The fourth day of the PokerStars.fr EPT Deauville Main Event started out with just 15 players. With two full days left to get to a winner, the plan was to simply play five levels or down to six players. Stopping at the final table of eight is something of the past, so much was clear.
Railbirds didn't have to wait long for the first player to join them behind the velvet rope. Daniel Carlsson got his last 13 big blinds in before the flop with ace-deuce and ran into the jacks of Ognyan Dimov. Carlsson picked up a flush draw on the turn but that never got there. The aces stayed in the deck as well and so Carlsson was the first to go.
The second player to go took a bit longer. Eventually Olivier Piechaczyk found himself short and in need of a double up. He went looking for one with ace-ten but found Matas Cimbolas' tens too strong to beat.
Slowly but steadily players busted and the final table got less opaque. Julien Duveau had the possibility to triple when he found himself all in with king-queen against the aces of Dany Parlafes. Savinelli had folded tens to the reshove after initially calling the all in in front of him. The aces held up and Duveau had to get up and leave. It would be just the first of many big hands Parlafes would make and win on Day 5.
One time chip leader Georgios Kapalas fell minutes later in 12th place. In a limped pot he found himself very unlucky hitting trips on the flop and rivering a full house. His neighbor Ognyan Dimov had flopped top pair and rivered a higher full house to send the Greek home.
EPT Berlin champion and EPT London runner up Kevin MacPhee saw his deep run end in 11th place. He was short for a long time after being card dead for most of the day. He eventually shoved with pocket sevens over an open raise, but Dimov woke up with nines behind him and sent the American to the rail.
It took a long time before Joseph El Khoury finished in 10th place. El Khoury was so short that by the time he shoved all in, initial raiser Benjamin Buhr got such a good price he felt compelled to call with six-five. El Khoury had pocket tens and was in a great position to double up, only to see his chances slim down considerably after the three-four-seven flop. The three on the turn gave him some hope but the deuce on the river wasn't going to cut it for him.
When the field reached nine players, the tournament went for a redraw and the players sat down at the last table of the tournament. It was not quite official yet, as one more player needed to bust for the remaining eight to officially call themselves a European Poker Tour final tablist.
Carlo Savinelli would be the unfortunate soul to finish in that most unwanted spot. He ran ace-king into Parlafes' pocket aces and wasn't able to come from behind. The Italian still netted €46,400 for his deep run.
After some small interviews on making the final table, and the official final table photo moment, the last eight players continued to fight for a level and a half.
While Parlafes and Buhr exchanged the chip lead position every now and then, WPT Nottingham winner Matas Cimbolas was the next to fall. After a failed bluff in a blind battle, he found himself short. A few minutes later he shoved with queen-jack and Parlafes called with ace-ten to finish the job. A board full of blanks later it was Cimbolas collecting €58,820 while Parlafes was stacking chips to build a castle worth 6.4 million.
While many viewers of the live stream might have thought it would soon be over, the final seven played for almost an entire level with two players short the entire rime. Massou Cohen played an unconventional style calling raises and limping in with under 10 big blinds, but it worked out for him for quite some time. Eventually he ran out of luck when his shove with ace-six was called by Ognyan Dimov with ten-jack. A jack on the flop meant the end of it for Cohen.
The remaining six players return Saturday, Feb. 7, at noon to battle it out for that €543,700 first place prize. The live stream and live coverage here on PokerNews starts at 1 p.m. local time and will include hole cards on a delay. There are 18 minutes and 26 seconds left in level 28 (30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante) and Dany Parlafes has 44% of the chips in play. Will it be, as he claims, be the year of Romania? Find out with us tomorrow as they play down from six to one!
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Here's what Parlafes had to say after reaching the final table:
And we also spoke to Frenchman Benjamin Pollak who comes into tomorrow as the most experienced player.