There must be something in the London air this week, as never before have we witnessed so many short days of play due to the apparent willingness of players to get themselves eliminated.
Day 4 of the PokerStars sponsored EPT London Main Event was no different than the previous three days, with 36 of the 62 players that started the day eliminated within the first four levels, and barely time for the seats to get warm at the beginning of level 22 before we were packing up for the night.
Three Relative Unknowns Head the Event
Out of this mayhem, Mattias Bergstrom emerged as a narrow chip leader going into Day 5, holding just one small blind and ante more than his closest rival – Spain´s Adria Balaguer – and just two big blinds more than German qualifier Pascal Hartmann. The three players between them have amassed just £57,000 ($88,000) in live poker tournaments – less than what is paid to one player for reaching the final table – and whatever happens during Day 5, reaching these heights is a fantastic achievement and will be a tremendous experience for all three.
The Threat Within the Pack
Day 5 plays down from 24 players to the last 8, there are a host of threats hidden among the chasing pack. Fourth placed American poker player, Jeremy Kottler, has 6 WSOP Cashes and a WPT cash to his name. In fifth, German Benny Spindler recently won a $10,000 buy-in side event at EPT Tallin and came second in the EPT Madrid High-Rollers Event and, in sixth; James Mitchell has numerous final table appearances to his credit including victory in last year´s Paddy Power Poker Irish Open. Further down the list, and still in with a good chance of improving their positions are PokerStars Pro player Juan Manuel Pastor, last year´s EPT San Remo victor Joao Barbosa and the first man ever to win an Epic Poker League Pro-Am event, American Stephen O´Dwyer.
A Bad Day for the Brits
Despite James Mitchell´s prominent position, Day 4 of the EPT London Main Event was a dreadful day for UK poker players. Of 16 who started the day, just four remain – Mitchell, Martins Adeniya, Ben Jenkins and Fowzi Baroukh. Adeniya held the chip lead earlier in the day after some aggressive betting saw him take valuable pots uncontested from Mattias Bergstrom and Hui Chen-Kuo, and he was also responsible for eliminating Sam Macdonald when turning an Ace to dominate Macdonald´s flopped pair of Jacks. Despite losing some of his stack to Bergstrom late in the day, the ex-city trader also looks as if he could claim the biggest payday of his career.
Onto Day 5 at the Metropole
When play starts on Day 5, we will be mid-way through Level 22 with blinds at 8,000/16,000 and a 2,000 ante. Sebastian Blom is the short-stack with 58,000 chips and it is not is his family´s nature to pussy-foot around with chips, so expect some fireworks from the off!
Top 12 of the EPT London Main Event 2011 leaderboard:-
|11||Juan Manuel Pastor||Spain||940,000|