The 24 remaining players in the PokerStars.net European Poker Tour Polish Open Main Event returned to the Casino Poland with a guaranteed spot in the money and the final table in sight. The survivors included some big names, such as former EPT winners Roland de Wolfe and Arnaud Mattern, along with Team PokerStars pros Dario Minieri and Isabelle Mercier. It didn't take long for the final table to be set, with only 15 eliminations occurring on Day 3.
In the early going, it looked like Ludovic Lacay was destined to be the first elimination on Day 3, when he open-shoved with and was called by Juan Manuel Pastor. Pastor tabled , and Lacay needed a lot of help. The flop brought some help when it came down , and the turn (and river) left Pastor with cracked aces and gave Lacay the double-up. He rode that double-up all the way to a final table berth, while Pastor busted in the middle of the pack.
Josh Gould earned the title of first player eliminated in the money when he ran into Dario Minieri, who had shown down several bold bluffs over the first two days of the tournament. Minieri raised preflop, and Gould moved all in over the top with . Minieri called with , and won the race on the turn as the board ran out . Other early eliminations on Day 3 included Marty Smyth, Julien Van Lang, Kevin Macphee and Mika Puro.
Isabelle Mercier busted in 16th place in a heart-breaking pair of hands. First she called Arnaud Mattern's all-in with pocket eights to Mattern's , only to see Mattern hit trips on the board of . Then she found herself crippled in another big confrontation with Mattern when he moved all in from the cutoff and only Mercier called from the big blind. Mercier tabled , clearly behind Mattern's , but hit a pair on the flop to take the lead. Mattern picked up more outs on the turn, and the gave him the runner-runner straight to leave Mercier crippled. She busted on the next hand in 16th place (€10,557).
After spending much of the first two days at or near the top of the leader board, Roland de Wolfe busted in 13th place (€14,076), ending his shot at becoming the first-ever two-time EPT champion. De Wolfe moved all in over the top of Arnaud Mattern's preflop raise, and found himself in trouble when he tabled pocket fives to Mattern's pocket nines. Nothing unexpected happened as the cards ran out, and de Wolfe departed.
Uffe Holm became the final-table bubble boy when he busted in tenth place (€21,114) at the hands of Andrea Benelli. Benelli moved all in from the small blind and Holm made a stand in the big blind with . Benelli led with , and the board missed both players as it ran out , sending Holm to the rail.
Dario Minieri finished Day 3 with the biggest stack, as the final-table chip counts and seating assignments looked like this:
Seat 1: Arnaud Mattern - 238,000
Seat 2: Ludovic Lacay - 296,500
Seat 3: Andrea Benelli - 100,000
Seat 4: Michael Muheim - 89,000
Seat 5: Joao Barbosa - 123,000
Seat 6: Dario Minieri - 359,500
Seat 7: Nico Behling - 343,500
Seat 8: Sergey Shcherbatskiy - 349,000
Seat 9: Atanas Gueorguiev - 186,500
Join PokerNews at 2PM Warsaw time on Wednesday for all the live updates as one of these nine players will be crowned the EPT Polish Open champion.