PokerStars EPT Barcelona Main Event: Tom "hitthehole" Middleton Leads Final Table
On Friday, Day 5 of the EPT10 Barcelona Main Event kicked off at the Casino Barcelona with the remaining 24 players of a 1,234-player field returning to battle down to the final table of eight. After a long day, which included nearly two hours of nine-handed play, the official final table was set.
Coming back Saturday and leading the way is Tom “hitthehole” Middleton with a huge stack of 9.85 million. Kresten Nielsen is second on 7.3 million and Eduard Bhaggoe is the short stack with 1.615 million. Eighth place will pay €102,430, but all eyes will be on the first prize place of €1,067,000, the trophy (not to mention the SLYDE watch) and admittance to the exclusive club of EPT winners.
Middleton was the chip leader at the start of the day with a stack of 3,886,000, and although it looked bleak for him at one stage, he would go on to be not only the last UK player standing, but also the last participant in the Skrill Last Longer competition. He'll receive his €5,300 buy-in back for that achievement thanks to the EPT Season 10 official payment provider. What's more, Middleton earned the distinction of finishing with the chip lead for the third day in a row.
It was a long day for the players before the final table was set. Several fell early, the first of which was Julian Thomas, a PokerStars player from Germany. He moved all in over the top of Middleton’s opening bet and got a call. Middleton looked fairly nonplussed when he found his was against the of Thomas, but poker can a cruel game as Thomas was about to find out. The board ran out and Middleton’s full house cleaned Thomas out.
Next out was Jamila Von Perger who got all her chips in with against the of Madis Muur. She could not repeat her Day 4 feat of spiking a two outer however, and she had to say goodbye. Further eliminations included Lukas Bergland (22nd), Florian-Dimitrie Duta (21st), Sergei Chantcev (20th) and Denis Pisarev (19th). From there, action slowed down a little bit, although there were a few double ups for the short stacks along the way, meaning the third level of the day finished with 17 players remaining.
Just after a break, Valentino Konakchiev shoved over the top of Niall Farrell’s open and was snapped off with the . Konakchiev held the and there was no drama as the board ran out . That meant the final 16 redrew for the final two tables.
Anaras Alekberovas finished fourth in Barcelona last year and was looking to make back-to-back final tables. Unfortunately, the snappily-dressed Lithuanian was to have a frustrating day, dwindling down to one of the shorter stacks before making a tremendous fight back only to have two hands send him to the rail in 13th for €58,980.
Just before 11:30 p.m. the unofficial final table of nine was set after Stefan Kolossow fell in 10th place. It happened when Kresten Nielsen raised to 200,000 from the button and Kolossow shoved for 1.79 million. Nielsen snapped him off with and way ahead of Kolossow's . The board ran out and that was the end of the road for the German.
After the redraw it was Nielsen who led the way with 7.35 million, closely followed by Pasi Sormunen with 6.96 million. Sormunen then went on to lose a succession of big pots to Middleton, who had position on the Finn. Finally, after nearly two hours of play it was Alejandro Perez who was eliminated when he shoved with over Benoit Gury’s open. Gury, who was at one point down to 500,000, made the call and his held to set the official final table. Interestingly, Perez's elimination meant a Spanish player still has yet to win an EPT.
The sixth and final day will kick off at 1 p.m. CET at the Casino Barcelona, though the live stream that we'll reporting off of is on a one-hour delay. Be sure to check PokerNews' live coverage then as we bring you all the action and eliminations from the tournament floor.
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