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Timex set to clock up second EPT title
The final table for EPT Dortmund is set, and young Canadian Mike McDonald is ready to write another page in the annals of EPT history.
A momentous day beckoned with no fewer than three previous EPT champions in the hunt for a historic second EPT title in Dortmund today.
The triumvirate of Mike "Timex" McDonald, Andreas Hoivold and Moritz Kranich had all tasted EPT success previously, but on a day of merciless reckoning, only Timex emerged still harboring dreams of double EPT glory.
Kranich succumbed midway through the day, dashing his chances of adding another title to his EPT Deauville win, while Andreas Hoivold finished agonizingly short of the final table, a crucial coin-flip loss seeing him exit in 13th place.
Hoivold's departure on the cusp of the final table was particularly galling, given he had come so close at the previous EPT in Copenhagen.
His obligatory post-knockout interview, delivered in a gloomy, cheerless fashion by a man renowned for his sunny outlook, spoke volumes about the misery Hoivold felt at having fallen so close to the final hurdle - again.
Instead it was left to young gun Mike McDonald to aim to cement his place in history.
Having become the youngest EPT champion at the parallel event last year, Timex drew on all his celebrated poker skills and renowned composure to maneuver his stack through to the crucial stages in fourth place.
McDonald clearly relishes playing poker in Dortmund, and he will feel the hand of destiny on his shoulder when the players return for the final showdown.
It will be no walkover for Timex, though.
Despite the big names above crashing out, he will still have to face off against the incredibly consistent Italian Luca Pagano, multiple EPT final tablist William Thorson and the giant-stacked Johan Storakers if he is to repeat his feat.
A mouthwatering lineup also includes Shooting Star's very own Sandra Naujoks, bidding to become the first female EPT winner since Vicky Coren. Sandra's thoughtful, controlled play marked her out as a tenacious customer who won't be swept aside easily.
The full cast, along with their respective chip counts, can be found here.
There's little doubt we will see an exciting endgame play out when the action resumes tomorrow. This final has all the hallmarks of a classic in the making.
Click through to the live updates section for a more detailed account of how the day played out at the felt.