Gilles Simon in the Driver's Seat Ahead of EPT Cyprus Main Event Finale
The PokerStars European Poker Tour Cyprus is in its twilight stages after the penultimate day of the $5,300 Main Event played out inside the Merit Royal Diamond Hotel and Spa.
The stage is now set for the seven finalists, who return at 12:30 p.m. EEST, to compete for the $1,042,000 top prize alongside the glitz and glamour that comes with being an EPT Main Event Champion.
Final Table Profiles:
Leading the pack of survivors is the esteemed online poker player and the inaugural winner of PokerStars' Dare to Stream competition Gilles Simon. The 24-year-old bagged 8,075,000 after snatching the chip lead in the dying moments of Day 5.
Halil Tasyurek is not too far behind with a stack of 7,825,000. Nikita Kuznetsov (7,475,000), who began the day as one of the short stacks, is rounding out the top three counts.
Also coming back for Day 6 is Austrian-based German player Yannick Schumacher (6,050,000), Jose Gonzalez Sanchez (4,700,000), Day 5 chip leader Andrea Dato (2,875,000) and Bjorn Kozenkai (2,575,000). Kozenkai was one of the short stacks during the bubble on Day 2 but has since run up a stack and has already locked up the biggest cash of his career.
EPT Cyprus Main Event Final Table Seat Draw
|Jose Gonzalez Sanchez
Final Table Payouts
Day 5 Action
Just 16 players had made it through to this stage of the Main Event, and the tension was palpable from the shuffle-up and deal.
The short stack coming into Day 5 was Alessandro Minasi, and he managed to navigate the first hour of play and steal the blinds on a few occasions until he was flipped out of contention by Simon.
It was business as usual for the next 45 minutes until controversy struck on the outer table between Kuznetsov and Sanchez. Confusion arose when Kuznetsov moved all in. This was unbeknownst to Sanchez, who was in the small blind. Sanchez flicked in a T-25,000 chip, thinking he was limping in. To the latter's surprise, the dealer announced that Sanchez had called the all-in. A lengthy deliberation from the floor ruled that Sanchez could forfeit the 50,000 he had put in. He was not forced to call as he had not verbalized any action.
Shortly after everything calmed down, the charismatic Timur Vardanian was sent to the wrong side of the rail after running queens into kings just before the first break of the day.
Over the course of the next level, Aleksandr Faterin and Marc Foggin found themselves ejected after jamming into aces and jacks respectively. The exits of Gerard Carbo and Day 3 chip leader Nathan Tetart took place in the following level to bring on the final table bubble.
ICM considerations then came even more into play, with no one yielding for the next two and a half hours. Tasyurek was the main beneficiary of this and sailed to the top of the counts after displaying incredible patience and picking his spots wisely.
Tasyureks Brief Rise to the Top:
Eventually, someone had to give, and that was arguably the most experienced player at the table in Kenny Hallaert. The Belgian veteran was the favorite for a double up but Sanchez was able to spike a three-outer to bring the field to its final nine.
The hopefuls were then sent on a dinner break, and upon their return, the action picked up tenfold than before.
On the first hand back, Priit Parmasto, who won his first major title back in March, three-bet jammed with ace-jack but was called by Kuznetsovs queens and found no aid on the runout. It's been a breakout year for the Estonian, as he picked up his first major title in March, and now the 35-year-old can add this milestone to his resume.
Moments later, Victor Yugay shipped in his stack with ace-queen, but Sanchez was there with ace-king to end the hopes of the Uzbek. It was quite the story for Yugay, as he had qualified for the Main Event for just $55. He was able to parlay that into a $125,350 payday.
Schumacher then leapfrogged Tasyurek into the chip lead after cracking Sanchez's kings with ace-ten. Schumacher then picked up kings of his own nd took down a four-bet pot against Tasyurek, who got out of line for the first time of the day.
Schumacher also pulled off the bluff of the day after firing three streets with the diaper and managed to fold out Kuznetsov's flush.
Schumacher then relinquished the chip lead back to Tasyurek after the latter rivered a full house to crack the former's cowboys.
The field then looked like it would reach the six-player mark in the dying moments of the final level. Sanchez got it in with ace-jack and was called by Tasyurek's pocket queens. He rivered trip jacks to double up, which confirmed that Day 6 would start with seven players. The hit to Tasyurek's stack then confirmed Simon as the chip leader.
The final day kicks off at 12:30 p.m. EEST on Sunday, October 22, with play resuming on Level 32. The blinds will be 100,000/200,000/200,000.
The PokerNews live reporting team will have boots on the ground to bring you all the action from this Championship Event.
In this Series
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