Johnny Lodden Takes Lead at EPT Grand Final Main Event

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Johnny Lodden Takes Lead at EPT Grand Final Main Event

Just 15 players remain in contention in the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT11 Grand Final Main Event - and it's Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden holding the chip lead as we enter Day 5 tomorrow.

Lodden, 29, has been playing EPTs since Season 3 and has been exceptionally consistent in his Main Events results. Over the last five years, he had numerous deep runs and made the final 20 a total of nine times - including eighth place at EPT5 Budapest. However it wasn't until Season 9 when Lodden had his first really big EPT success money-wise - and by then he'd already had his first six-figure cash when he finished 27th in the WSOP Main Event in 2010.

However in Season 9, Lodden made the final table of the Grand Final here in Monaco - and a table that has long been considered one of the toughest in EPT history. As well as Lodden, it included fellow Team Pros Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier and Jake Cody plus the eventual champ Steve O'Dwyer. Lodden finished third for €467,000, a figure which remains the biggest cash of his career to date.

He enters Day 5 tomorrow as a big chip leader, bagging up 2,293,000 chips (in Season 9, he was 3rd at this stage). Lodden is the only Team PokerStars Pro remaining in this season's Main Event as Jason Mercier bust in 28th place earlier today. Mercier, the first EPT Sanremo winner, was also the last EPT champion left in the field, meaning we will definitely be celebrating a first-time winner on Friday.

None of the remaining players have as much as EPT experience as Lodden, who has now accrued his 19th Main Event cash. However Lodden still has a tough fight on his hands. Adrian Mateos is third in chips and even though being still only 20 years old, he is already #2 in Spain's all-time money list. Mateos won the 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event for exactly €1,000,000 and also took down the Estrellas Madrid Main Event earlier that year. The Spaniard was also outstanding at EPT Deauville, winning two turbo events on the very last day of the festival for over €67k combined. Other heavyweights chasing Lodden tomorrow are: the reigning EPT Player of the Year Ole Schemion, Polish pro Jose Carlos Garcia and Britain's Tom Hall. All the Day 4 survivors are guaranteed at least €58,100 for getting this far; the €1,082,000 first prize would be a record cash for any of them including Schemion.

Day 4 top five chip counts: 
1st - Johnny Lodden, Norway, Team PokerStars Pro, 2,293,000 
2nd - Markus Ross, Germany, PokerStars qualifier, 1,815,000 
3rd - Adrian Mateos, Spain, 1,635,000 
4th - Koichi Nozaki, Japan, 1,582,000 
5th - Hady El Asmar, Lebanon, PokerStars qualifier, 1,530,000

There were 564 players from 60 different countries in the EPT Grand Final Main Event, creating a €5,640,000 prize pool. Antonio Buonanno's successor on the throne will take €1,082,000 along with a title, trophy and a luxury watch from a Swiss brand SLYDE.