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Buy-In: $12,860 + $360
Prize Pool: $4,616,740
Entrants: 359

EPT Main Event

  • Mar 11, '08 - Mar 15, '08
  •  

 
 

Updates on Final Day (Mar 15, 08)

 
 

EPT Warsaw: Michael Schulze wins EPT Warsaw

EPT Warsaw champion Michael Schulze

It was not the late night epic of the EPT Copenhagen two weeks ago but the final of the EPT Warsaw had all the tension, the drama, and notably the long hours you'd expect from one of the major tournaments of the world. As the hour struck well past midnight German businessman Michael Schulze successfully over came Ricardo Sousa heads-up and was crowned EPT Warsaw Champion, picking up a cheque for PLN 2,154,000 or € 609,782.

The media get their man

After a final table that lasted over ten hours the 40-year-old held up his A-6 hand for the cameras, the hand that had overcome pocket sevens after a heads-up that had seen his initial chip lead escape him, and the momentum swing to the Portuguese.

To say that Michael had no prior expectation of winning in Warsaw is classic understatement. So confident was he that he would not make it to day two, or day three, or the final for that matter, Michael re-booked his flight each day, his room each day and even his dinner voucher each day. How's that for optimism.

But he did arrive here today as chip leader, and his tight and considered style would always leave him as a favourite as the hours grew longer. "I only play for fun, the money doesn't really matter to me." He'd said earlier today. But regardless of that the title of EPT Warsaw champion cannot be bought.

As play began he was up against some formidable opposition...

Seat 1 -- Trond Erik Eidsvig - Norway - 220,000
Seat 2 -- Christian Öman - Sweden - 110,000
Seat 3 -- Mehdi Ouakhir - France - PokerStars qualifier - 360,000
Seat 4 -- Niclas Svensson - Sweden - 174,000
Seat 5 -- Dan Woolson - USA - PokerStars qualifier - 164,000
Seat 6 -- Juan Maceiras - Spain - PokerStars qualifier - 437,000

Seat 7 -- Michael Schulze - Germany - 1,162,000
Seat 8 -- Ricardo Sousa - Portugal - 756,000
Seat 9 -- Mathias Viberg - Sweden - PokerStars qualifier -- 229,000

One name immediately stood out, that of Trond Erik Eidsvig. The Norwegian was making his third final table appearance in season four alone, fresh from EPT Copenhagen where he cashed and also won Rookie of the Year at the Scandinavian Poker Awards. It also featured Ricardo Sousa aiming to become the first winner from his home country of Portugal. His play the day before had secured him a solid stack, second only to chip leader Schulze. A word should also be said for the four PokerStars qualifiers who had made it this far. None of whom looked out of place in these latter stages.

To the final, where the absence of television cameras allowed the old fashioned close rail environment last seen when Arnaud Mattern won in Prague. The table was surrounded by a press rail and that by a spectator rail, consisting mostly of people standing on seats for a two-tiered coliseum effect.

It took just ten minutes for the first player to fall, that being PokerStars qualifier Dan Woolson. He bet out on a Q-3-5 flop only to find fellow PokerStars qualifier Mehdi Ouakhir moving all-in. Dan did the same and incredibly so did another PokerStars qualifier Mathias Viberg in seat nine. Woolson must have felt confident turning over aces but Mehdi turned over K-Q of clubs for a flush draw and Mathias pocket fives for a set - a set that held, sending Dan out in ninth place for PLN 122,060.

PokerStars qualifier Daniel Woolson

An hour later it was Rookie of the Year Trond Eidsvig sent to the rail. He moved in with A-T and was ahead when Juan Maceiras called with A-9. But a nine on the river left Trond pondering how long it will be before he takes down an EPT crown; out in eighth place for PLN 201,040.

Trond Eidsvig

Niclas Svensson went in seventh moving in with pocket fours and called by Mehdi with Q-T. The flop came 5-8-5 and the turn was a deuce. The river though, an eight, made a second pair on the board, neutralising Niclas's pair, sending him home with PLN 272,840.

Niclas Svensson

After a series of all-ins that had both the crowd and Juan himself jumping up and down with joy, Juan Maceiras went next. The young Spaniard, who had held the chip lead earlier in the week, couldn't hang on forever and pushed with pocket deuces, getting called by Mathias Viberg with A-K. The flop was fine but the ace on the turn quashed hopes of advancement for Juan, out in sixth place with PLN 344,640.

