World Series of Poker Europe EPT Barcelona, Day 3: Martin Nielsen Heads Final EPT Barcelona, Day 3: Martin Nielsen Heads Final 0001

Thirty-six players returned to the Gran Casino Barcelona for Day 3 of the European Poker Tour Barcelona Open, all striving for their seat at the final table. After a grueling day of poker including over three hours on the final-table bubble, the eight survivors were determined. Among them was EPT San Remo champion Jason Mercier, making his play to become the first two-time EPT champion.

The short stacks were in play early on Day 3, as Andrey Chesnokov pushed his chips into the middle on one of the very first hands. He got his money in good with A-K against K-10, but the {10-Hearts} on the turn made his opponent's flush and sent Chesnokov to the rail in 36th place (€17,300).

Chad Brown started the day with one of the top ten chip stacks, but ran into trouble early to find himself busted in 34th place. He got all his money in preflop holding pocket jacks to Daniele Mazzia's K-Q. The board ran out {q-Hearts}{8-Spades}{3-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}{4-Spades}, and Brown was headed out early.

Finnish heavy metal bass player Voitto Rintala made it to 13th place in this event in 2007, and cashed deep again this year, finishing in 17th place. Rintala moved all in preflop with A-9, only to find one caller holding {k-Clubs}{k-Hearts}. The flop came down ace-high, giving Rintala top pair, but it also contained three clubs, giving his opponent the nut flush draw. The fourth club on the turn sent the rocker to the rail with €24,700 for his troubles.

Stephen "stevie444" Chidwick looked poised to make the final table when Day 3 began, but bled chips through the day until he moved the last of his stack in preflop from late position with {k-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}. His only caller was Samuel Chartier on the button, who woke up with {a-Clubs}{a-Spades}. The board ran out {10-Spades}{9-Spades}{4-Clubs}{8-Hearts}{a-Hearts}, and Chidwick's final-table dreams were put on hold until the EPT London stop as he busted in 15th place (€29,700). Famous for his success in online satellite tournaments, Chidwick revealed that he has already won six packages for the EPT London Main Event.

Salvatore Pengue busted in 10th place (€74,400) when his {10-Hearts}{10-Spades} was outrun by Samuel Chartier's {a-Spades}{j-Clubs} on a board of {k-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{3-Hearts}{j-Spades}{q-Clubs}. After Pengue's elimination, players consolidated to one table until the final elimination of the evening set the final table. Usually a relatively quick process, the final table bubble refused to burst easily, as it took more than three hours to eliminate the last player of the night.

Finally, Mikael Lundell became the unfortunate final-table bubble boy when he busted in ninth place (€74,400). Day 2 chip leader David Kitai moved all in preflop with {q-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}, and action folded all the way around to Lundell in the big blind. Lundell thought for a long moment before finally calling with {a-Spades}{4-Diamonds}. Ahead preflop, Lundell was left drawing thin after a flop of {q-Clubs}{Jh][2h}. The {10-Clubs} on the turn was no help, and the {8-Hearts} on the river left Kitai with a pair of queens, enough to leave Lundell crippled. All his chips went in on the small blind on the very next hand, and he lost a coin flip with {10-Clubs}{9-Hearts} against Sebastian Ruthenberg's {8-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}. No help came on the {j-Hearts}{2-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{a-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds} board for Lundell, and his tournament ended one spot shy of the final table.

The final-table lineup featured some familiar faces: players who were at or near the top of the leader board for each day of the tournament made the final table including Jason Mercier, Sebastian Ruthenberg and David Kitai. Martin Nielsen finished Day 3 with the chip lead as the final-table seating assignments and chip stacks looked like this:

Seat 1: Martin Nielsen 1,229,000

Seat 2: Davidi Kitai 600,000

Seat 3: Dren Ukella 734,000

Seat 4: Jason Mercier 526,000

Seat 5: Samuel Chartier 879,000

Seat 6: Daniele Mazzia 359,000

Seat 7: Fintan Gavin 701,000

Seat 8: Sebastian Ruthenberg 1,204,000

Join PokerNews at 4PM Barcelona time for all the live updates as these eight players try for the top prize at the EPT Barcelona Open.

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