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PokerStars EPT San Remo, Day 3: Galic Holds Lead as Money Reached

Dragan Galic

Day 3 of the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) San Remo Main Event saw a bubble burst, dreams shattered and stacks decimated. In an exciting turn of events, Days 1 and 2 chip leader Dragan Galic lost the chip lead at one point during Day 3 play, but he returned to wrest the top spot away from Constant Rijkenberg as the day ended. Rijkenberg still positioned himself as a serious challenger to Galic’s dominance, finishing Day 3 among the chip leaders.

With 124 players coming back for Day 3, the day started just off the money bubble. A few short stacks came in ready to gamble, and it didn’t work out well for Arnaud Mattern. Mattern moved all in over the top of Michael Tureniec’s button raise with pocket queens, but Tureniec called with A-6 and spiked an ace to send Mattern home out of the money.

Another bubble bustout was Dan “KingDan23” Smith, who lost most of his stack when he ran pocket queens into Marco Vailati’s pocket aces, then lost the rest to David Eldar a few minutes later. Smith moved the last remnants of his stack in from early position with {A-Clubs}{8-Clubs}, and Eldar looked him up with {Q-Clubs}{10-Clubs}. Smith was ahead preflop, but the {Q-Hearts} on the turn gave Eldar the lead and sent Smith home just outside the money. Bill Chen was another bubble elimination, busting with A-Q when an opponent shoved with 9-7 and made a runner-runner straight on a board of J-J-5-8-10.

Finally the bubble burst, with Joakim Hall the unfortunate bubble boy. On a flop of {2-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{7-Hearts}, Hall and Fabio Zappietro got the chips in, with Zappietro’s {A-Hearts}{9-Diamonds} well behind Hall’s pocket kings. Nothing changed when the {5-Hearts} came on the turn, but the river brought the {A-Diamonds} to give Zappietro the hand and send Hall home on the bubble.

After the bubble burst the pace of eliminations quickened, as Nikolay Tsaney, Tom McEvoy, Helfriend Bernhardt and Alex Kravchenko all busted. Juan Maceiras busted not long after when he got it all in on a coin toss with {K-Hearts}{10-Clubs} to Gianluca Salzano’s {9-Hearts}{9-Spades}. Maceiras made the open-ended straight draw on the {J-Hearts}{5-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds} flop, but the turn and river missed and Salzano’s nines held up to send Maceiras packing.

While Dragan Galic had been the story of the tournament’s early days, Constant Rijkenberg was the story of Day 3. Rijkenberg got out to a fast start, busting player after player on his way to a Day 3 finish near the top of the leader board. One of the first to fall to Rijkenberg was Alessandro Giuseppe Pastura, who moved all in preflop with {K-Hearts}{10-Diamonds} to Rijkenberg’s {2-Hearts}{2-Clubs}. The flop came down all clubs, and Pastura had even fewer outs to survive. The turn and river brought no help, and Patura was done. Rijkenberg continued his devastating ways later in the day when his {8-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds} outflopped Pietro Marras’ {A-Hearts}{7-Diamonds} on a board of {8-Hearts}{7-Clubs}{5-Hearts}. All the chips went in on the flop and Marras never caught up.

After losing the chip lead early in the day, Dragan Galic stormed back to finish Day 3 firmly in control of his own destiny. His winning ways sent Larsgreger Larsson packing when Galic called Larsson’s all in with {Q-Hearts}{10-Clubs} and rivered a four-flush to crack Larsson’s jacks and send him home early. Galic did take a late hit when he doubled up Giuseppe Argento just before the end of the night. Argento called Galic’s all-in move with {A-Spades}{10-Spades} on a board of {Q-Diamonds}{8-Spades}{8-Hearts}{3-Spades}. Galic’s {J-Spades}{8-Clubs} was well ahead of Argento’s flush draw, but the river brought the {2-Spades} and shipped the pot to Argento. Even after losing that hand, Galic still held a huge chip lead over his nearest competitors.

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