PokerStars qualifier Juan Maceiras

At the dinner break it was still Michael Schulze way ahead, with Frenchman Mehdi Ouakhir in pursuit.

Christian Öman - Sweden - 228,000
Mehdi Ouakhir - France - PokerStars qualifier - 747,000
Michael Schulze - Germany - 1,526,000
Ricardo Sousa - Portugal - 510,000
Mathias Viberg - Sweden - PokerStars qualifier -- 581,000

Over three and a half hours later and young Swede Christian Oman, who had survived a six hour day two spell to the right of Andy Black, was out in fifth place. He called an initial raise by Michael and checked to the turn - a board by now reading K-Q-7-9. Whilst Christian checked Michael moved all-in leaving Christian to call for his last 250k and showing K-5. Michael had A-9 with the river bringing another to match the one on the turn, sending Christian out to face the cameras with PLN 437,980.

Christian Oman

Mehdi Ouakhir had played an aggressive game all day, at some points surging ahead, at other points struggling to keep up. By now he had become the short stack and pushed from the small blind with Q-3 - Michael Schulze calling with pocket tens. The tens held and now just three players remained with Mehdi out with PLN 538,500.

PokerStars qualifier Mehdi Ouakhir

Michael Schulze - Germany - 1,750,000
Ricardo Sousa - Portugal - 800,000
Mathias Viberg - Sweden - PokerStars qualifier -- 940,000

The three final players had each shown themselves to be capable of winning the event, regardless of chip count. No sign of impatience, no zealous over-ractions either, just careful play. But someone had to go next.

PokerStars qualifier Mathias Viberg

Mathias had found himself unlucky before his elimination. Just moments before he'd called Ricardo's all-in with pocket jacks to Ricardo's J-T. But the Portuguese had found himself a straight draw on the flop, and flush draw on the turn which he made on the river. Mathias was left with shock and just 100k to deal with, which he pushed in a few hands later. A 'gamble' he'd said, showing 6-2 to Michael's pocket fours. The flop gave him miracle straight draws but his day was at an end. Third place for the PokerStars qualifier, and PLN 718,000.

That was a full two hours before the heads-up reached its final hand. Thoughts of a quick heads-up had faded away long ago with neither player, to their credit, prepared to let go of any momentum they'd gained. Ultimately it would come to two hands, within the space of five minutes.

Ricardo Sousa

First Michael made it 150k to go, which Ricardo called. On a 3c-4c-7s flop Ricardo checked, Michael made it 200k and Ricardo re-raised, 400k in total. When Michael moved in the crowd got to their feet, regardless of how tired they were feeling after a long day. Ricardo thought for a while, spinning his card protector around as Michael sat waiting. But the longer he waited the more he seemed less likely to call. He couldn't go on and mucked his cards.

Now the momentum was back with the German...

Ricardo -- 1,400,000
Michael -- 2,200,000

Five minutes later Ricardo led out, 150k from the small blind. Michael then re-raised, a massive 500k which seemed out of step with the previous betting. Things kicked off further when Ricardo announced he was all-in. Michael was never going to do anything else than call and when he did he shook the hand of his opponent before turning over A-6 of spades. For Ricardo pocket sevens.

The flop came 4d-2c-5h, leaving Ricardo ahead but with Michael needing either an ace or a three. Ricardo's luck had evidently run out with an ace hitting the turn. Now left looking for a seven the deuce on the river was no good for Ricardo. No jumping up and down, no fist punching, just a job well done by Michael Schulze who shook hands once more with Ricardo before thanking the crowd.

Naturally Ricardo's face was the picture of disappointment but he had played a great tournament, chalking up his best results at an EPT for himself and for his country. It was especially impressive when you consider he only began playing poker six months ago - PLN 1,220,600 is not bad for a rookie.

Lee Jones presents the EPT trophy

Michael stood patiently for pictures, allowing himself a glance or two at the suitcase full of money that adds up to PLN 2,154,000. The money may not always matter but the reputation as a winner has got to feel good. He's already booked in at San Remo next month and as an EPT winner has his seat at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo in the bag.

We'll see him there.

Photos © Neil Stoddart



This EPT Blog is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at PokerStars.com.
 

