The final table of the European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona has been set, and the presence of one man means that the UK is emptying its borders of professional poker players, as they head to the Catalan to create an EPT final table rail of a lifetime.
The UK fans will be there to rail Tom ‘Middy’ Middleton on to victory. Middleton starts the day as the chip leader for the third consecutive day and seems to be carrying the luck needed to get through such a massive field. Combine that with the skill of one of the most talented players in the UK and you find a formidable opponent.
When Day Five got underway it was Middleton who produced the first speck of blood. It belonged to Julian Thomas whose [Ah] [7h] looked certain for a double up against the [Ad] [6d] of Middleton; that was before two sixes on the flop, and river, sent a bewildered Thomas out of the competition.
Jamila Von Perger was one of the next players to leave the building when her pocket deuces ran into the brick wall of Madis Muur and pocket kings. The partner of Manig Loeser leaving with her head held high and the poker world will be seeing a lot more from the new wonder woman from Germany.
One man who knows how to win a major tournament in Barcelona is Lukas Berglund. The Swede became the youngest-ever World Poker Tour (WPT) champion when he picked up the Barcelona title in this very casino back in Season X; but it would not be a second title for Berglund as Andreas Christoforou eliminated the youngster. The king-jack of Berglund dominated by the king-queen of his opponent when the money went in on a king high board on fourth street.
Niall Farrell eliminated Sergei Chantcev in rather fortunate circumstances. The pair each had an ace when they got it in, but the nine kicker loomed large over the four kicker. Farrell was on his way out until an unlikely four hit the river – Von Perger style – to save the day for the Scot. Unfortunately, that respite would be very brief indeed as Farrell would fall under the axe of Pasi Sormunen: QT v A9 not long after, when a queen hit the river.
Kimmo Kurko is a veteran of the European poker scene and he raised his stock after eliminating the former UKIPT champion Nicolau Villa-Lobos, when his pocket nines outlasted the ace-queen of the man from Brazil, before we had a huge double up for Middleton.
It was a three-bet pot with Middleton the aggressor against Rens Feenstra. The flop was [Qh] [7d] [7c] and Feenstra check-called a Middleton bet. The [2d] appeared on the turn and Middleton moved all-in once checked to. Feenstra made the call and tabled [Qd] [Td] for two pair and a flush draw, and Middleton showed pocket aces for a higher two pair. The [3h] on the river was good for Middleton and Feenstra was to be eliminated a few hands later against the Italian Luca Fiorini: K7hh v KQ.
All eyes were on Anaras Alekberovas as he made a charge to make impressive back-to-back EPT Barcelona final table performances; but it wasn’t to be. He did double through Tom Middleton when his [Tc] [7c] out flopped the man from Leeds, who was holding king-queen. That hand would send Middleton on a spiral of descent that would see him drop as low as 800k; but he would get right back into the swing of things after eliminating Alekberovas when his ace-ten hit cards on the flop and river to prove too strong for the pocket sevens of the Lithuanian.
Middleton continued his resurgent mood when he eliminated Madis Muur after a good call with queen-ten versus five-four in a blind war. A ten on the river putting an end to Muur’s hopes, after he flopped an open ended straight draw, and it would be good enough to leave Middleton on top of the pile when the final table was set shortly after.
Final Table Standings
Seat 1: Andreas Christoforou – 2,560,000
Seat 2: Kimmo Kurko – 2,265,000
Seat 3: Pasi Sormunen – 3,070,000
Seat 4: Tom Middleton – 9,850,000
Seat 5: Eduard Bhaggoe – 1,615,000
Seat 6: Luca Fiorini – 4,610,000
Seat 7: Kresten Nielsen – 7,300,000
Seat 8: Benoit Gury – 5,610,000