EPT Berlin Main Event Day 2: Aku Joentausta Holds Massive Chip Lead

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The survivors from both starting flights combined into a single, unified field Tuesday as the 2013 European Poker Tour (EPT) Berlin Main Event forged ahead. Making a quantum leap on Day 2 was Finland’s Aku Joentausta, who was certainly in good shape to start the day, holding 105,500 chips, but when the night was over, he had multiplied that by more than seven, lording over the field with 751,300 chips.

Joentausta came out of Day 1A, where he finished 21st out of the 171 survivors. Ronny Voth, that day’s chip leader, would hold that same title going into Day 1B, as he out-chipped everybody from Day 1B. In fact, the top three finishers from Day 1A did better than anyone from the second starting flight. The USA’s Michael Mizrachi was able to break up the German domination (the top five players from Day 1A were all from the tournament’s home country), leading the Day 1B field with 175,400 chips and starting Day 2 in fourth place. Robin Ylitalo from Sweden was next on Day 1B with 172,800 and began Day 2 in the sixth spot.

The 565 runners on Day 1B added to the 347 who began Day 1B brought the EPT Berlin Main Event total starting field to 912, making it the second largest EPT Berlin in history. Now in its fourth year, EPT Berlin’s most sizable field came in its debut, when it saw 945 players enter in 2010.

That field produced a prize pool of €4,560,000, of which €880,000 will go to the winner. In all, 136 players will make the money, with payouts starting at €8,000.

Aku Joentausta has a rather short live tournament resume, with just 14 career cashes. His largest came in 2011 when he won the €4,000 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo Six-Max event at EPT San Remo, good for €74,500 ($108,585). He has one career World Series of Poker cash and two on the European Poker Tour. All told, he has won just shy of $361,000 in live tournaments.

Joentausta started strong on Day 2, eliminating a foe within the first few hands, but didn’t really start scooping chips like crazy until the latter half of the day. One of his more significant wins, particularly because it involved the ouster of a strong opponent, came when he busted Jake Cody. It was a simple hand, as Joentausta’s A-Q beat Cody’s A-8 all-in pre-flop to get his stack up to 380,000.

Day 1B’s chip leader, Michael Mizrachi, couldn’t keep the momentum going, bowing out on Tuesday. It was a really tough way to go, as he flopped the nut flush on a board of J♠-8♠-2♠. The turn was the J and the river was the 3, at which point Khiem Nguyen moved all-in. Mizrachi, naturally, called, only to see his foe turn over pocket 8’s for a turned full house. Nguyen moved on up to 600,000 at that point, though he fell back a bit to end the day at 490,800, still good for fourth place.

The money bubble will burst Wednesday as the 168 remaining players battle for position and look to improve their standing as the tournament goes on.

2013 European Poker Tour Berlin Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1.    Aku Joentausta – 751,300
2.    Anaras Alekberovas – 529,800
3.    Ronny Voth – 526,100
4.    Khiem Nguyen – 490,800
5.    Lukasz Golczyk – 448,200
6.    Dominik Nitsche – 434,600
7.    Daniel Reijmer – 427,700
8.    Pascal Vos – 426,000
9.    Pal Koppegodt – 424,300
10.    Emil Ohlsson – 392,100

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