EPT Warsaw: Play continues into the night

12.40pm -- Ricardo Sousa from Portugal, eliminated in second place for PLN 1,1220,600
Ricardo makes it 150k from the small blind and Michael quickly re-raises, 500k in total. Ricardo announces all-in with Michael is ready to call, showing As-6s to Ricardo's black pocket sevens. Both players are on their feet and after a handshake watch the flop - 4d-2c-5h. Ricardo is ahead but Michael could win with an ace or three. The turn card is that very ace, flipping the fortunes of the hand in his favour, with Ricardo needing a seven that would ultimately not come. A deuce on the river and the EPT has a new champion in Michael Schulze.

12.35am -- Michael bets 150k pre-flop and Ricardo calls. The flop comes 3c-4c-7s and Ricardo checks. Michael makes it 200k and all of a sudden Ricardo re-raises, up to 400k, Michael moves all-in and the crowd get to their feet. Ricardo thinks for a while, spinning his card protector and asking questions of Michael that he'll never answer. He mucks.

Chip counts...

Ricardo -- 1,400,000
Michael -- 2,200,000

12.30am -- More tentative play. Ricardo wins a small pot showing an eight for a pair.

12.20am -- Play resumes with blinds now at 30k/60k.



This EPT Blog is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at PokerStars.com.
 

EPT Warsaw: Heads up rock, paper, scissors

There may be a break in the poker but there's no let up in the action from the bar...




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EPT Warsaw: Play resumes...

12.05am -- The level ends and players take a 15 minute break. The latest chip counts...

Ricardo -- 1,990,000
Michael -- 1,600,000

11.50pm -- Ricardo makes it 125k and is called. The flop comes 2c-7d-3c and Ricardo makes it 200k. Michael folds.

11.35pm -- The same pattern re-emerges. Bets or reraises are good enough to take down the pot.

11.20pm -- Ricardo bets 120k pre-flop and Michael makes it 100k more. Ricardo calls for a flop 4c-8s-3c. Both players check. The turn is a five of diamonds. Ricardo makes it 120k now and Michael calls. The river is a ten of clubs and Michael moves all-in. Ricardo looks at his cards again and then thinks things over for a while. "You have the ace of clubs?" he asks. Michael says nothing and Ricardo mucks.

11.10pm -- A lot of hands now involve nothing more than a bet and a fold.

11pm -- Blinds go up to 25k/30k.

10.50pm -- The heads-up chip counts...

Ricardo Sousa -- 2,200,000
Michael Schulze -- 1,400,000

10.35pm -- Mathias Viberg, PokerStars qualifier from Sweden, eliminated in third place for PLN 718,000
After a quck double up Mathias says "let's gamble" and turns over 6-2, moving all-in behind a bet from Michael of 120k. He shows pocket fours and makes a set on the 8-5-4 flop. It also gives Mathias a double gutshot straight draw. The turn is a jack, the river a queen. Nothing more for Mathias and the EPT Warsaw is heads-up.

10.25pm -- Mathias makes it 110k pre-flop and Ricardo calls to see a flop of 8d-9s-3d. Ricardo checks but Mathias makes it 170k as Ricardo was busy re-checking his hand. Ricardo then points at the pot, saying 'all-in'. He shows J-T of diamonds to Mathias' pocket jacks. A set against open-ended straight draw. The turn promptly delivers a queen of diamonds for Ricardo, the river the ace of diamonds giving Ricardo the flush, a pot of 742k total and leaving Mathias with just over 100k.

10.05pm -- Players take another short break.

Approximate chip counts...

Michael Schulze - Germany - 1,750,000
Ricardo Sousa - Portugal - 800,000
Mathias Viberg - Sweden - PokerStars qualifier -- 940,000


10pm -- Michael is on the button and makes it 130k to go pre-flop. Ricardo moves all-in and Mathias folds. It's 456k in total but he gets no takers.

9.45pm -- Play resumes with Ricardo moving all-in but with no callers.

9.25pm -- Players are now on a 15 minute break. The latest chip counts are below...

Michael Schulze - Germany - 1,952,000
Ricardo Sousa - Portugal - 458,000
Mathias Viberg - Sweden - PokerStars qualifier -- 1.070,000

9.20pm -- Now it's Mathias moving all-in, his A-K against the call of Ricardo with A-4. Nothing on the board to stop Mathias doubling up.

9.15pm -- Mehdi Ouakhir, PokerStars qualifier from France, eliminated in fourth place for PLN 538,500
Mehdi, now the short stack, pushed all in from the small blind with Q-3 and found Michael calling with pocket tens. There was no help on the board for the Frenchman and the tens held. We're down to just three players.

