EPT heads back to Copenhagen

The trophy heave
Tim Vance won't be returning to defend his title, leaving the EPT Copenhagen wide open for a new champion.

The fifth season of the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour continues this week with the tour's annual trip to the kingdom of Denmark.

EPT Copenhagen will play out inside the Radisson SAS Scandinavia Hotel Feb. 19-21, and considering poker's continued Scandinavian popularity, expectations are high for this leg of the EPT.

In 2008, 460 players battled for Scandinavian poker supremacy on the Casino Copenhagen felt, and a rather loud and antsy PokerStars qualifier from the United States took home the title.

In between chats with a picture of his daughter he held inside his cap, some rather excessive celebrations and more than a few reprimands from Tournament Director Thomas Kremser regarding his inability to sit still, Tim Vance managed to take down the $1.2 million first-place prize.

Fortunes really changed for the St. Louis contractor when he made what was arguably the call of the year on the EPT, putting Dane Kristian Pedersen on big slick after Pedersen had pushed in on a Q-J-8 flop late in the tournament's penultimate day.

Vance had nines and when the underpair miraculously held, he grabbed the chip lead. The American brought that lead into the event's final day and after the longest final table in EPT history, featuring a four-hour heads-up battle with boisterous Dane Soren Jensen, the title was his.

Vance told PokerListings he won't be making the trip back to Copenhagen to defend his title this year, choosing to play the L.A. Poker Classic instead, but with the annual Scandinavian Poker Awards set for the night before the tournament, the cream of the European poker crop is still expected to attend.

Among those nominated for awards and reportedly planning to play are 2008 WSOP champion Peter Eastgate, Full Tilt high-stakes god Patrik Antonius, and the most feared female in poker, 2007 WSOPE champ Annette Obrestad.

Team Full Tilt pro and high-stakes heavyweight Gus Hansen and WSOPE Pot-Limit Omaha champ Theo Jorgensen are also nominated for awards and expected to play in the event, but the two Danish pros might have their minds on another battle set for later in the week.

Hansen and Jorgensen have prop-bet their way into a few rounds inside the squared circle, and will actually throw punches instead of chips in a boxing match planned for the same evening as the EPT Copenhagen final table, Feb. 21.

Several other Danish high-stakes players are expected to match up on the undercard as well.

So whether it's pugilism or poker, the Danish capital is where the action will be this week and PokerListings will be there, providing a plethora of updates and daily news live from the scene.


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