2012 PokerStars.com EPT Sanremo: Main Event Final Table Set; Lavallee Leads

Jason Lavallee

The PokerStars Season 9 European Poker Tour Sanremo Main Event played down from 24 players to eight, who will make up the final table on Wednesday. The penultimate day took a little less than eight hours for the three tables to become one.

The player with the lead headed into Thursday is Jason Lavallee with 5.545 million chips. The Canadian pro has looked in complete control for the last two days and is playing at the top of his game. If the play is to seven-bet shove with queen-high and force an opponent to fold, he’s done it; if it’s to fold top pair top kicker on the turn and be shown kings by an opponent, he’s done that; and if it’s to make a big over-shove with an over pair and get a dangerous opponent to call off with ace-high, he done that too.

The player he has to fear the most on Thursday is his closest chip-rival, Ludovic Lacay. The intense Frenchman has had a lean year by his standards but he played relentless poker on Wednesday, never letting his opponents rest of their laurels for a minute. He and Lavallee played for long periods on Tuesday, but managed to avoid each other for most of Day 5. Each will want to dominate the final table and will not let the other stand in their way. Their battle has the potential to be an epic duel.

Here’s how the final table will line up on Thursday:

1Ludovic Lacay5,366,000
2Jason Tompkins3,605,000
3Adrian Piasecki2,045,000
4Micah Raskin1,550,000
5Jason Lavallee5,545,000
6Ismael Bojang2,845,000
7Angelo Recchia1,755,000
8Artem Litvinov800,000

The unfortunate player to bubble the final table was Amerigo Santoro. It happened when his {a-Hearts}{j-Clubs} failed to overcome fellow Italian Angelo Recchia's {10-Clubs}{10-Spades} on a {3-Hearts}{9-Clubs}{k-Spades}{9-Hearts}{2-Hearts} board.

The early part of the day was dominated by the two huge hands that Inge Forsmo, the player who led the way for half the tournament, played out. In the first hand, he was very unlucky to flop trip fours. He was up against Micah Raskin, who was all in with pocket sevens and had a seven to fall on the river. A short while after, Forsmo called all in with ace-high after Lavallee had bet 150 percent of the pot on the turn of a nine-high board. Lavallee had pocket queens and scooped the huge pot.

Lacay, as we mentioned already, was busy in action for a lot of the day, but it was a hand against Tompkins that really gave him the boost he needed. He flopped a wheel in a heads up three-bet pot and managed to get two streets of value including a called river raise. That pot alone was worth 1.5 million chips.

Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Matt Salsberg and Michael Benvenuti were three players that all others feared so their presence will not be missed at Thursday’s final table. Timoshenko did not get that much going on Day 5 and lost a race for his tournament life. So much went right for Salsberg in the first few days of play, but that run-good deserted him. He got short, pushed with {10-Clubs}{7-Spades}, and failed to outdraw Ismael Bojang’s {a-Hearts}{j-Spades} for a 16th place finish. Benvenuti joined him two spots later when his {a-Spades}{q-Diamonds} failed to hit versus Recchia’s {10-Clubs}{10-Spades}.

Jonas Mackoff busted one spot later in 13th for €32,000 — not a bad result for a player who was never supposed to be playing. He only hopped in the tournament because he lost his passport in Cannes when he was over to rail Chris Brammer at the World Series of Poker Europe final table. EPT Sanremo filled the days while he was waiting for a replacement to be issued.

Thursday’s final table is going to be aired on Italian TV with cards face-up, as well as on PokerStars.tv. Play will get under way at 1500 CET (0900 ET) with the stream and PokerNews’ coverage starting from 1600 CET (1000 ET) so as to protect the integrity of those playing. Join us back here then when a brand new EPT champion will be crowned. Eight players are hoping to join in the footsteps of these lucky five players and claim the prestigious EPT Sanremo title:

Former EPT Sanremo Champions

SeasonDateBuy-In# of PlayersPrize PoolWinnerTop Prize
4April 1-5, 2008€5,000701€3,100,000Jason Mercier€869,000
5April 18-23, 2009€5,3001,178€5,713,300Constant Rijkenberg€1,508,000
6April 15-21, 2010€5,3001,240€6,014,000Liv Boeree€1,250,000
7April 27-May 3, 2011€5,300987€4,786,950Rupert Elder€930,000
8October 21-27, 2011€4,900837€3,734,694Andrey Pateychuk€680,000

EPT Sanremo €10,000 High Roller

Day 2 of the €10,000 High Roller is in the books, and it was a magnificent day on the felt. The field returned with 44 players, but that number was cut way down to just seven to finish out the day. Topping that bunch is Joel Nordkvist with 1.205 million in chips.

When the day began, Brandon Barnes was on top as the chip leader. Other notables remaining were Team PokerStars Pros Eugene Katchalov, Luca Pagano and Jonathan Duhamel. Those latter three all failed to make the money, having been eliminated before the final 10 players remained.

Katchalov came the closest, but his run ended in 12th place at the hands of Nordkvist. Katchalov was all in preflop with the {K-Diamonds}{K-Spades}, but had run into the {A-Diamonds}{A-Spades} for Nordkvist. From there, a board of {8-Spades}{6-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}{A-Clubs}{7-Hearts} spelled the end for Katchalov.

With 11 players left, there was a decent amount of jockeying for position on the bubble, but all eyes were on Kent Roed and Carlo Savinelli as the two short stacks. After a few all-in shoves went uncalled, Philipp Gruissem finally had enough and called a shove from Savinelli.

When the cards were tabled, Savinelli held the slight worst of it with the {A-Diamonds}{Q-Clubs} to Gruissem's {8-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}. The flop kept Gruissem in front when the {9-Spades}{4-Clubs}{3-Clubs} fell, and then the {2-Clubs} was added on the turn. The river bricked off with the {6-Spades} and Savinelli was eliminated in 11th place to send everyone else into the money.

The players played for about another hour and a half before calling it quits for the night. During that time, Mikalai Pobal, the recent winner of EPT Barcelona, was eliminated in 10th place, and then Barnes went out in ninth. They both earned €20,600.

EPT Sanremo High Roller Final Table

1Kent Road317,000
2Benny Spindler844,000
3Joseph Cheong329,000
4Joel Nordkvist1,205,000
5Keven Stammen744,000
6Igor Kurganov318,000
7Philipp Gruissem460,000

Play will resume on Thursday at 1400 CET (0800 ET). PokerNews will be right back on the floor with the live updates, so be sure to grab your seat on the virtual rail.

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