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PokerStars EPT Copenhagen, Day 3: Vance Heads Final Table

39 players returned to compete on Day 3 of the PokerStars European Poker Tour Copenhagen championship, with Rasmus Hede Nielsen leading the pack as the day began. Notable players still alive included 2007 WSOP bracelet winner Alex Kravchenko, Team PokerStars pro Luca Pagano and famous Dutch player Rolf Slotbloom, but the story of the day became American Timothy Vance, who came from eighth in chips at the start of action to become the dominant chip leader as the final table was set. Vance finished the day with nearly twice the chips of his nearest competitor.

Alex Kravchenko got in a very big pot early on Day 3 that could have catapulted him to near the top of the leader board, but instead left him crippled. Kravchenko moved all in over the top of Soren Jensen's preflop raise, then found Sigbjorn Mortueit all in behind him, with a call by Jensen leaving all three players all in. Kravchenko tabled {q-Hearts}{q-Diamonds}, only to be dominated by Jensen's {k-Clubs}{k-Spades}, and in a coin flip to Mortueit's {a-Hearts}{k-Hearts}. The board ran out {10-Diamonds}{8-Spades}{j-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}{a-Clubs} to triple Mortueit up and leave Kravchenko and Jensen on life support. Kravchenko was eliminated shortly after that hand, but Jensen made the most of his short stack and played his way into the final table after taking the huge early hit.

Day 1a chip leader Peter Eastgate ran into Day 3 chip leader Rasmus Nielsen early in the day and lost a big coin flip for his tournament life. After a preflop raise from Eastgate, Nielsen re-raised and Eastgate moved all in. Nielsen called with {9-Spades}{9-Clubs} to see Eastgate's {a-Diamonds}{k-Clubs}. Nielsen made a full house on the {9-Hearts}{4-Diamonds}{4-Spades} flop, and there was no help on the {6-Diamonds}{j-Spades} turn and river for Eastgate, who was eliminated in 32nd place ($16,765). Other early eliminations included Slotbloom and Pagano, who moved all in with {10-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds} on a board of {q-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}{6-Spades}{8-Hearts} and found one caller in Magnus Hansen with {q-Clubs}{2-Spades}. The {2-Hearts} river sent Pagano to the rail in 27th place for $16,765 and a record eighth cash in an EPT event.

Meanwhile, Vance started the day eighth in chips, but catapulted into the lead with his elimination of Kristian Pedersen, which put Vance over the million-chip mark and firmly into the lead. In the hand, Vance's {9-Spades}{9-Hearts} held up against Pedersen's {a-Clubs}{k-Spades} to bust Pedersen in 12th place ($54,483), and then Vance busted Tommy Pavlicek in 11th to further solidify his lead. Vance qualified for the EPT Copenhagen event via a 10,000-FPP (Frequent Player Point) satellite on PokerStars, making his trip to Denmark exceedingly profitable.

Jarle Aasen was the final-table bubble boy, running K-J into pocket aces to finish in tenth place ($69,148), and then Johan Lund took a rough beat to finish in ninth place and set the eight-player TV final. Lund's exit came when Daniel Ryan moved all in preflop, and Lund looked down in the big blind at pocket aces and called instantly. Ryan was behind with {k-Hearts}{q-Hearts}, but picked up a gutshot straight draw on the {7-Diamonds}{j-Hearts}{9-Diamonds} board. The {4-Hearts} turn gave Ryan additional outs to the flush, and the {3-Hearts} on the river made the flush, sending Ryan to the final table and Lund home with $69,148.

With Lund's exit, the final eight players bagged their chips, with Vance the runaway chip leader. Nielsen stayed close to the top in second place, while Jensen came back from being crippled on one of the first hands of the day to make the final table. The final-table seating assignments and chip counts for Saturday's final:

Seat 1: Rasmus Hede Nielsen — 789,000

Seat 2: Tim Vance — 1,408,000

Seat 3: Daniel Ryan — 557,000

Seat 4: Patrik Andersson — 283,000

Seat 5: Simon Dorslund — 267,000

Seat 6: Nicolas Dervaux — 336,000

Seat 7: Soren Jensen — 500,000

Seat 8: Magnus Hansen — 458,000

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