternoon. Swede Daniel Carlsson was the first to go, and while he held on long enough to earn a small pay bump Kevin MacPhee wasn’t far behind. MacPhee fell in 11th, three spots short of his fifth career EPT final table and a chance at a second career title on the tour, and with Joseph El Khoury following him out the door in 10th an all-European final table was officially a lock.
Matas Cimbolas was the last player in the field with a major win to his credit, and while he did manage to hold on long enough to secure his first EPT final table appearance it would end soon thereafter in eighth. Massou Cohen held on for some time on a perilously short stack, doubling with pocket queens against Dimov’s pocket jacks and again with A Q against Buhr’s A T. Cohen got it in good a third time, but his run was ended in second after his A 6 fell to Dimov’s J T with a J falling on the flop.
The final table is set to begin at 12 pm in Deauville, with the live stream featuring hole cards getting underway at 1 pm local time (7 am ET) on PokerStars.tv.
2015 EPT Deauville Main Event – Final Table Chip
- Dany Parlafes – 7,580,000
- Benjamin Buhr – 3,405,000
- Ognyan Dimov – 2,575,000
- Andrius Bielskis – 1,680,000
- Benjamin Pollak – 1,670,000
- Joseph Carlino – 875,000
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