Is the EPT Grand Final the best final table ever?
When it comes to all-time great final tables I usually have two contenders: The 2001 World Series of Poker Main Event final table and the 2008 WSOP $5k PLO final table. But now it appears I will have to add a third final table to that list –and quite honestly I think it goes right to the top—considering the final table of the Season PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final has one of the most famous players in the history of the game; one of the best young players in the game; a Triple Crown winner; and three other players who are considered among the best tournament players in the game.
Here is a look at the final eight players in the EPT Grand Final:
1. Steve O’Dwyer – 4,452,000
2. Andrew Pantling – 4,180,000
3. Jake Cody – 1,633,000
4. Daniel Negreanu – 1,581,000
5. Johnny Lodden – 1,402,000
6. Noah Schwartz – 1,068,000
7. Jason Mercier – 824,000
8. Grant Levy – 786,000
Both O’Dwyer and Pantling have pulled away from the rest of the pack, but considering the sheer talent assembled at the final table, and with the blinds still at a manageable 15,000/30,000 with a 4,000 chip ante, there is still plenty of play even in the smaller stacks.
So how does this group stack up against my other two all-time final tables? Let’s compare the three side-by-side-by-side, and to balance it out I included 9th place finisher Freddy Deeb in the EPT Grand Final:
2001 WSOP Main Event
2008 WSOP $5k PLO
2013 EPT Grand Final
The 2001 WSOP Main Event has three Hall-of-Famers (two are already in and Carlos Mortensen is shoe-in) along with two of the biggest names during the poker boom in Mike Matusow and Phil Gordon, and well-known pros at the time in Inishima and Nowakowski . The final case I will make for the 2001 WSOP Main Event is the sheer magnitude of the event; it was the WSOP Main Event!
The 2008 $5k PLO event at the WSOP has at least four Hall of Famers (Negreanu, Hellmuth, Chan, and Juanda), and Phil Galfond will go down as one of the top two or three online poker players of his era. Then you’ve got Brian Rast, David Benyamine, Adam Houran, and Kiril Gerasimov –not a single soft-spot at that table.
So what about the 2013 EPT Grand Final? When the most unknown, least-accomplished player at the final table has nearly $2 million in career tournament earnings (Australia’s Grant Levy) you know you have an all-time great final table. It’s hard to put it in perspective when most of the players are the prime years of their career, but man this a real Murderer’s Row lineup.
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