Main Event

O'Dwyer Leads Star-Studded EPT London Final Table

• Nivo 26: 20,000-40,000, 5,000 ante
Steve O'Dwyer

Played resumed at the 2013 European Poker Tour London Main Event Friday where a final table of eight was set after seven hours of play. After the double elimination on the last hand of Day 4’s play, the field had to be whittled down from 15 players to eight. Seeing as Thursday was very short, the players came back very deep for Day 5, with the average stack sitting at more than 60 big blinds.

By time the final eight were left standing, one man stood taller than the rest. Steve O'Dwyer will be heading into Saturday's final table with the highest of hopes and the biggest stack with 5.270 million in chips.

2013 EPT London Final Table

1Mantas VisockisLithuania1,510,000
2Olof HaglundSweden2,755,000
3Ruben VisserNetherlands3,640,000
4Steve O'DwyerUnited States5,270,000
5Chris MoormanUnited Kingdom1,075,000
6Theo JorgensenDenmark1,550,000
7Tamer KamelUnited Kingdom960,000
8Christophe FrankGermany2,570,000

It's a case of unfinished business for O'Dwyer, who came second to Benny Spindler last season for £465,000. He will be desperate to go one better and banish all that disappointment. Even though he was disappointed at not getting the win last season, the runner-up finish signaled a turning point in his career as he went on a global tournament tear that saw him storm into the Global Poker Index top 10. It will be fitting for O'Dwyer if the biggest day of his poker career were to happen back in London.

It was already mentioned that the players returned (on average) very deep for this stage of a tournament. It was no surprise that it took nearly two hours to lose the first player. Pasi Sormunen, who entertained all tournament with his aggressive approach, busted to Chris Moorman when his {q-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds} failed to outdraw the Brit's {a-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}. The real damage to his stack, though, was done just before when he doubled Ruben Visser up when his ace-high bluff was no good against a full house.

There was a lot of chip movements before and after this elimination as the high level of skill matched up with the reputation of the remaining players. It took another bit of time before another player was sent to the rail. Unassuming Frenchman David Colin moved all in with the {a-Clubs}{q-Diamonds} over the top of a button raise from Visser. Bassel Moussa was in the big blind and also moved all in, with pocket jacks. Visser folded, and Moussa's jacks held.

Colin's elimination opened the flood gates somewhat with Mikhail Korotkikh, Daniel Erlandsson and Nicolas Chouity soon following him out of the door. Korotkikh had a unique style of play that got him into some tricky spots throughout the day. On his bust out hand, he was unlucky as he turned a flush draw to go with with his flopped top pair. Unfortunately for him, Team PokerStars Pro Theo Jorgensen had flopped trips and faded all river outs to take out him out. Erlandsson was eliminated by fellow Swede Olof Haglund when the latter found ace-king in the small blind after Erlandsson found ace-queen in the big blind.

Chouity was the lone player remaining who could become the first two-time EPT champion, but that run ended in 11th place for £33,000. Chouity had lost a couple of important pots and had less than 20 big blinds when he three-bet jammed with the {j-Clubs}{7-Diamonds} over the top of a raise from Visser. The Dutchman called with the dominating {k-Clubs}{j-Spades} and navigated the board safely.

The tournament was playing short-handed as the final two tables had just five players on each. The player to go in 10th was Scotsman Niall Farrell who raced badly all day. He seemed to accumulate chips with ease early on, but lost a race to Christopher Frank for the chip lead, then he lost another big pot when his pocket sevens fell to Mantas Visockis' {a-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}. The latter hand left him crippled and, although he did manage to double back up once, he busted soon after when Frank came back to finish him off.

The remaining nine players all joined forces on the televised feature table until one more player was lost and the official final table was set. The unfortunate soul who will miss out was Moussa who lost a race to Jorgensen and had to settle for £44,000 in prize money. No one will be sorry to see Team PokerStars Pro Jorgensen make the final table — this event marks his first return to action after a horrific robbery at his family home where the superstar was shot in the leg multiple times.

The eight very-happy players who will return to The Vic tomorrow where play will resume at 12 p.m. GMT. Join us back here then when the PokerNews reporting team will bring you all the live updates.

Oznake: Steve O'Dwyer