Simon leads as magnificent seven set for final day of EPT Cyprus Main Event

Gilles Simon at the EPT Cyprus Main Event
Dave Woods
Posted on: October 22, 2023 19:49 PDT

The magnificent seven was the unexpected end result of a hard day’s play on day 5 of the EPT Cyprus Main Event, one more than planned, and all still in with a chance of lifting the trophy and $1,042,000 top prize. Gilles Simon from the Netherlands leads the way.

The day started with a bang and almost ended with one too.

Early on, there was controversy involving Spain’s Jose Gonzalez Sanchez, who didn’t see or hear Nikita Kuznetsov’s all-in – his toss of a chip merely intended to complete his small blind.

A floor ruling that Sanchez wouldn’t have to stump up the all-in price was likely the correct call, though another consequence was that he got rid of his headphones for the rest of the day and paid more attention to the action.

And action there was, as witnessed in this brutal runout, that accounted for another Spanish player, Gerard Carbo.

12 hours of play not enough

One of the favourites was experienced Belgian pro Kenny “SpaceyFCB” Hallaert, but even his bustout with AJ against Gonzalez Sanchez’s A4 prompted a positive tweet: “The end of a fun ride. Got 10th. See you on the next one!”

The plan then was to play down to the final six players, but 12 hours of play couldn’t reduce the field far enough from the initial 16.

Sanchez lost a huge chunk when he stared down at pocket rockets under-the-gun, with Kuznetsov joining in from the small blind.

Sanchez: A❤️ A♣
Kuznetsov: 9♠ 9♣

The 8♦️️ 5❤️ 3❤️ flop seemed inconsequential for both players, and Kuznetsov check-called for 250,000 to see the 7♠ turn. That was checked through to the river, where the 6♣ completed Kuznetsov's straight. He bet 1.2 million, which saw Sanchez tank-call, only to receive the bad news.

A similar hand late in the evening saw Germany’s Yannick Schumacher suffer a similar fate when his kings were up against Halil Tusyarek’s pocket 8s.

A river eight was enough for the Turkish player to take the check mark and win a sizeable pot, after which the players seemed resigned to a magnificent seven coming back for the final day’s play.

Jose Gonzalez Sanchez gets lucky at the death in the EPT Cyprus Main Event

Luck balances out for Sanchez

That was without accounting for Sanchez, though, who decided the penultimate hand of the day was a good time to shove his AJ offsuit only to find himself tangled with Tasyurek and his pocket queens. Sanchez paired his jack on the flop and binked another on the river.

"I'm a lucky bastard" was Sanchez’s entirely reasonable analysis afterwards.

EPT Cyprus Main Event – final table chips

Seat Player Chip Count
1 Halil Tasyurek (Turkey) 7,825,000
2 Yannick Schumacher (Germany) 6,050,000
3 Bjorn Kozenkai (Hungary) 2,575,000
4 Nikita Kuznetsov (Russia) 7,475,000
5 Gilles Simon (Netherlands) 8,075,000
6 Jose Gonzalez Sanchez (Spain) 4,700,000
7 Andrea Dato (Italy) 2,875,000

Day 6 continues today (Sunday) on level 32 with blinds at 100,000/200,000/200,000, when the remaining players will play down to a winner. You can watch all the action on the PokerStars Twitch channel, re-starting at 11.00am CEST.

Photos by Danny Maxwell/PokerStars