We all know that coming into the final table of any poker tournament as the chip leader is the optimal place to be to win.
Or is it? And just how big of an advantage does it give you, really?
On the verge of the final table at this year's EPT Vienna main event PokerListings Denmark's Thomas Hviid went through all 96 main events played so far on the EPT to see just how the chip leaders have fared.
By his count, unsurprisingly, the chip leader heading into the final table has won 32 of the 96 tournaments, or 33.33 per cent.
If you're second in chips at the start of the final table your chances are slightly lower at 22.90 per cent, but still fairly solid. In total 22 EPT tournaments have been won by the player in second place in the chip counts to start the final day.
Players coming in fifth in chips have been more succesful than those in third and fourth. A total of 13 players have won titles starting fifth while 11 and 9 players have won it from third and fourth, respectively.
What does it mean for EPT Vienna? Looks like the good money is on Anthony Ghamrawi, Frei Dilling and Simeon Naydenov. Here's the complete breakdown of the numbers:
|Position on Final Day||Number of Winners||Percentage|
How has the chipleader fared in instances where he or she didn't end up with the title? Here's where you really see the advantage of being chip leader to start the final day.
In 91 of the 96 tournaments the chip leader ended up finishing 5th or better. There's also more than a 50% chance he or she will get heads-up for the title.
Only in two tournaments has the chip leader on the final day busted first. A look at chip-leader results:
|Final Position||Number of times||Percentage|
More interesting facts about chip leaders on the final day at EPTs:
- Season 5 featured the lowest amount of times the chip leader went on to win the tournament (1 of 11). Salvatore Bonavera of Italy was the only player to do so (Prague).
- The highest amount of chip leaders to win the tournament was in the following Season 6 (8 of 13). The players were Maxim Lykov (Kyiv), Carter Phillips (Barcelona), Aaron Gustafsson (London), Antonio Matias (Vilamoura), Jan Skampa (Prague), Kevin McPhee (Berlin), Allan Bække (Snowfest) and Nicolas Chouity (Grand Final).
- Martin Nielsen of Denmark (Barcelona, Season 5) and Mikael Norinder of Sweden (Prague, Season 4) are the only two players to start the final day as chipleader and bust first.
- Two players have managed the opposite, to come from last position in the chip count to win the tournament. Noah Boeken from Holland did it in Copenhagen (Scandinavian Open) in Season 1, and American Reuben Peters copied that in Dublin, Season 4.
- Steve O’Dwyer has twice come into the final day as the chip leader. The first time was in London, Season 9, where he busted in fifth. The second time, at the Grand Final in Monte Carlo in Season 9, he won the title.
- Dario Minieri of Italy has also been the chip leader on the final day twice but failed to take down the win each time. The first time was in San Remo in Season 4 (won by Jason Mercier) and Warsaw in Season 4 (won by João Barbosa). Minieri finished 3rd in both.
- Starting positions of "big-name" EPT final-table winners:
- Season 1 Dublin - Ram Vaswani - 7th
- Season 2 Baden - Patrik Antonius - 2nd
- Season 2 Grand Final - Jeff "YellowSub86" Williams - 3rd
- Season 3 London - Vicky Coren - 3rd
- Season 3 Dublin - Roland de Wolfe - 1st
- Season 3 Grand Final - Gavin Griffin - 1st
- Season 4 PCA - Bertrand Grospellier - 2nd
- Season 4 Dortmund - Mike "Timex" McDonald - 1st
- Season 4 San Remo - Jason Mercier - 2nd
- Season 5 Barcelona - Sebastian Ruthenberg - 2nd
- Season 5 Copenhagen - Jens Kyllönen - 6th
- Season 5 Dortmund - Sandra Naujoks - 6th
- Season 6 Kiev - Max Lykov - 1st
- Season 6 PCA - Harrison Gimbel - 4th
- Season 6 Deauville - Jake Cody - 2nd
- Season 6 San Remo - Liv Boeree - 5th
- Season 7 Vilamoura - Toby Lewis - 2nd
- Season 7 London - David Vamplew - 3rd
- Season 7 Prague - Roberto Romanello - 5th
- Season 7 PCA - Galen Hall - 2nd
- Season 8 London - Benny Spindler - 3rd
- Season 8 Prague - Martin Finger - 1st
- Season 8 Copenhagen - Mickey Petersen - 4th
- Season 8 Berlin - Davidi Kitai - 1st
- Season 8 Grand Final - Mohsin Charania - 5th
- Season 9 San Remo - Ludovic Lacay - 2nd
- Season 9 Grand Final - Steve O'Dwyer - 1st
Watch the final table live stream of EPT Vienna starting tomorrow at 1 PM CET right here.