Day 4 of the 2016 PokerStars European Poker Tour Dublin €5,300 Main Event was nothing less than an Emerald Isle massacre, as the field was cut down from 45 to 16 within three 90-minute levels.
The competitors played a fourth level, but no one else went broke and the final 16 will return to the Royal Dublin Society on Friday at 12 p.m. local time to play for seats in the six-handed final.
Among those who were on the wrong end of the early bloodletting were PokerStars Team Online's Jaime Staples, Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano, former World Series of Poker November Niners Pierre Neuville, James Akenhead, and Antoine Saout, and EPT main event winners Dominik Panka and Anton Wigg.
Headlining the final 16 are two of the most successful players over the past couple of EPT seasons, as EPT Season 11 Malta €25,000 High Roller and two-time time EPT super high roller runner-up Dzmitry Urbanovich joins EPT Season 11 Grand Final and 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event champion Adrian Mateos in the group.
However, it's an Irishman who sat on the top of the chip counts when the day ended, with 2014 Irish Open champion Patrick Clarke leading the charge into Day 5. Clarke got a huge chunk of chips just as play wrapped up, scooping a more-than-one-million-chip pot after making a flush on the river versus Canadian Christopher Kruk.
Final 16 Chip Counts
A solid day from German Gilles Bernies will see him return within a couple blinds off Clarke, and Greek player Iliodoros Kamatakis and Urbanovich are within striking distance as well.
The United Kingdom will bring the largest contingent into the event's penultimate day with Rhys Jones, Alex Goulder, Tomas MacNamara, and Frank Williams all making it through, although they all sit in the bottom eight with the exception of Jones.
Play will resume with blind levels at 12,000/24,000 with a 3,000 ante. They will redraw again once the nine-handed unofficial final table is reached, and although EPT final tables are eight-handed, they will play down to the final six on Friday before bagging up and coming back to play down to a winner on Saturday.
The PokerNews Live Reporting team will be on hand from start to finish Friday, so tune in then to watch this group contest for the EPT Season 12 Dublin Main Event title and the €561,900 first-place prize that comes along with it.
Don't forget that you can also follow coverage of the €10,300 High Roller on PokerNews as well.
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Check Out the Latest PokerNews Podcast
While you're waiting for Day 5 of the EPT Dublin Main Event to kick off, check out the latest episode of the PokerNews Podcast, with hosts Rich Ryan and Donnie Peters discussing Phil Galfond's op-ed, the Full Tilt-PokerStars merger, and more.