Day 5 of the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo Main Event saw ten players eliminated from the field of 16 for a TV final table of six players. Michael Kolkowicz survived as chip leader after a suckout against Romain Nardin and returns with 4.6 million for the final table.

The chip distribution among the final table is fairly balanced with Andrey Bondar second with 4.3 million, Raffaele Sorrentino 4.1 million, Andreas Klatt 3.5 million, Maxim Panyak 3.3 million and Diego Zeiter 1.7 million.

Kolkowicz is an amateur who didn’t plan on playing the event but entered after a good session at the cash tables. Remarkably, he’s been in the top five counts since Day 2 and stands to collect his first tournament cash against one of the strongest fields in Europe.

Kolkowicz secured his lead with the elimination of overnight chip leader Nardin in eighth place. On a board of Qc Jd 6h, Kolkowicz led out and Nardin moved all in holding pocket aces. Kolkowicz called with Kd 9h, spiked his inside straight draw on the turn and advertised his range to rest of the table.

Bondar returned for Day 4 as 38th of 45 players with less than 20 big blinds. He has two previous cashes in Monte Carlo – 19th place in last year’s €25,000 High Roller and third in a €2,000 event. Sorrentino is an online Italian pro known as “1mDonuts” and was also almost out the door on Day 4 two blinds than Bondar.

Klatt won the PokerStars National Championship at the start of the Series for $164,935 for his largest live cash – which only dates back to August 2016. He was an online player that left the game for an economics degree and returned to the game. 

PokerStars guarantees a first-time champion as it was brutal day for the returning established players. Stefan Schillhabel was first to go in 16th place, Sergio Aido in 14th, Bertrand Grospellier in 12th and Davidi Kitai bubbled Day 6 in seventh place.

The final table has cards in the air at 1 pm local time with a delayed stream starting an hour later with hole cards.

Final Table Chip Counts

1. Michael Kolkowicz – 4,600,000
2. Andrey Bondar – 4,350,000
3. Raffaele Sorrentino – 4,160,000
4. Andreas Klatt – 3,590,000
5. Maxim Panyak – 3,345,000
6. Diego Zeiter – 1,770,000