9.10pm -- Mehdi raises pre-flop and Ricardo moves all-in for around 420k more. Mehdi calls with Q-J of hearts which Ricardo shows pocket nines. No cavalry on the board for Mehdi and Ricardo gets a big boost to his stack.

8.55pm -- Few hands are getting to a showdown. Mathias moves all-in over a bet from Ricardo of 85k. It's 350k to Ricardo who folds.

8.30pm -- Christian Oman from Sweden, eliminated in fifth place for PLN 437,980
Michael led out, betting 80k pre-flop which Christian called in the big blind. The flop came K-Q-7 which both players checked before the turn card nine. Christian checked and Michael moved all-in. Christian thought about it and called for his last 250k, showing K-5. For Michael, A-9 but the river saved him, was another nine, sending the pot Michael's way and sending Christian to the rail.

8.20pm -- Blinds are up once more to 15k/30k with a 3k ante.

8.10pm -- Ricardo's blessed life continues, this time againt Michael. He'd raised 80k pre-flop and again Ricardo moved in. Michael called showing Ac-Jc. Ricardo was behind again but could count on a Q-Q-T flop. Not even a king would help Schultz who was resigned to watching Ricardo celebrate.

8.05pm -- Mathias bets 70k pre-flop. It's folded around to Ricardo who announces all-in. Mathias looks at his cards again and asks for a count. It's 177k in total. After Mathias counts his stack several times Ricardo calls the clock on him. A few seconds later Mathias calls, showing A-9. Ricardo is behind with A-2. The flop comes A-7-T. The turn is another ten, pairing the board making a split pot likely. A queen on the river and Ricardo dodges elimination,

7.55pm -- On a board reading K-5-A-9 Michael makes it 50k which Ricardo calls. The river is a three and Michael this time makes it 100k. Again Ricardo calls, showing A-7. But the German has A-5 for wo pair. Ricardo looks annoyed, whilst Michael keeps adding to his stack.

7.50pm -- Christian doubles up with A-9 against the pocket fives of Mehdi. The board helped out the Swede, coming 7-8-T-6-J to keep his tournament alive.

7.30pm -- Ricardo makes it 56k pre-flop which Mathias calls. On a flop of 9c-Qh-Ac Ricardo checks. Whilst Mathias counts out some pink chips a friend of Christian's on the rail lobs him some lip balm. Already leaning back on his chair Christian topples over as he lunges for the hail mary pass, landing on the table behind him. Helped back up by Lee Jones the hand continues. Mathias bets 75k. Ricardo pats him on the arm and folds his 2-2.

7.25pm -- Christian Oman moves all-in twice without getting any takers.

7.20pm -- Play resumes with blinds now at 10k/20k with a 2k ante and Lee Jones on the mike.



This EPT Blog is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at PokerStars.com.
 

EPT Warsaw: Wrap up at the break

Kara Scott and the video blog team have the latest from the tournament floor after level 20...




This EPT Blog is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at PokerStars.com.
 

EPT Warsaw: Level 22 Update

Kara Scott has the latest at the level 22 break...




This EPT Blog is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at PokerStars.com.
 

EPT Warsaw: Action begins

6.20pm - Play stops for a one hour dinner break. The latest chip counts are below...

Christian Öman - Sweden - 228,000
Mehdi Ouakhir - France - PokerStars qualifier - 747,000
Michael Schulze - Germany - 1,526,000
Ricardo Sousa - Portugal - 510,000
Mathias Viberg - Sweden - PokerStars qualifier -- 581,000

6.05pm -- On a flop of Ac-8d-8s there's a bet of 22k from Christian. Mehdi re-raises, 52k total before Christian tops that with a re-re-raise of 100k more. Mehdi calls. The turn is 8c, which gets an "oooh" from the rail. Both check for a king on the river. Christian checks and Mehdi makes it 200k. He's been playing with aggression and it pays. He takes the pot.

PokerStars qualifier Mehdi Ouakhir

5.55pm -- Ricardo makes it 41k pre-flop and it's folded ot Mehdi who asks 'how much?' Ricardo has over 300k left. He calls. The flop comes A-4-T. Mehdi checks, Ricardo makes it 55k and before Kara Scott has finished saying "fifty-five thousand" Mehdi thumped a stack of pink chips in. Lightening fast and Ricardo gets the message. He folds.

