PokerStars.com EPT Prague Day 3: Bonavena Heads Final Eight
Thirty-two players started Day 3 of the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour Prague Main Event, but at the end of the day only eight remained. Over a methodical nine hours of play, three quarters of the field was eliminated as the final table was set. When the dust settled, Salvatore Bonavena held the chip lead, one of three Italians players vying to become the first player from that country to win an EPT championship.
The day started off with a loss for the home team as Pter Samcenko, the last surviving Czech player, busted in 32nd place (€11,000). He was followed in short order by John Riley (31st), Roy Van Der Locht (30th) and Joris Jaspers (29th). Jaspers got the last of his chips in preflop with , but was called by Jonathan Duhamel with . Nothing on the board brought any help for Jaspers, and he was done in 29th.
Ludovic Lacay spent the early days of the tournament at or near the top of the leader board, but busted in 22nd place (€13,800) after he doubled up Francesco Cirianni when his couldn't outrun Cirianni's pocket nines. Lacay got the last of his chips in a few hands later with A-8 from late position, and lost out when the big blind called with and rivered the heart flush to send Lacay packing,.
Juan Maceiras was another big stack to fall by the wayside on Day 3. Maceiras busted in 13th place (€22,100) when he got it all in against Nasr El Nasr on a board of . Maceiras had a gutshot straight flush draw with , and Nasr showed for top pair, top kicker. The on the turn was no help to Maceiras, and the on the river gave Nasr a full house as Raul Mestre was left as the last Spaniard standing.
Play slowed dramatically once the field grew short, as the players all had their eyes set on a final table berth and a shot at the €774,000 top prize. EPT Barcelona champion Sebastian Ruthenberg got the last of his chips in ahead against Jonathan Duhamel as his was well ahead of Duhamel's . The flop was good for Duhamel though, coming down . Ruthenberg picked up a flush draw when the hit the turn, and made his flush on the river. Ruthenberg got his stack off life support as Duhamel was left with an extreme short stack. He pushed all in shortly after with and was called by Nasr El Nasr with . Nasr hit a pair on the board, and Duhamel was done in 10th place (€42,800).
The players condensed to one table after Duhamel's elimination, and play continued for quite a while before Sebastian Ruthenberg became the final table bubble boy when he busted in ninth place (€42,800). Ruthenberg moved all in preflop, and Massimo Di Cicco quickly called. Francesco Cirianni thought for a long moment before folding, and Ruthenberg tabled . Di Cicco opened for the dominating favorite, and the board missed both players, coming down . Di Cicco's ace-high was good enough to bust Ruthenberg and set up a final table for Saturday, as follows:
Salvatore Bonavena — 1,402,000
Alexiou Konstantinos — 1,382,000
Francesco Cirianni — 807,000
Fredrik Nygard — 666,000
Massimo Di Cicco — 429,000
Nasr El Nasr — 376,000
Raul Mestre — 313,000
Andrew Alan Chen — 309,000
Join PokerNews at 1PM local time on Saturday for all the live updates as the final eight play to determine the 2008 EPT Prague champion.