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Tuesday, March 18, 2008 | Francis Lee


The next stage in the European Poker Tour (EPT) was held at the Hyatt Regency in Warsaw Poland. The three day, $8,000 buy in main event attracted 359 entrants, which boosted the prize pool to $3,153,752. Most of the well known poker players seen regularly at the EPT events were in attendance with a mix of amateur players looking to pick up the massive $946,269 first place prize.

When we reached the final table stage at the start of day three, the most notable player to make it was Trond Erik Eidsvig. This final table appearance set a record for Eidsvig, as this made him the player who has cashed most in an EPT season and also the player who has made the most final table appearances in one season. Eidsvig started off the day in 6th place overall and needed to make a good start to have a chance at the big cash prizes. The rest of the chip rankings was as follows at the start of play.

Final Table Chip Rankings:

  • 1st Michael Schulze $1,162,000
  • 2nd Ricardo Sousa $756,000
  • 3rd Juan Maceiras $437,000
  • 4th Mehdi Ouakhir $360,000
  • 5th Mathias Viberg $229,000
  • 6th Trond Erik Eidsvig $220,000
  • 7th Niclas Svensson $174,000
  • 8th Daniel Woolson $164,000
  • 9th Christian Oman $110,000

The first elimination on this final table came about when Daniel Woolson raised pre flop holding pocket Aces and was called by three other players, Ricardo Sousa, Mathias Viberg and Mehdi Ouakhir. The flop came down :qs :3h :5c Woolson made the first stab at the pot, Sousa folded, Viberg called and Ouakhir moved over the top All In. Ouakhir tabled :kc :qc after Viberg called. Viberg had pocket Fives having hit a set. The set of Fives was easily good enough to take down the pot as the :6c and :kh were the last two cards out.

Trond Erik Eidsvig was the next to go as he was unluckily to be beaten by Juan Maceiras. Eidsvig looked to be in a good position moving All in with :ah :10d over the top of Maceiras’s raise with just :as :9h This was until the board came down :ad :5h :2s :2c :9s handing Maceiras a better two pair and the pot sending Eidsvig to the rail.

The next knock out hand came shortly after as Niclas Svensson was eliminated in 7th place, his pocket Fours were beaten by Ouakhir with :qs :10s Svensson’s Fours was in the lead after the first four cards came down :5s :8h :5c :2s but the :8c on the River gave both players two pairs, Eights and Fives and Ouakhir’s Queen kicker won him the pot.

Maceiras and Viberg were both involved in many pots between them selves and this was turning out to be a two way battle. Maceiras doubled up against Viberg as his :as :10s beat pocket Tens, when an Ace on the Turn paired Maceiras’s hand. Viberg got his own back on the next hand of play when he eliminated Maceira by pairing an Ace on the turn up against pocket Deuces.

Christian Oman had started the day on the short stack, but managed to hold out going out in 5th place. He was unlucky to go out at this point loosing the hand to the chip leader Schulze. Schulze made the first raise pre flop with :ac :9s and Oman made the call holding :kd :5d from the big blind position. The flop came down :qh :kh :7d Both players checked and the :9h fell on the Turn. Schulze moved All In and Oman called after going into the tank for a while. It was looking to be an excellent call until the :9c fell on the river which handed Schulze the pot.

Mehdi Ouakhir was short stacked at this point after loosing a big hand to Sousa. He made his final move of the day pushing All In with :qd :3h and was up against pocket Tens. The final board came down :8c :3c :kc :8s :2h confirming Ouakhir’s exit in 4th place.

It took a while before we made it to heads up as the three remaining players slowed down the pace considerably. It was Viberg who did not make it past this stage. First he was crippled by Sousa down to just a couple of big blinds left in his chip stack. He managed to pull a few chips back doubling up against Sousa, but the end came when he was All In against Schulze. Schulze flopped a set of Fours which held up against Viberg drawing for a straight.

The heads up showdown lasted for over two hours between Sousa and Schulze who both started off the final table in the chip lead positions. The end came when all the chips went into the middle with Sousa having pocket Sevens and Schulze had :as :6s The flop brought Schulze an inside straight draw as it came down :5h :2c :4d but the :ac on the turn proved to be the decisive card. The :2d on the River was no help for Sousa, handing Schulze the EPT title in Poland and the top prize of $946,269.

Final Standings:

  • 1st Michael Schulze $946,269
  • 2nd Ricardo Sousa $536,276
  • 3rd Mathias Viberg $315,375
  • 4th Mehdi Ouakhir $236,586
  • 5th Christian Oman $192,423
  • 6th Juan Maceiras $151,467
  • 7th Niclas Svensson $119,911
  • 8th Trond Erik Eidsvig $88,356
  • 9th Daniel Woolson $53,657



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