5.45pm -- Mathias makes it 45k pre-flop form the button. Christian calls in the small blind, so doe Mehdi in the big. the see a flop of 6h-4s-5h which all three check. The turn is an ace. Christian makes it 70k, chasing out the others for the pot. He showed K-Qd

Christian Oman

5.27pm - Another pre-flop bet by Ricardo, this time of 41k. Mathias Viberg sitting next to him re-raises, making it 150k in total and it's folded back to Ricardo. The Portuguese checks his cards again but folds.

5.20pm - Blinds are now increased to 8k/16k with a 2k ante.

5.15pm - Christian gets his chips all-in again against Michael, with the board showing 2-3-4-8-5. Both players have A-6 though, splitting the pot.

5.10pm - Christian Oman moves all-in, 253k to call, but gets no takers.

4.50pm - Juan Maceiras of Spain, eliminated in sixth place for PLN 344,640
It couldn't last forever. Juan pushed again with pocket deuces and was called by Mathias with A-K. The flop was safe enough but the turn brought the ace to end Juan's joy ride. We're down to five.

4.41pm - "Alright" says Juan, all in a fourth time. The applause is louder now and he initiates some call and response. It's 97k to whomever wants to call. Mathias does so with pocket tens. A-T of spades for Juan who gets an ace first card on the board. "Hey!!!" he cries and the rail join in. "I'm back in the game guys" he says.

Juan Maceiras

4.38pm - Juan all-in a third time. More applause and this time Juan joins in with it. He's on the ropes but he may as well enjoy himself. This time he hasn't looked at his cards. His chips are counted at 109k, a bit more than he'd expected. Ricardo folds with a smile and the action works its way to Mehdi who thinks but folds A-7.

4.36pm - Juan moves all-in again. More cheers from the rail which now has a heavy Spanish flavour. Christian Oman thinks about it this time be folds, sending more blinds to the Spaniard.
4.35pm - Juan Marceiras moves all-in with a battle cry of "llegando!" which gets the crowd on his side. It's folded to Mathias who folds, showing 3-4. "3-4 of diamonds?" asks Mehdi. "That's an insta-call."

Michael Viberg

4.30pm - Niclas Svensson from Sweden, eliminated in seventh place for PLN 272,840
Niclas moved all-in with pocket fours, called by Mehdi with Q-T. The flop comes 5-8-5, the turn is a deuce but the river, an eight, puts a second pair on the board, eliminating the Swede.

4.25pm - EPT Presenter Kara Scott takes over the mike from Lee Jones. Blinds are now 6k/12k with a 1k ante.

4.10pm - Players are on a fifteen minute break. The latest chip counts are as follows...

Christian Öman - Sweden - 261,000
Mehdi Ouakhir - France - PokerStars qualifier - 404,000
Niclas Svensson - Sweden - 128,000
Juan Maceiras - Spain - PokerStars qualifier - 87,000
Michael Schulze - Germany - 1,315,000
Ricardo Sousa - Portugal - 648,000
Mathias Viberg - Sweden - PokerStars qualifier -- 749,000

Kara Scott has the update at the break...

4.05pm - On a flop of 7s-Ks-2d Ricardo bets 100k which Michael calls. The turn is a nine which both players check for an ace on the river. It's checked again and Ricardo tentatively shows a king. Michael has A-4 for the pot.

4pm -- Niclas Svensson doubles up, pushing in from the cut off with K-3 of clubs and called by Juan Maceiras with pocket jacks. A king hits the flop, saving Niclas.

3.55pm - A three way pot develops for a flop of 6c-9c-6h. Niclas, Juan and Mehdi all check for a turn card 3c. Niclas and Juan check again but Mehdi makes it 25k. Niclas folds but Juan calls and they see a river card - 4h. 35k from Juan, called fast by Mehdi who shows a jack high flush. For Juan 7h-Ts for ten high.

3.40pm - A series of hands follow where a bet pre-flop is good enough to win the pot. First one for Ricardo then another Michael Schulze, who has been quiet up to now.

Michael Schulze

3.20pm - Trond Eidsvig of Norway, eliminated in eighth place for PLN 201,040
An EPT title eludes Trond once more. He moved in over a raise of 27k pre flop from Juan - for 59k more. Juan called with A-9; Trond was ahead with A-T. An ace hit the flop and the crucial nine came on the river. Trond out of his third EPT final this year.

3.15pm - Christian Oman makes it 28k pre-flop and Juan re-raises 72k more making it 100k in total. It's folded back to Christian who moves all-in. It's 112k more to Juan but after a few minutes in the tank he folds. "What d'you have?" he asks. "2-3 off of course..."

