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EPT Grand Final: Antonio Esfandiari Out in 8th, 2 US Americans Left Looking for EPT 3-Peat

The television final table of the 2008 PokerStars.com European Poker Tour Grand Final in Monte Carlo got underway earlier today, and they're already down to the last 6 players competing for the €2,020,000 (US$3.2 million) first place prize.

Antonio Esfandiari eliminated from EPT Grand Final final tableThe first to exit of the final eight was WPT poster boy Antonio Esfandiari, who takes home €168,000 (US$267,413). It's the biggest cash for the magic man since becoming a WPT millionaire in 2004 at the LA Poker Classic.

Out in seventh was the Russian with a somewhat girlish first name although nothing really sounds girlish when spoken in Russian, Valeriy Ilikyan.

Still in are two U.S. Americans, online poker ace Isaac "westmenloAA" Baron (3.44 mil in chips) and young cash game pro Michael Martin (1.75 mil). The pair are looking to do what a US American has done the last two years at the EPT Grand Final, pwn the event. This no doubt must piss the Euros off and especially the overly-hyped Scandi players who are supposedly dominating the poker scene today although are nowhere to be seen at the final table in Monaco and have only won one of the EPT events this season whereas US Americans have Yank'd their way to 3 victories. And if we failed to mention it already, a US American has won the EPT Grand Final, the biggest tournament on European soil, the last two years. Typical American bravado you say? We say typical American results.

Standing in the way of a 3-peat for the US of A and ready to dish us up some humble pie at the EPT Grand Final today is a beaver hunter from our icy neighbor to the North Glen "Me So" Chorny, who has the current chip lead with 3.6 million, Italian PokerStars pro Luca Pagano with 1.9 million, another beaver hunter but of the oui-oui kind Maxime Villemure (1.45 mil) and Hungarian Denes Kalo, who is starving for chips with only 700k the last we checked.

Chip counts here and here.

The Matt and Martin Show here.

Paupers of the poker press here.

UPDATE: That really pleasant Italian poker pro Luca Pagano has jumped to the top spot with 3.4 million in chips. Baron still second. Chorny down to 3rd. Martin needs some help, stacked about a mil under the average.

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