Steve O’Dwyer Tops Star-Studded Final Table at Grand Final

Steve O'Dwyer has the chiplead going into the final table of the EPT Grand Final, but it won't be an easy path to victory. (Photo c/o Joe Giron/PokerStars Blog)

Steve O’Dwyer has the chiplead going into the final table of the EPT Grand Final, but it won’t be an easy path to victory. (Photo c/o Joe Giron/PokerStars Blog)

The final table of the 2013 EPT Grand Final Main Event is set and it is, by almost any measurement available, the strongest final eight in the tour’s nine year history.

Steve O’Dwyer made the biggest move of Day 5 and enters the final table with 4,452,000 and the chiplead. O’Dwyer has been close several times on the EPT, making back-to-back final tables in London in Seasons 8 and 9, finishing second and fifth. It all started with a timely suckout against Goran Mandic, with O’Dwyer’s 3 3 running out a straight against Mandic’s J J with almost all of their combined chips at stake, eliminating Mandic in 15th. O’Dwyer would be on the right side of almost every big hand going forward and eventually took out several other players, including John Juanda, who went out 11th.

Andrew Pantling entered Day 5 as the chipleader and didn’t fall far, taking the second largest stack into the final table. Pantling used to frequent the nosebleed stakes online as “ClockWyze”, but has largely stepped away from poker as he now works for the major online sportsbook Matchbook. His lifetime tournament earnings of $834,819 are the lowest of the eight players at this final table.

Jake Cody started Day 5 in last place but found a double up early in the day with K K, which made top set against Victor Ramdin’s top two pair with K 4. Cody stayed under the radar for the majority of the day, but still managed to bag the third largest stack going into Sunday. He’s one of two players with a chance to become the first two-time winner in the history of the EPT, having won at EPT Deauville in 2010.

Daniel Negreanu has been on an absolute tear of late, winning the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific Main Event to capture his fifth bracelet at his second final table of that series. Negreanu has been among the biggest stacks throughout the EPT Grand Final, and he cleared 2 million for the first time by eliminating Andrew Lichtenberger in 14th. Negreanu made a straight with T J on a board of 9 8 3 7 and called Lichtenberger’s all-in with A A, dodging a club on the river. Negreanu has a chance to achieve poker’s Triple Crown if he wins this tournament.

Johnny Lodden was nearly the chipleader for three consecutive days in this tournament, finishing Days 2, 3 and 4 in first, first and second, respectively. He slipped early on Day 5, but managed to find double-ups when it mattered most, keeping Lodden in contention. Noah Schwartz, much like O’Dwyer, went through several years of getting close many times in major events without a title to show for it until he won the WPT Jacksonville bestbet Fall Scramble last November. Schwartz has a chance to add his second major title and the largest cash of his career in this event.

Jason Mercier is among the shortest stacks going into the final table, but that’s never stopped him in the past. Mercier exploded onto the live tournament circuit in 2008, with his first recorded live tournament cash coming in the EPT San Remo Main Event, which earned him €869,000. It still stands as the largest tournament cash of Mercier’s career and he, like Cody, hopes to make history as the first two-time winner Sunday.

Bringing up the rear is Australian Grant Levy, and he’s quite an accomplished player in his own right. He has a $1 million win in the 2007 APPT Sydney Main Event and over $1.8 million in total career earnings.

Normally when players in the class of Lichtenberger, Juanda, Victor Ramdin (13th) and Freddy Deeb (9th) go out on the penultimate day of a tournament, the final table would lack star power, but that’s anything but the case in this event. The final table begins at 1 pm local time in Monte Carlo (7 am ET), but all coverage including the live updates will delayed by an hour to coincide with the live stream, which will feature hole cards.

Here are the chip counts going into the final table of the 2013 PokerStars and Monte Carlo Casino EPT Grand Final Main Event.

  1. Steve O’Dwyer – 4,452,000
  2. Andrew Pantling – 4,180,000
  3. Jake Cody – 1,633,000
  4. Daniel Negreanu – 1,581,000
  5. Johnny Lodden – 1,402,000
  6. Noah Schwartz – 1,068,000
  7. Jason Mercier – 824,000
  8. Grant Levy – 786,000
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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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