The road to the final table was rocky, but eventually eight very talented men managed to make it. Each of the remaining eight is guaranteed at least £109,455 but all eyes will be on the £821,000 top prize.
We're sure all finalists had dreams of winning this huge first-place prize, but Martin Finger might've turned some of those into nightmares. The young former EPT Prague winner has a commanding chip lead, and with the big blinds and antes he will have a superb position to control to action. Finger is the favorite coming into today, but like always it isn't over until the last river has hit the felt.
The final table today is jam packed with poker experience as the current Number 2, Johannes Strassmann, has five top nine finishes in EPT Main Events. He came closest to winning one of the most coveted tournaments in Europe when he finished third in 2010 during the Snowfest event. Strassmann started Day 2 as the chip leader, and while he hasn't cashed in Europe since his Snowfest run, he seemed more focused than ever before.
The current Number 3 is businessman and poker aficionado Bill Perkins who has proven that his style works well. Perkins finished third in the $111,111 One Drop High Roller in Las Vegas this past summer and outlasted, among others, Finger who finished 14th. Perkins in unpredictable, and certainly not to be underestimated.
At today's final table there's a clear gap between a few groups of players. Finger is in a league of his own followed by Strassmann and Perkins who have very similar stacks. Things get interesting when we look further down the leader board as David Benefield, Christoph Vogelsang and Timothy Adams are grouped together in the middle. Benefield, the short stack heading into this year's World Series of Poker final table, has been on an immense heater cashing in his last six live tournaments. Everything's working for Benefield who seems to be both running good and playing extremely well. Carrying that into today makes him a very dangerous player.
Vogelsang is the dark horse at the final table. In the middle of the pack chip-wise he will need to double up in order to contend for the title, but his advantage will lie in the fact that he's the unknown. Vogelsang is a German high stakes poker player — like we've seen so many burst onto the scene in recent years — and this is his first live cash. Flashbacks to Max Altergott in Monte Carlo anyone?
Adams fist appeared on every poker fan's radar when he won a WSOP bracelet in 2012. The young Canadian has not looked back since and always looks to be in full control, focussed and ready for every challenger. With plenty of experience in in High Roller and Super High Roller events Adams knows what's coming today, and the fourth place finish in Monte Carlo's Super High Roller certainly makes him long for more.
Rounding out the rest of the players are the two shorties. Short stacks are usually considered to be halfway out the door, but when you're dealing with Tobias Reinkemeier and Patrik Antonius you might want to rethink that. Antonius is globally considered to be in contention for the Number 2 player in the world behind the man we would all put at Number 1 (Phil Ivey). People tend to forget that Antonius has an EPT title under his belt from Baden 2005 and in the last two years he won millions playing in the biggest buy-in events.
Reinkemeier is generally considered the German pro who kickstarted the trend of Germans winning high roller events left and right. Back in 2010, Reinkemeier took down the €25,000 EPT Monte Carlo High Roller for €956,000 and in 2012 he finished second in the €100,000 Super High Roller in Monte Carlo for just over a million euros.
So there you have it. There is no soft spot at this table, it's anyone's game but all eyes will be on two things today. Can Finger live up to the expectations and if not, who will walk away with that £821,000 ($1.3 million) first-place prize? Follow all the action live on PokerNews.com as we bring you the hands with hole cards starting at 2:00 PM UK time.