3.10pm - Niclas Svensson now moves all-in, 57k in total. Ricardo thinks about calling for a few minutes but passes. Niclas tries the same thing again a few hands later with the same result.

Ricardo Sousa

3.08pm - The blinds are now up to 5k/10k with a 1k ante.

3.05pm - Mehdi moves all-in but gets no takers. He shows aces. On the next hand Michael Schulze makes it 25k from under-the-gun. Mehdi calls as does Juan. The flop comes J-7-9. Juan and Michael check but Mehdi moves in once more. Again its good enough to take the pot.

2.55pm - After the quick elimination early on things have slowed somewhat.

2.40pm - Christian Oman moves all in for 93k and is called by Juan Maceiras. Pocket fours for Oman, Q-T for Maceiras. The board misses both of them and the fours hold, doubling Christian up.

2.20pm -- Daniel Woolson, a PokerStars qualifier from the United States, eliminated in ninth place for 122,060
Four players saw the flop of Qs-3h-5c. Daniel Woolson made it 65k, Ricardo Sousa passed, Mathias Viberg called before Mehdi Ouakhir moved all-in. Woolson then did the same, as did Mathias, getting a huge 'whoa' from the packed rail. Woolson turned over aces, but Mathias showed pocket fives and Mehdi K-Q of clubs. The turn, six of clubs, gave the Frenchman a flush draw but the king of hearts on the river tripled-up Mathias, sending Woolson to the rail with his busted aces.

2.10pm - A short delay before play begins with blinds at 4k/8k with a 1k ante. The first pot goes to Mehdi Ouakhir. On a flop of 7-5-5 Niclas Svensson raised to 32k only for Mehdi to re-raise, 100k in total.



This EPT Blog is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at PokerStars.com.
 

EPT Warsaw: Player Profiles

Seat 1: Trond Erik Eidsvig, 23, Aalesund, Norway - 220,000 chips
Trond is truly a poker phenomenon. The young Norwegian is on his third final table in one season of the EPT - a record. He won €250,800 for 5th place in Barcelona at the start of EPT Season 4 and €127,630 for 4th place in Dublin. In November, he won the Master Classics in Amsterdam for a further $896,912. Trond hails from the tiny village of Ǻlesund on the west coast of Norway and only turned professional two years ago. He also cashed at EPT Copenhagen (37th place for €8,491) just a few days after winning the Rookie of the Year Award at the PokerStars Scandinavian Poker Awards.

Seat 2: Christian Öman, 27, Sweden- 110,000 chips
Christian lives in Stockholm where he is a well-known poker club regular. The 27-year-old has played poker full-time for a few years now after taking up the game five years ago. His biggest live win so far has been €6,000 in a local club's monthly final. This is Christian's third EPT and so far he has never survived Day 1. He said: "I'm really looking forward to winning today (!) as my shopping trip to Milan has taken a big part of my bankroll." Before any tournament starts, Christian practices yoga. He considers himself a good "folder" - and we don't disagree after seeing him survive as a short-stack for so many hours in Warsaw.

Seat 3: Mehdi Ouakhir, 22, Montpellier, France - PokerStars qualifier - 330,000 chips
Business school student Mehdi is having the best tournament of his career so far. He mainly plays tournaments and Sit and Goes online, but the most he's won so far is $10k. Yesterday was sweet revenge for the former chess player - he busted Sebastian Ruthenberg , payback for when Sebastian busted him at EPT Dortmund in January. Although a French national, Medhi now lives and studies in Agadir, Morocco.

Seat 4: Niclas Svensson, 30, Gothenburg, Sweden - 174,000 chips
Niclas is a full-time poker player and has been for a few years now. He first took up poker five years ago and only plays Texas Hold'em, mainly cash games. This is his second EPT; the last time was London where he was actually bubble boy. He bought himself into both events. When not playing poker, he spends hour after hour watching The Sopranos. Niclas's biggest win so far was online where he won a tournament for $30k. Niclas lives in Gotheburg with his six-year-old daughter.

