As you'll recall, yesterday's Day 3 action was supposed to conclude with a final table of eight players having been established. Instead, due to some slow play and Spanish gaming laws that require all casinos lock their doors between the hours of 4 a.m. and 3 p.m., the EPT was forced to quit Day 3 with five extra players and still only 12 hours in which to dispose of them all on Day 4. What would happen if a winner wasn't determined in time, we in the press room asked, to which the PokerStars.com media reps replied, "Shh, there's no chance of that happening."
It turns out they were right, as the thirteen players who returned to the basement of the Gran Casino Barcelona, led by chip-leader Nikolaus "KaiBuxxe" Jedlicka, seemed as eager as the press and PokerStars.com personnel to get the proceedings completed without things getting muddled. To that end, players eliminated each other with reckless abandon during the first hours of the event, with the march from 13 to eight taking only a couple of hours.
Lost along the way were Viotto Rintala, otherwise known as the scariest dude in poker (13th, €33,430), Philip Yeh (12th, €46,000), Davidi Kitai (11th, €46,000), Mohamad Kowssarie (10th, €64,800), and Juan Maceiras (9th, €64,800). This left a final table of eight that included chip leader Greg Dyer, fellow American teen Adam "Ajunglen7" Junglen, EPT2 London champ Mark Teltscher and France's superstar-at-life Patrick Bruel (WSOP bracelet, platinum record, acting career).
The extreme bustifications did not stop once the players had been moved to the TV final table, either, as in the span of about two and a half hours five final table-ists found themselves relegated to the rail. First to go was Bruel, who made the head-scratching decision to commit the last of his chips on an A♥ 8♥ 3♥ flop with T♠ T♦ and was called by Teltscher, whose A♣ 9♥ gave him both top pair and a flush draw. A heart on the turn ended things early, sending Bruel home in eighth for €104,500.
Next to go was Day 3 chip leader Nikolaus Jedlicka, who'd seen his fortunes take a downward turn by the time he reached the final table and who shipped the last of his once-proud stack to Teltscher's now rapidly growing pile when he lost a race with tens against the Brit's ace-queen. Jedlicka cashed out in seventh for €154,700.
Adam Junglen, the inscrutable Ohioan known for taking down the Sunday Million earlier this summer and, before that, for calling Patrik Antonius' substantial all-in with ace-high in a hand at the EPT Grand Final that had been three-bet pre-flop (the Finn had an open-ended straight draw), followed Jedlicka to the rail. Junglen open-shoved for his last $264,000 with A♦ 4♣ and got a call from Sander Lylloff, who turned up eights and saw them hold to send the online phenom to the rail. For his sixth-place finish, AJunglen7 took home €196,500.
The youth movement lost another key member a few hands later when Trond Eidsvig, the 22-year-old Norwegian, hit the bricks courtesy of Mika Paasonen. Eidsvig got all-in on a board of J♣ 9♦ 6♣ T♦ with top pair, only to see his Finnish rival turn up 10-9 for middle two pair and hit another ten on the river to fill up. Eidsvig, who listed his performance in Barcelona as his best poker finish to date, wound up in fifth place and earned a tidy €250,800.
Paasonen would follow Eidsvig shortly thereafter. The 29-year-old former security guard doubled up Mark Teltscher when his flush draw failed to hit against the Brit's two pair and crippled himself in the process, losing all but $70,000 of his stack with blinds at $10,000/$20,000. Greg Dyer was all too happy to relieve Paasonen of the last of it, calling the Finn's all-in with K-10 versus A-7 and connecting with a king on the river. Paasonen's fourth-place finish was worth €301,000.
That left three players in Minnesotan Greg Dyer, Teltscher and his close friend and circuit roommate Sander Lylloff. Dyer had entered the final table as the big stack, but would abstain from playing many pots in the early going and by the commencement of three-handed play would find himself at a $1 million chip disadvantage to his rivals.
The young American would seal his own fate an hour or so into three-handed play when he bluffed off most of his stack against Lylloff, repeatedly betting huge into a J-9-4-7-4 board with three diamonds but turning up naught but eight high (8♠ 6♠) when Lylloff called him with a pair of fives. That hand would leave Dyer in dire straits, and though he played valiant short-stack poker and managed to stave off elimination repeatedly, he could never regain enough chips to make a serious run and busted in third for €388,800 when Lylloff woke up with aces to counter his own K8o.
A heads-up battle ensued between Lylloff and Teltscher, roommates on the road and the best of friends, one a former chess and backgammon prodigy and the other a privileged "city boy" with a bright red Ferrari. Lylloff entered the match with more than a 2-1 chip lead on his partner in crime, but neither player seemed to approach the €1.7 million showdown with any sense of profundity.
While Teltscher hollered for Cristal to be delivered to the table, Lylloff repeatedly raised in the dark as both players laughed about their situation. After about five hands, however, things got sufficiently serious that all of Teltscher's money got in pre-flop with Cristal nowhere to be found and the Englishman holding a decided advantage with K♦ K♥ against his compatriot's J♠ T♥.
In a repeat of Kido Pham's stunning upset of Joe Hachem in the 2005 WSOP Circuit event at Bally's, however, J10o would topple the pair of cowboys when the flop brought a jack and the turn brought another. Teltscher would pick up a heart-flush draw but the 4♣ would end his run at becoming the first-ever repeat winner at the EPT and in the process make the soft-spoken Lylloff the first winner of the EPT's fourth season.
For the win, Lylloff received a massive novelty check as well as a briefcase full of blank paper wrapped in €50 notes. One presumes he also received the real €1,701,700 first prize at some point in the proceedings, while Teltscher takes home €673,000 for second place - ironically about three times what he received in London in Season 2.
When asked what he'll do with the prize money, Lylloff was non-committal: "I don't have my driver's license, so I can't go buy a car. I can always get Mark to drive me around in his Ferrari anyway." After some thought, he continued, "I'll buy a dog. A nice expensive dog."
Congratulations to Sander and Mark and to John Duthie, PokerStars.com and the EPT for the successful start to another season!