Irishman Steve O’Dwyer will go into the final table of the EPT Grand Final Monaco Main Event tonight with the chip lead.
O’Dwyer will go into the last day of the tourney with 4,452,000 chips to his name, a few hundred more than second placed Andrew Pantling, who has a stack of 4,180,000. While the lead is small, especially in this stage of the game, the gap between the current top two and the rest of the table is massive.
UK’s Jake Cody will go into the final table as third on the chip ladder with 1,633,000 chips, less than half of Pantling’s stack. This does not mean that the top two have no threats besides each other – while they will begin the final day’s play in a solid position, the calibre of players on the final table means they cannot afford to be complacent.
Among them is none other than Daniel Negreanu, who comes into the final table with 1,581,000 chips. While Negreanu hopes to emulate his first place performance at last month’s WSOP Asia Pacific, he will not have the commanding chip lead he had at the same point in that event. Despite this, Negreanu’s experience, track record and skill on the poker table makes him a legitimate threat to the top placed O’Dwyer.
Also on the final table is Norwegian sensation Johnny Lodden, who has held the chip lead for most of this event. While he lost a number of chips on the fifth day, most of them to O’Dwyer, Lodden will be hungry to regain the chip lead he once had en route to winning the Main Event.
Two-time WSOP Gold Bracelet winner Jason Mercier is also in the final table. Although he’ll go in with 824,000 to his name, the 26-year-old’s track record also means that he is one to watch for on the final day.
While all of the players in the final table have the capabilities to take the chip lead and win the event, all eyes and expectations will certainly be on O’Dwyer. The Irishman is no stranger to final tables, having been in no less than nine of them in major tournaments over the last year.
O’Dwyer’s last major tournament was the EPT/UK & Ireland Poker Tour Main Event in March, where he took out fifth place and won £146,000 (around US$220,000). He came in second place at the same event in September 2011 and took out his biggest cash win to date with £465,000 (around US$727,000).
He will be hoping to go one better tonight and win the Main Event and take home the €1,224,000 (around US$1.59 million) first prize. While nothing is guaranteed on the poker table, he is certainly in a great position to take out the coveted top spot.
The last day of the EPT Grand Final Monaco Main Event takes place tonight at Monte Carlo’s Salle des Etoiles.