Seat 5: Dan Woolson, 22, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA - PokerStars qualifier - 164,000 chips
Dan has had a roller-coaster tournament so far. On Day 1, he quickly amassed 30k, but then bluffed off nearly all his stack and ended the day on 18k. At that point, he was pretty dejected and expecting to bust. But Day 2 he doubled up early with Aces, and then later beat Kenneth Hicks Jr's AA with 99. Soon after he busted Tyler Netter, again with 99 v AA and ended the Day in 6th place with 188k. In the quick-fire Day 3, he was doubled up Trond Eidsvig but then got some back from Trond with AQ 77. Dan turned pro after graduating from UMAS university a year ago. This is his biggest result so far but he won a PokerStars nightly $100k tourney for $30k last summer. This is his second EPT and he plans to play at the Monte Carlo Grand Final; he busted out of the PCA on Day 1.



Seat 6: Juan Maceiras, 23, La Coruna, Spain - PokerStars qualifier - 437,000 chips
Juan Maceiras narrowly missed the final table at EPT Barcelona (went out in 9th). He comes from La Coruna in Galicia but is currently studying international business in St Louis, Missouri after getting his law degree in Spain. He is now seriously considering turning pro much like his sister Maria - the Spanish poker champion - and his father Juan Antonio "Vietcong01" Barros who won the PokerStars Sunday Million last July, and a week later the PokerStars Warm-up. What is truly remarkable is that the whole family only took up poker two years ago.

At present, Juan mainly plays live games in casinos in St Charles. About his prospects today, he said: "I was really disappointed at EPT Barcelona. I made a big mistake there, but I've learned from that and aim to win today." Juan is being supported in Warsaw by his girlfriend Beatriz.

Seat 7: Michael Schulze, 40, Schleswig , Germany - 1,162,000 chips
Chip leader Michael bought in direct to EPT Warsaw having already played in Copenhagen and Dortmund without much success. He only took up poker four years ago and is strictly a recreational player. He sid: "I only play for fun, the money doesn't really matter to me. Even if I win first prize today, it won't affect me too much on the financial side of things." Asked about his play so far, Michael replied: "I got lucky and get good cards, and they help up." Whatever happens today, Michael is already planning to play in San Remo as well.

Seat 8: Ricardo Sousa, 30, Oporto, Portugal -756,000 chips
Ricardo has attended almost all this season's EPTs but this is his first cash and the best tournament result of his career so far. The former financial risk management consultant only turned pro in September 2007 and normally only plays high-stakes cash games. He said: "Because I usually play cash, wining just a few thousand isn't what I came here for. All I've been thinking about is making the final table." Ricardo's wife Florbella and two-year-old son Gonçalo are supporting him from home in Oporto. He said: "I feel pretty confident about today, but these are really good players and anything could happen. The skill level is very high - I'll need some luck as well."

Seat 9: Mathias Viberg , 23, Sweden - PokerStars qualifier- 229,000 chips
Mathias is 23 years old and lives in Boden in the centre of Sweden. He has been playing poker for four years and qualified through PokerStars to EPT Warsaw - his first EPT. He has lived on his poker skills for the last two years and mostly plays cash games. His biggest win so far was $35,000 in an online tournament. When not playing poker, he spends a lot of time with his friends and his girlfriend.



This EPT Blog is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at PokerStars.com.
 

EPT Warsaw: Final table day in Poland

Happy faces everywhere. Sure, they're in the bar but the EPT Warsaw is cocooned by the sense that it's been one of the most enjoyable on the tour so far. Excellent service, welcoming staff and the casino officials breaking tables to allow room for press and spectators alike.

The short day yesterday, which confused everyone at first, gave people normally used to late casino nights some free time to venture outside for the first time in several days. A short taxi ride from the Hyatt Regency hotel is the centre of Warsaw , sprawling around the Palace of Science and Culture that marks downtown, an ornamental 'Proof of Friendship' gift from the former Soviet Union back in the fifties.

The Royal Castle

Modernisation spread throughout the entire city, now a landscape of neon and skyscrapers not unlike those you'd see in London or New York. Contrast that with the 'old town' of Warsaw, postcard streets, colourful houses, bars and restaurants, built over several decades to replace sections of town destroyed after the uprising in 1944. The last part of the Royal Castle in Plac Zamkowy was completed in 1971.

The 'Old Town' in Warsaw


That was all yesterday, and on this the fourth day there is still a champion to find form the last nine, four of whom are PokerStars qualifiers...

