Kitai, Chen Headline EPT Berlin Finale

5648DavidiKitaiEPT8BERNeil Stoddart
Davidi Kitai is looking for an EPT title to go with his WSOP bracelet. (Photo credit: Neil Stoddart)

WSOP bracelet winner Davidi Kitai is in the lead with eight players left at the EPT Berlin main event.

Kitai, the first Belgian poker player to ever win a World Series of Poker event, holds a more than 1 million chip advantage over his nearest competition heading into the final table in the German capital.

The final eight players are chasing a €825,000 first-place prize but each of them is now guaranteed at least €72,000.

Davidi Kitai is out in front but he’s joined at tomorrow’s final table by tough players like Canadian Andrew Chen and German Mario Puccini.

Also locking down a seat was Scripps National Spelling Bee champ Pratyush Buddiga who enters the final table last in chips.

Tough Lineup for EPT Berlin Finale

Davidi Kitai may be the most recognizable face at this final table but he’s by no means the only player bringing significant experience to bear.

Kitai won a $2k Pot-Limit Hold’em event at the 2008 WSOP but his biggest score came by way of a third-place finish at EPT Barcelona the same year, good for $649,000.

Kitai won the WPT Celebrity Invitational as well but won’t have a true Triple Crown should he win tomorrow in Berlin, since his WPT victory was not in an open event.

Andrew Chen is third heading into the final table and has experience deep in EPT events. He finished fifth in the EPT Grand Final in 2010 for over $530,000, and placed third at EPT Prague in 2008 for $329,000.

He also finished second in a $1,500 WSOP event in 2009 for a healthy $412,000. Most recently Chen finished second in the $10k Six-Max High Roller event at the PCA for $191k.

Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is third in chips.

Chen is also an accomplished online player with almost $1.5 million in earnings.

Mario Puccini also has EPT final table experience, having finished eighth at EPT Loutraki this past November. The German has also enjoyed online poker tournament success under the screen name “Pokerccini”.

Here are the full chip counts for the EPT Berlin final table.

  • 1 - Davidi Kitai - 5,695,000
  • 2 - Bahadir Kilickeser - 4,640,000
  • 3 - Andrew Chen - 3,600,000
  • 4 - Mario Puccini - 2,065,000
  • 5 - André Morath - 1,940,000
  • 6 - Marc Wright - 1,540,000
  • 7 - Cesar Garcia Domínguez - 1,485,000
  • 8 - Pratyush Buddiga - 1,280,00

Three Former Champs Fall Short

Anton Wigg, Kevin MacPhee and Vladamir Geshkenbein all began the day with a chance at becoming the first ever two-time EPT main event winner, but all three would fall by day’s end.

Kevin MacPhee, who won this event two years ago, fizzled out in 19th place for €20,000.

Anton Wigg took down EPT Copenhagen and made it to 14th place today in Berlin before going broke.

Wigg was all-in and ahead with A-Q against Vladamir Geshkenbein’s A-5 and things stayed much the same when both a queen and a five hit the flop.

A king on the turn, however, put Wigg way behind. The river was a seven and the Swede was out with €30,000 in cash money.

Vladamir Geshkenbein, who won EPT Snowfest, put Wigg’s chips to good use but hit the rail in 10th place, getting mildly unlucky against Davidi Kitai.

Geshkenbein was all-in with A Q before the flop against Kitai’s K T. A ten hit the flop and it was enough to eliminate Geshkenbein for €51,000.

The final table plays out tomorrow in Berlin. Check our Poker News Section for the update.

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