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European Poker Tour -- Berlin Day 4

An Armed Robbery Delayed the Tournament for Several Hours on Day 4


Aftermath of the Robbery -- Photo Courtsey of PokerStarsEverything was running smoothly on day 4 at the PokerStars European Poker Tour Berlin €5,000 no-limit hold’em main event until shortly after 2 p.m. local time. That was when six armed robbers stormed into the tournament room at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Berlin and a wave of confusion followed. Players, staff, and media fled from the room and the tournament was delayed several hours. No one was hurt, but play did not begin again until 6 p.m. once everything got settled back into place. The EPT Live broadcast caught some of the initial commotion today but the video feed went down after a few seconds. Live video from the event was canceled for the rest of day, but the EPT Live video feed will be up and running from the final table tomorrow.

The field had played down to the final 20 when the incident took place, and once play started again they marched down to the final table of eight. The final-table contestants are all now guaranteed to win at least €72,000 at tomorrow’s final table. You can check out bios for each of the final-table contestants at the bottom of today’s recap, courtesy of PokerStars. Here is how the final table will look when cards get into the air tomorrow.

Final-Table Chip Counts:

Seat 1: Marko Neumann — 2,185,000
Seat 2: Marc Inizan — 3,655,000
Seat 3: Kevin MacPhee — 6,070,000
Seat 4: Artur Wasek — 3,530,000
Seat 5: Marcel Koller — 3,590,000
Seat 6: Nico Behling — 960,000
Seat 7: Ketul Nathwani — 4,685,000
Seat 8: Ilari Tahkokallio — 3,940,000

Final-Table Payout Structure:

1 – €1,000,000
2 – €600,000
3 – €350,000
4 – €280,000
5 – €210,000
6 – €165,000
7 – €120,000
8 – €72,000

The chip leader heading into the final table is Kevin MacPhee (6,070,000), who also held the chip lead at the end of day 3. The most notable player to make the final table in Berlin is young, German professional Nico Behling, but he will have his work cut out for him with the short stack at the final table (960,000). The action on the felt was hard on the remaining Team PokerStars pros and professionals left in the field today. Jude Ainsworth (19th place), Theo Jorgensen (20th place), Joao Barbosa (22nd place), and Johannes Strassmann (23rd place) all hit the rail during the day.

Check back at tomorrow for a recap of final table, and be sure to follow along with the action from the PokerStars blog feed during the conclusion of this event. You can also watch the final table from Berlin on the EPT Live video feed. The final-table players will begin again tomorrow at noon local time. Here is a look at the tournament statistics from EPT Berlin Day 4:

Day 4 Cashes:

9 – Norman Kastner, Germany, €50,000
10 – Alfonso Amendola, Italy, €50,000
11 – Luca Cainelli, Italy, €40,000
12 – Paul Thomas Otto, Germany, €40,000
13 – Evgeniy Zaytsev, Russia, €30,000
14 – Carsten Joh, Germany, €30,000
15 – Stefan Huber, Switzerland, €25,000
16 – Ilya Gorodetskiy, Russia, PokerStars qualifier, €25,000
17 – Lennart Holz, Germany, €23,500
18 – Mathias Kuerschner, Germany, PokerStars qualifier, €23,500
19 – Jude Ainsworth, Ireland, Team PokerStars Pro, €23,500
20 – Theo Jorgensen, Denmark, €23,500
21 – Jonas Gutteck, Germany, €23,500
22 – Joao Barbosa, Portugal, €23,500
23 – Johannes Strassmann, Germany, Team PokerStars Pro, €23,500
24 – The Duc Ngo, Germany, €23,500

Hand of the Day:

Kevin MacPhee Eliminates Stefan Huber in 15th Place and Grows his Chip Stack to 6 Million

Just before the dinner break Stefan Huber moved all in for the last of his chips preflop and Kevin MacPhee made the call. Their cards:

MacPhee: AHeart Suit KDiamond Suit
Huber: Q-Q

Board: AClub Suit 6Diamond Suit 5Diamond Suit 10Spade Suit 10Diamond Suit

Huber was eliminated on the hand in 15th place and he took home €25,000 in prize money. Huber grew his stack to 6,058,000 at the dinner break.

Final-Table Bios from PokerStars:

Seat 1: Marko Neumann, 23, PokerStars qualifier, Recklinghausen, Germany – 2,185,000 chips

Marko has been playing poker for five year, the last three years as professional. He is a very successful online Multi Table Tournament and Sit and Go player, but has had a bad run in live events until now – playing numerous EPTs and two WSOPs without cashing. He said he has been a bit frustrated by this and EPT Berlin is his first major live tournament since Summer 2009. The final table here is obviously his breakthrough on the live poker circuit and he has good supporters on the rail including his girlfriend Aga.

