EPT Monte Carlo, Day 3: Esfandiari Moves to Front EPT Monte Carlo, Day 3: Esfandiari Moves to Front 0001

With four hours left to Day 3 of the European Poker Tour Grand Final in Monte Carlo, Antonio Esfandiari pulled ahead of the field by dragging the biggest pot of the day. Mark Keightley opened for 14,000, Esfandiari raised to 40,000, and Keightley thought for a moment before he re-raised all in. Esfandiari instantly called, flashed his {a-Hearts}{a-Spades}, jumped up on a chair, and announced to the room that he was in a pot worth over 600,000. Keightley's {k-Diamonds}{k-Clubs} never caught up and Esfandiari never looked back.

Halfway through the day, the money bubble broke when Surinder Sunar's pocket jacks lost out to Ricardo Sousa's {k-Hearts}{q-Hearts} when a queen hit the board on the flop. When the bubble burst, Luca and Claudio Pagaono became the first father and son duo to cash in an EPT event. Luca simultaneously broke the record for most EPT cashes, as this now made his ninth. Day 3 continued to play deep into the money, leaving only 39 players remaining when the cards came to a halt.

Early in the day, Joe Hachem and Woody Deck had an altercation. Deck who was not in the hand in question, took issue when Hachem didn't show his mucked cards after a hand. Security apparently was called in to break up the escalating debate. If Hachem was looking for revenge, he got it by outlasting Deck today. Deck finished in 52nd place when he took his pocket queens all in on a flop of {8-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{6-Clubs} only to discover his opponent had {8-Spades}{6-Spades}. An hour later, a short-stacked Hachem pushed all in with pocket jacks and was met by Jonathan Dwek's pocket sevens. When a seven flopped, Hachem turned away from the table. Luckily he looked back just in time to see a jack fall on the turn. "Yeah! There's your seven ball," exclaimed Hachem, getting a much needed double-up to make it through the day.

Johnny Lodden, who started the day second in chips, was able to end the day among the chip leaders. Other familiar names returning for Day 4 include 2007 WSOP final tablist, Raymond Rahme, Freddy Deeb, and 2007 WSOP Europe final tablist Oyvind Riisem, and Luca and Claudio Pagano. Join the PokerNews reporting team at 1:00 pm local time when Day 4 gets underway.

Remaining Players and Official Chip Counts:

Antonio Esfandiari – 1,198,000

Robin Keston – 916,000

Denes Kalo – 642,000

Johnny Lodden – 623,000

Maxime Villemure – 600,000

Mostafa Belkhayate – 523,000

Gerasimos Deres – 494,500

Henrik Gwinner – 487,000

David Shade Kruger – 486,500

Thomas Boekhoff – 465,000

Rami Boukai – 425,000

Eric Liu – 398,000

Noah Siegel – 388,500

Stig Top Rasmussen – 373,000

Glen Chorny – 344,000

Oyvind Riisem – 340,000

Pablo Ubierna – 316,000

Peter Traply – 300,500

Valeriy Ilikyan – 295,000

Claudio Pagano – 291,000

Jonathan Dwek – 282,000

Luca Pagano – 279,500

Amit Makhija – 269,500

David Miara – 249,500

Isaac 'westmenloAA' Baron – 236,500

Joe Hachem – 214,500

Michael Martin – 141,500

Freddy Deeb – 140,500

Alexander Morozov – 133,000

Raymond Rahme – 133,000

Walid Bou Habib – 127,500

Benjamin Sprengers – 127,000

Anders Hoyer Berg – 124,000

Andrew Luetchford – 116,000

Vincent Secher – 92,500

Anthony Chatelain – 83,500

Tomas Brolin – 74,000

Andreas Fluri – 61,000

Stefan Geim – 58,000

Preliminary List of Day 3 Money Finishers:


46. Martin Milkai Rask

47. Borge Dypvik

48. Andreas Hagen


49. Mark Keightley

50. Benjamino Speroni

51. Gordon Vayo

52. Woody Deck

53. Ricardo Sousa

54. Domenico Tinnirello

55. Kari Somer


57. Sami-Pekka Ovaskanen

58. Massou Cohen

59. Matthew Kurtz

60. Cyril Bensoussan

61. Brian Green

62. Kalil Rahal

63. Clayton Maguire

64. Nikolaus Panopoulas


65. James Campbell

66. Giovanni Nervo

67. Jan Heitmann

68. George Lind III

69. Tom Ahlberg

70. Ian Prevost

71. Torbjorn Jonson

72. Giovanni Bigoni


73. Morten Lokken

74. Tommi Horkko

75. Benjamin Kang

76. William Martin

77. Sean Bruder

78. Felipe Ramos

79. Ed de Haas

80. Trond Erik Eidsvig

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