Seat 1 -- Trond Erik Eidsvig - Norway - 220,000
Seat 2 -- Christian Öman - Sweden - 110,000
Seat 3 -- Mehdi Ouakhir - France - PokerStars qualifier - 360,000
Seat 4 -- Niclas Svensson - Sweden - 174,000
Seat 5 -- Daniel Woolson - USA - PokerStars qualifier - 164,000
Seat 6 -- Juan Maceiras - Spain - PokerStars qualifier - 437,000

Seat 7 -- Michael Schulze - Germany - 1,162,000
Seat 8 -- Ricardo Sousa - Portugal - 756,000
Seat 9 -- Mathias Viberg - Sweden - PokerStars qualifier -- 229,000

Back on day one 359 players started, each having paid PLN 21,000 (€5,750 approx) for the privilege. Yesterday 26 were left with nine surviving a day lasting just two hours six minutes, 54 second.

PokerStars qualifier Juan Maceiras had made it there as chip leader with 388k, a natural favourite to make it into the last night. The same could have been said for second place man Claus Nielsen but last night he may have had the worst night's sleep of his life after he exited on the final table bubble; his early departure helped in part by a huge hand against Ricardo Sousa, on a blazing run of cards, that left Nielsen short stacked and with little option than to pick a hand and shove all-in.

Tenth place finisher Claus Nielsen

Amidst the blur Andy Black was eliminated, so too PokerStars qualifiers Ken Hicks Jr, Craig Hopkins and Willian Johnson. And PokerStars sponsored player Sebastian Ruthenberg narrowly missed a second final table appearance, busted in 13th place by Mehdi Ouakhir who as Sebastian left the room had chance to mention that it was the German who eliminated him in Dortmund.

PokerStars sponsored player Sebastian Ruthenberg

That brings us to today.

Among the last nine is Norwegian Trond Eidsvig making his third final table appearance in season four alone (an EPT record incidentally), having recently won the Scandinavian Poker Award for Rookie of the Year. He's already helping his campaign for the sophomore of the year, although he starts today as one of the shorter stacks.

Trond Eidsvig, making his third final table in season four

German player Michael Schulze, who sent a few players to the rail yesterday, boosting his stack, starts as chip leader and the only player with over a million - he has 1,162,000. Behind him is Portuguese player Ricardo Sousa on 756,000 and at the back, in ninth spot, is Christian Oman on 110,000. He can take some heart though from the fact he has been a short stack all week.

A reminder of payouts...

1st - PLN 2,154,000 or €609,782
2nd - PLN 1,220,600 or €345,543
3rd - PLN 718,000 or €203,261
4th - PLN 538,500 or €152,445
5th - PLN 437,980 or €123,989
6th - PLN 344,640 or €97,565
7th - PLN 272,840 or €77,239
8th - PLN 201,040 or €56,913
9th - PLN 122,060 or €34,554

Play gets underway at 2pm local time.

Photos © Neil Stoddart



This EPT Blog is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at PokerStars.com.
 

EPT Warsaw: One for the record books, the final table is set

There may not be an official record book but I think it's correct to say that this was the shortest day of play in EPT history. From Raul Paez's elimination in 26th all the way to Claus Nielsen's departure in tenth took just two hours 40 minutes - including breaks. It's still daylight outside.

So when the smoke clears here's how the final table will look tomorrow...

Seat 1 -- Trond Erik Eidsvig - Norway - 220,000
Seat 2 -- Christian Öman - Sweden - 110,000
Seat 3 -- Mehdi Ouakhir - France - PokerStars qualifier - 360,000
Seat 4 -- Niclas Svensson - Sweden - 174,000
Seat 5 -- Daniel Woolson - USA - PokerStars qualifier - 164,000
Seat 6 -- Juan Maceiras - Spain - PokerStars qualifier - 437,000

Seat 7 -- Michael Schulze - Germany - 1,162,000
Seat 8 -- Ricardo Sousa - Portugal - 756,000
Seat 9 -- Mathias Viberg - Sweden - 229,000

It ended with Claus Nielsen, whose prospects at the start of play were certainly more rosy than in the last ten minutes. His miserable day was concluded by German Michael Schulze holding red pocket jacks. Claus had A-K but was left helpless as he watched the flop bring three diamonds, the turn bring a fourth and then a jack appear on the river. It was as if the gods were giving Claus a message in no uncertain terms that this was not to be his day.

For the other nine it's a last day of work tomorrow starting at 2pm. In the meantime you can catch up on the action from today by checking the links below...

Just three tables for day three

Flying the flag for PokerStars

The first half hour

Confusion reigns - down to 15

Players take a break

Action continues into the break

Finally, a wrap up of the day from Kara Scott and the video blog team...




This EPT Blog is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at PokerStars.com.
 
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