Seat 2: Marc Inizan, 23, Quimper, Brittany, France – 3,655,000 chips

The young professional took up on poker in 2005 after stumbling upon a WSOP broadcast on late-night French TV. Seeing those 20-somethings winning millions playing cards inspired him to start an online account. Through trial and error, Marc built up a bankroll, playing SNGs and MTTs and, helped by his math background, gradually moving up the stakes. Two years later, he was playing his first big live event in Canada after qualifying online, ending up in 24th place for a $52,000 prize. Since then, Marc played several live events, and took up playing cash-games with great results, while winning several major tournaments online. The Berlin EPT final table will be his best career result to date, following two consecutive final tables – at the Belgian Championships last November and the Antibes Deepstack last week.

Seat 3: Kevin “ImaLuckSac” MacPhee, 29 from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – 6,070,000 chips

Kevin started playing poker with college friends in 2003 after seeing Chris Moneymaker win the main event at the WSOP. His collectively made the transition from “Magic: the Gathering” to poker. At first they played each other but soon turned their attention to playing online. He’s been a pro for three to four years but April 2008 was his real breakthrough. He broke the PokerStars TLB record and has amassed over $100,000 clear profit. He’s been on the road ever since playing live events and has won over $250,000 to date. He continues to shine in online MTTs, consistently near the top of ranking lists with his biggest result $218,750 for final tabling a $5k event.
He’s being supported in Berlin by fellow pros Richard Grace, Jonathan Weekes and Laurence Haughton. His dad got up to watch EPT live at 3am today and will be supporting him from Idaho tomorrow.

Seat 4: Artur “wesylaa” Wasek, 35, Plock, Poland – 3,530,000 chips

Wasek has been playing poker for two years. His biggest online success was coming fifth place in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-up for $37,000. His best live result was winning a tournament in Warsaw for $10,000. Wasek bought in direct to EPT Berlin, winning his entry fee in cash games at Spielbank Berlin casino over the road on Monday night. This is his fourth EPT but first cash. He is being supported from home by his wife and six-year-old daughter Susanne.

Seat 5: Marcel Koller, 37, Switzerland – 3,590,000 chips

Koller is the only player at the EPT Berlin final table who is not a full-time pro. He’s a computer programmer by trade and says he gives his work 100% – but he’s no slouch when it comes to winning at poker either. He has been playing a the Swiss form of 7 Card Stud – involving a 36-card deck – for years but only took up Texas Hold’em four years ago. His best result to date was winning a daily $30,000 tournament on PokerStars for some $8,000 a few months ago. He is being supported in Berlin by a large group of friends that include three-times Swiss champion Daniel Walter.

Seat 6: Nico Behling, 24, from Jena, Germany – 960,000 chips

Behlin is one of the most successful German “Young Guns” and a good friend of PokerStars player Sebastian Ruthenberg. Nico has a lot of live poker experience and has made nearly half a million dollars in live tournaments. He finished second at EPT Warsaw last season. Online, Behling grinds the short-handed cash games but he also sometimes plays multi-table tournaments on PokerStars. Last week, he came third in the PokerStars Sunday Million for 145K Dollar. When he is not playing Poker, Nico likes to watch and play soccer.

Seat 7: Ketul Nathwani, 25, London, UK – 4,685,000 chips

Despite describing himself as an online cash game specialist, Ketul Nathwani is no stranger to live poker and has put together a string of notable results during the four years he has played the game. He went deep in the 2007 World Series Main Event and then took down a £1,000 buy in tournament in his home city of London, outlasting 423 others to win £119,780 ($240,000 approx). He is a former computing student at Imperial College but is now a professional poker player.

Seat 8: Ilari Tahkokallio, 23, from near Helsinki, Finland – 3,940,000 chips

Whatever happens from now on, Ilari Tahkokallio has already earned credit for one of the classiest poker moments of the week. When the tournament was interrupted, Tahkokallio and Luca Cainelli were involved in a huge all-in pot. At the turn, Cainelli had AQ, Tahkokallio had AT and Cainelli looked good to double up. Then the tournament was interrupted and all players and the dealer left the area. When they returned, tournament director Thomas Kremser said that, if they wanted, the players could consider the hand dead and take their chips back. Although he was losing, Tahkokallio said the river card should be dealt – a sporting gesture greeted by applause.
The river was a 5 and Cainelli doubled up. Later Tahkokallio ended up busting Cainelli and now sits on nearly four million in chips. Tahkokallio, who has been a professional poker player for two years, won the PLO/PLHE £1,000 side event at EPT London after beating Kevin MacPhee heads-up. Of today’s decision, he said: “I like to be fair and play in good spirit. It wasn’t even really a choice for me.”