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PartyPoker Premier League III, Day Four: Eastgate, 'durrrr' Triumph in Heats

The fourth day of action at the PartyPoker Premier League III brought a bit of order to the proceedings, as heat victories by Tom "durrrr" Dwan and Peter Eastgate and another strong performance by overall leader JC Tran helped spread out the standings and put several players in strong position for seats in the upcoming final. At the other end of the spectrum, another tough day for David "Devilfish" Ulliott and Nenad Medic have them looking upward at the rest of the pack as the qualifying portion of the event moves into its later stages.

In Heat 7, the first of two qualifiers held on Thursday, Tom Dwan broke through to capture his first heat victory of the series, with runner-up JC Tran collecting his fourth consecutive first- or second-place showing. The first player eliminated here was Phil Hellmuth, whose zero points following a win on Wednesday dropped him back down into the pack and left him needing a strong showing in his final two heats. Tony G was eliminated in fifth spot (two points – his third successive fifth-place showing after an opening-day win), followed by Nenad Medic in fourth (three points) and Roland de Wolfe in third (four points). Dwan held a massive lead of 490,000 to 110,000 when heads-up action began, and quickly took it down when his {a-Clubs}{7-Clubs} held up over Tran's offsuited Q-7. An ace flopped and the heat was soon complete.

Peter Eastgate made it back-to-back heat victories by taking down Heat 8, pushing his overall total to 26 points and making him a virtual lock to join JC Tran and four of the other ten players in the final. Andy Black (sixth, zero points) and Annette Obrestad (fifth, two points), will need strong performances in their last two qualifiers to make the final, as will David Ulliott, who finished fourth in this heat four three points but still faces the sharpest uphill climb. Vicky Coren grabbed third for four points to continue a run of steady but non-victorious outings, while Juha Helppi seemed poised to capture this heat after leading Eastgate by more than a 3:1 margin during heads-up play, only to see Eastgate surge back to claim the win. The final hand found Helppi committed with K-J but dominated by Eastgate's A-K, which held up when the board bricked out. Still, Helppi's six-point effort moved him into fourth place overall.

Current Standings:

1. JC Tran - 32 pts.

2. Peter Eastgate - 26 pts.

3. Tom Dwan - 22 pts.

4. Juha Helppi - 20 pts.

5. Vicky Coren - 18 pts.

6t. Tony G - 16 pts.

6t. Roland de Wolfe - 16 pts.

8. Phil Hellmuth - 13 pts.

9. Annette Obrestad - 12 pts.

10. Andy Black - 10 pts.

11. Nenad Medic - 9 pts.

12. David Ulliott - 6 pts.

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