Poker players love the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour, and they love Copenhagen. Put them together and a stellar turnout was in store for the fifth EPT Copenhagen stop for the Scandinavian Open. With the Scandis being one of the most acclaimed groups of poker players in the industry, the tournament was sure to be one that boasted of great play, heavy action, and an exciting final table.
The first of two starting days began at the Casino Copenhagen to launch the tournament, and a total of 225 competitors came to the felt for the event. But after eight levels of play, only 99 survived to tell about it, including three Team PokerStars pros - Noah Boeken, Luca Pagano, and Marcin Horecki. The spot at the top of the leaderboard was held by long-time pro Thor Hansen of Norway and his 74,700 chip stack. Allen Baekke followed with 66,600, and Albert Iversen, Grederik Hostrup, and Erik Karlsson came behind to make up the top five. Others who still had chips included notables Juha Helppi, Carlos Mortensen, Erik Friberg, Carter Gill, Joao Barbosa, and Jani Sointula.
The second starting day brought another 236 players to the tables, making for a final tally of 462 registrants at the EPT Copenhagen event. The final prize pool came to DKK 22,176,000, which was about equal to €2,976,644, and the winner was looking to receive DKK 6,541,920, or nearly €878,110. In addition, PokerStars reported that the players represented 30 countries in total, the most - 130 - coming from Denmark.
When Day 1b came to a close, there were 85 remaining players, including Team PokerStars pros Isabelle Mercier, Vanessa Rousso, and Alex Kravchenko. But taking the position of chip leader was Andrea Benelli with 107,400, harshly trumping the previous day’s chip lead by Thor Hansen. Also in the top five of the second starting day’s counts were Roberto Romanello, Ola Brandborn, Tore Lagerborg, and Johan van Til Holland. Others still holding on to chips when it ended were Annette Obrestad and Danny Ryan.
Day 2 began with all 184 first-day survivors returning to the felt with the intention of playing down to the final 32, but as the day progressed more slowly than anticipated, the tournament staff finally stopped it at 40, just after the money bubble burst.
It took some time to reach that point, but eventually, after Obrestad left in 44th place, it was Andrew Feldman at risk with a short stack. He finally moved all-in with pocket sixes and found himself in a race against Christian Saxin and his . The board came down to give Saxin the straight and knock Feldman out in 41st place, one place from the money. With that, the day ended with Anders Langset and his 326,800 in the chip lead, followed by Rasmus Nielsen, Peter Hedlund, Fredrik Boberg, and Tore Lagerborg rounding out the top five.
Day 3 brought those 40 players back to play down to the final table. While Toni Ojala led the way by taking a 40th place exit, other notables followed with Markus Lehmann departing in 38th place, Tore Lagerborg in 36th, Roberto Romanello in 34th, and Andrea Benelli in 32nd. Later in the evening, the tournament saw Day 1a chipleader Thor Hansen exit in 17th place, followed by Erik Karlsson in 16th. It wasn’t until after the dinner break that the final playdown resulted in Tom Johansen from Norway exiting in tenth place to put the final nine players at one table.
Finally, the last elimination came about eight hours into play as Mikael Lundell saw his chip stack steadily shrink. Finally, with less than 150K remaining, he had to take a chance and did so with preflop and came up against the pocket nines of Jussi Nevanlinna. The board completely blanked for Lundell, sending him out in ninth place on the final table bubble.
The final table was then set for Saturday, February 21st with the following players and chip counts:
Seat 1: Jussi Nevanlinna (Finland) 894,000
Seat 2: Peter Hedlund (Sweden) 367,000
Seat 3: Jens Kyllonen (Finland) 366,000
Seat 4: Jonas Klausen (Denmark) 262,000
Seat 5: Eric Lachavaque (France) 221,000
Seat 7: Petter Petersson (Sweden) 407,000
Seat 8: Rasmus Nielsen (Denmark) 1,031,000
Seat 9: Anders Langset (Norway) 1,119,000
Play began with Anders Langset in the lead after having only played poker for three weeks. And though his chances looked strong, he stayed out of the way of much of the all-in action for the first few hours of final table play, only taking a significant pot from Rasmus Nielsen early on.
It was only the second hand of the final table when the action heated up. Jonas Klausen pushed all-in for 240K with pocket sevens, but Peter Hedlund was quick to call holding pocket aces. The board kept up with Hedlund as it produced , because although Klausen held a club and made his flush, Hedlund got the dominating full house. Klausen exited in eighth place with €80,364.
After Nielsen took the aforementioned hit from Langset, he took on a shorter stack when Eric Larcheveque pushed all-in preflop with . Nielsen called with pocket deuces, and the flop brought two more deuces for quads. Larcheveque was painfully ousted in seventh place with €113,106.
But Nielsen dropped some of those recently-acquired chips over the next hour and eventually got involved with Langset. The two went in to see a flop, at which point Langset made a bet and Nielsen check-raised all-in. Langset called immediately and showed A-K, while Nielsen had only A-9. The turn and river came and in that order, and Rasmus Nielsen was eliminated in sixth place with €142,870.
Langset sat on a dominating chip lead at that point, with over 2.5 million to the other four players’ well-under-1-million stacks. The shortest of them belonged to Petter Petersson, who pushed all-in shortly thereafter with A-2, only to be called by Hedlund and his A-Q of spades. The board came for the flush and sent Petersson out in fifth place with €181,564.
It was then that Jens Kyllonen began to take a stand. He doubled through Jussi Nevanlinna to take the chip lead as Langset fell behind.
When Nevanlinna then pushed all-in with his newly found ultra-short stack, Kyllonen and Hedlund called to see the flop of . Both checked the on the turn and the on the river. As Nevanlinna showed K-9, Kyllonen turned over pocket nines, but Hedlund won with A-4. Jussi Nevanlinna left in fourth place with €220,258.
Kyllonen waited only a short time before doubling up again. With Langset having regained the chip lead, Kyllonen took his K-Q all-in against the pocket eights of Langset and won when he rivered a queen. Langset then got involved with Kyllonen in an attempt to take those chips back. The two went to see a flop of , at which point Langset bet, and Kyllonen check-called. After the on the turn, Langset led out with an all-in move, and Kyllonen check-called with and the nut flush. Langset showed a hand that included a , which wasn’t good enough. The jack on the river eliminated Langset in third place with €288,717.
Heads-up action began with the following counts:
Jens Kyllonen 3,508,000
Peter Hedlund 1,154,000
Hedlund was ready to move on the first hand of the duel, but Kyllonen wasn’t ready to make that call, and Hedlund showed his 6-3 bluff. After that, there was more than a half hour of little action.
Eventually, Hedlund decided to take another chance, though he only started with a preflop raise to 220K. Kyllonen was the one who reraised all-in with pocket jacks, and Hedlund called without hesitation holding . The board came down , and Hedlund accepted a second place finish and the €497,069 that went with it.
Jens Kyllonen from Finland became the new EPT Copenhagen champion, happily accepting the €878,057 prize, title, and trophy to signify the victory.
(Thanks to PokerStars Blog for detailed tournament information.)